RNC energy ads credit McCain for Obama’s position

Ads falsely claim McCain supports alternative energy when he has consistently opposed it and Obama has supported it

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Republican National Committee began airing TV ads this weekend that grossly distort the presidential candidates’ positions on alternative energy. The ads claim that John McCain is a supporter of alternative energy and imply that Barack Obama is not, when in fact the opposite is true.

“John McCain has consistently opposed clean, alternative energy, while Barack Obama has been one of clean energy’s biggest boosters,” Friends of the Earth Action President Brent Blackwelder said. “The fact that the RNC’s very first ads falsely credit McCain for holding Obama’s position shows how little confidence Republicans have in their own candidate. These ads are misleading and false.”

“Americans looking for solutions to our energy crisis have two choices,” Blackwelder said. “Four more years of the George Bush-Big Oil energy policies that got us into this mess, or a new direction from Barack Obama.”

RNC claims vs. reality


“John McCain says solve it now” with a plan that includes “alternative energy” and “conservation” – “Barack Obama … no new solutions”


John McCain has consistently opposed alternative energy.

• John McCain says he opposes funding wind and solar: “You should let the free-enterprise system take over,” McCain says [Grist, 10/1/07]
• McCain no-shows for vote to extend renewable energy tax credit, measure fails by one-vote margin, McCain advisor later says he opposed measure [CQ, 12/13/07]
• McCain previously voted against tax credits encouraging renewable energy production [Senate Vote 42, 3/14/06; Senate Vote 125, 5/21/01]
• McCain votes against establishing national renewable energy standard to promote wind, solar and other alternatives [Senate Vote 141, 6/16/05; Senate Vote 50 3/14/02; Senate Vote 55 3/21/02; Senate Vote 59 3/21/02]

McCain not committed to key fuel conservation policy.

• McCain’s top energy advisor says McCain might take existing automobile fuel efficiency (CAFE) standards “off the books” if elected [Climate Progress, 5/23/08]

Obama supports alternative energy and conservation.

• Barack Obama has been a consistent supporter of clean energy solutions, and unlike McCain, has a comprehensive energy plan that includes investing $150 billion in clean energy [http://www.barackobama.com/issues/energy/]
• Obama voted to support alternative energy tax credits [Senate Vote 425, 12/13/07; Senate Vote 223 6/23/07]
• Obama proposes massive increase in fuel economy standards [New York Times, 5/8/07]

Friends of the Earth Action endorsed Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy in May, when Obama opposed the gas tax “holiday” gimmick promoted by John McCain and instead advocated real solutions to end our nation’s addiction to oil.


Nick Berning, 202-222-0748