August 29, 2008
Facts on Votes
A recent letter to the editor about John McCain's energy plan wrongly stated that in voting for the 2005 energy bill, Sen. Barack Obama was lining Big Oil's pockets.
After the vote, Sen. Obama issued a press release that said: "This bill, while far from a solution, is a first step toward decreasing America's dependence on foreign oil." The release cited the legislation's investments in biofuels, plug-in hybrids, flexible- fuel vehicles "that could travel up to 500 miles per gallon of gasoline," and clean-coal technology as reasons he voted for it. "I vote for this bill reluctantly today, disappointed that we have missed our opportunity to do something bolder that would have put us on the path to energy independence. This bill should be the first step, not the last, in our journey toward energy independence."
Contrary to McCain's claim that the bill was "full of goodies and breaks for the oil companies," a 2007 Congressional Research Service report found that although the bill "included several oil and gas tax incentives, providing about $2.6 billion of tax cuts for the oil and gas industry," it also "provided for $2.9 billion of tax increases on the oil and gas industry, for a net tax increase ... of nearly $300 million over 11 years."
Sen. McCain voted to cut funding for the Rural Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program from $23 million to $3 million. That would have led to us purchasing billions of fewer barrels of oil from the Middle East.
Is this putting country first?
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