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Drill … Lower Gas Prices … Build SUVs: Lies to an Ugly Future

September 18th, 2008 · 5 Comments

During the Republican primaries, John McCain fell in Michigan, in part because he was living in reality when it came to Global Warming rhetoric, a reality uncomfortable for the flat-earth, reality-denying wing of the Republican party. Come this November, McCain doesn’t plan to make the same mistake. The Palin-McCain campaign’s latest ad is, not surprisingly, dishonest on multiple levels and offers ugly prospects for the future. The Palin-McCain Lying Ad is, well, despicable. 

This ad is about “jobs” for Michigan, a state under great (and continuing) pressure. The ad deceptively links McCain to Obama theme like “reform” and “change”. 

Let us take a moment to consider just one sentence:

“Offshore drilling to reduce the price of gas to spur truck sales.”

How many times does it need to be said? Offshore drilling is, at best, a 1 cent, 1 percent solution 20 years off to the question of gasoline prices.  According to Department of Energy analysis, offshore drilling would:

  1. Lead to a 1.2 cent reduction in gasoline prices.
  2. Provide 1 percent of today’s US oil demand and 0.25 percent of global demand (about 200,000 barrels per day of production compared to 20 million barrels/day of US demand and global demand (over 80 million barrels / day)
  3. Do this by 2030 …

Yes, a 1 cent, 1 percent solution, 20 years from now would “spur truck sales”. 

How can anyone take the Palin-McCain campaign seriously?

The Sierra Club has weighed in … strongly. This press release merits quotation in full:

“This ad is so full of lies, deceptions, and failed approaches to our energy and economic problems, it’s hard to know where to start.  Michiganders are smart enough to see through the lies and simple-minded pandering in this ad.  They know we need a real plan, real change, and that we need a candidate who understands our energy and economic crises.  This ad is further proof that John McCain just doesn’t get it and doesn’t have the kind of plan that Michigan—and America—needs.  

“The Sierra Club understand that times are tough in Michigan and that the automakers need help.  We support government loans to help the automakers if they are willing to make the kind of real, fleet-wide improvements in fuel economy that will help consumers spend less on gas and help reduce our dangerous dependence on oil.  And what the ad doesn’t tell you is that McCain opposed helping the automakers and only changed his mind once he started to slip in the polls in Michigan.

“John McCain says that the solution to Detroit’s woes is to have lower gas prices so they can sell more trucks.  Unfortunately, McCain’s drilling plan won’t lower prices and selling more trucks won’t help Detroit solve its problems in the long-run—but it will increase our addiction to oil. Michiganders know that relying too heavily on gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs is what got the auto industry into this mess in the first place and that’s why they want help building the next generation of fuel-efficient vehicles.  This is just one more example of John McCain’s backward-looking, outdated approach to America’s most pressing problems.

“Barack Obama has a real plan to invest $150 billion in the clean energy technologies we need.  That includes giving the auto industry the help they need to double fuel economy and make the next generation of fuel-efficient vehicles here in America.  

“Instead of a real plan, John McCain wants to run the economy like a game show full of misguided gimmicks like a $300 million prize for car batteries and the widely denounced gas tax holiday.  

“It’s shameful that the McCain campaign continues to repeat the completely discredited claim that more offshore drilling will lower gas prices.  This is the second ad just this week to do so.  Even the Bush administration admits that drilling won’t lower gas prices. It’s time for McCain and his campaign to start being honest with the American public about his energy plans.”

NOTE:  An excellent graphic from Architecture2030 to illustrate the volume impact. (Note that the total figures here are quite low. Current US consumption is 20 million barrels per day, not 15 …)

This is defined as “US oil consumption” and you will see that we are at about 15 million barrels / day in the chart.  The problem: The United States is using more than 20 million barrels per day.  (According to the Energy Information Administration,   “20,680,000 barrels/day” is their current statement as to US use.) It looks as if Architecture2030 used the 70% of US oil use that is dedicated to transportation rather than the total petroleum product use.  This graphic is, actually, overstating the impact of the 200,000 barrels/day since they are showing current and projected demand about 1/3rd lower than what the Energy Information Administration shows.   Even so, it clearly shows how this is about a 1 percent solution, decades into the future.

Tags: Energy

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 McCain: Failing his own “test”? // Sep 25, 2008 at 7:28 am

    [...] With this in mind, how can anyone consider these words with a straight face in light of McCain’s selection of Sarah (Global Warming denier) Palin for the Vice-Presidential slot and the embrace of “drill, baby, drill” as a (if not the) core element of the Republican Presidential campa…? [...]

  • 2 Gas prices dropping precipitously? // Oct 2, 2008 at 7:44 am

    [...] No obstacles to the nirvana of economic boom times with offshore drilling leading to lower prices. [...]

  • 3 Palin energy deception on national TV … again // Oct 4, 2008 at 8:50 am

    [...] about because they’ve been so deceived by misleading truthiness suggesting that drilling would solve things that it simply [...]

  • 4 Beware Silver Bullet Thinking - Go Green - SustainLane // Jun 1, 2009 at 3:33 am

    [...] reserves through a crash program of DRILL! DRILL! DRILL! (Of course, they won’t mention that this drilling program will have no influence on prices for years and perhaps only a 1-2 cent impact 15 ye….)Vinod Khosla has been making a lot of news (and making real investments) in the idea that biofuels [...]

  • 5 Destroying the Gulf for what? Better paths forward … // May 1, 2010 at 11:54 am

    [...] the 2008 campaign, a Palin-McCain Michigan ad had this line: “Offshore drilling to reduce the price of gas to spur truck [...]

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