To: Interested Parties
From: Doug Holtz-Eakin, Senior Policy Adviser
Date: August 6, 2008
Re: Obama's False Claims On McCain's "All Of The Above" Energy Plan
This week, Barack Obama's attacks against John McCain's "All of the Above" energy plan have centered on two major distortions: that John McCain does not support alternative energy and that John McCain supported the Bush-Cheney energy policy. Both assertions are false.
First, Barack Obama is misleading the American people when he says that John McCain does not support the development of alternative energy sources and his only solution to our energy crisis is offshore drilling. In reality, John McCain has outlined a comprehensive energy plan that takes an "all of the above" approach to achieving strategic independence from foreign oil.
This means John McCain does support aggressive development of alternative and renewable energy sources.. He will support the development of alcohol-based fuels, establish a permanent research and development tax credit to support energy innovation, and will encourage an even-handed system of tax credits for renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and biomass.
However, unlike Barack Obama, John McCain believes that as we move to the energy of tomorrow, we must also develop more existing energies here at home through resources like offshore drilling, nuclear power and clean coal technology. Experts agree that we must do both. Barack Obama's belief that we can achieve energy independence without these resources is simply not realistic and reflects either inexperience on the issue, or a desire to give people what they want to hear, rather than giving them the facts.
While distorting John McCain's vision for energy independence, Barack Obama is also misleading the American people when he says John McCain supported the Bush-Cheney energy policy. Let there be no mistake: the only candidate who voted to give tax breaks to Big Oil is Barack Obama when he supported the 2005 Bush-Cheney energy bill that gave $2.8 billion in subsidies to the oil companies. John McCain voted against this bill for the very reason that he opposed these tax breaks to oil companies and as president he will ensure their repeal. While he may decry them on the campaign trail, Barack Obama had no problem standing side-by-side with the oil companies while in the United States Senate.
Both these distortions distract from the real choice on energy: While both candidates support aggressive expansion of alternative energy sources, Barack Obama says there are some energy sources such as drilling and nuclear power that should not be developed. John McCain believes that we must tap all our energy resources to become energy independent, including alternative energy, nuclear and offshore drilling. This is the very clear choice that will confront the American people at the voting booth in November.