McCain admits he trusts Big Oil execs more than independent experts

ORLANDO — At a campaign event today Sen. John McCain rejected the consensus view of independent experts that offshore drilling won’t impact gas prices. McCain said he believes oil company executives instead.

When told that new offshore drilling would not yield results for decades, McCain said, “I met with oil executives just a few days ago … and it is my view and that of oil company executives that … we could in a very short time have a beneficial effect [from drilling]. … so I disagree with those experts.”

McCain added that he expects to see beneficial effects of offshore drilling “within months.”

Friends of the Earth Action spokesman David Hirsch responded with the following statement:

“By all appearances McCain has lost touch with reality. Just months ago, he said offshore drilling ‘would take years to develop,’ but now he cozies up to big oil executives and rejects the advice of every independent expert. This blatant pandering is hypocritical, it’s ridiculous, and it’s offensive. We already have one oilman in the White House. We don’t need another.”

Not surprisingly, oil company executives contributions’ to McCain have been “gushing” recently:

Friends of the Earth Action opposes pandering and gimmicks and supports real, comprehensive solutions to the energy crisis, including fuel efficiency standards and public transportation to reduce demand, and investments in affordable clean energy to increase supply.


JOHN MCCAIN (interrupting): “And by the way, Steve, keep drilling offshore, pal! Thank you!”[…]

AUDIENCE MEMBER: “[…] You mention offshore […] And I happened to see on CNN last night, they were talking about this offshore drilling. And that it would be at least 10-plus years before we get any benefit from that. And that only 3 per cent of the oil that we consume would […] come from the offshore drilling. And I want you to help us with the real benefit of this. […] As far as us receiving any benefit at the pump […] that it would close to 10 years before we would receive it […]”

JOHN MCCAIN: “I don’t agree. In fact I met with oil executives just a few days ago in California — as some call it Cal-i-fornia — and the fact is that we can, using existing facilities, expand our oil production within months, according to these executives. And the fact that if we go offshore and if we find, as I’m confident we will, additional reserves of oil, that will have a beneficial effect. That is economics: that if you have a greater supply, that it has an effect on the price of whatever it is. And the fact is that in my view and that of oil company executives that I’ve talked to–the people that actually do it, not those that comment on television, but those that actually do it–we could, in a very short time, have a beneficial effect as we bridge the gap between our dependence on foreign oil and becoming energy independent […] So I disagree with those experts and I’ve talked to the actual people that do the work, that are in the business that say within months and certainly within a very short time, we could have additional oil supply for this nation. So we ought to drill now.”

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Nick Berning, 202-222-0748