McCain Running on Empty

Sen. John McCain has a new ad out today on climate change. Check it out:

Sounds great right? John McCain doesn’t follow the President on climate change and wants to curb greenhouse gasses.

Not so fast.

From the New York Times’ Elisabeth Bumiller:

Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, is to provide an audience of Houston oil executives with more details of his proposal to lift the federal moratorium on offshore oil and gas exploration in states that want it. Mr. McCain’s position is welcome news for the oil industry, which has called for years for the ban to be lifted.

"With gasoline running at more than four bucks a gallon, many do not have the luxury of waiting on the far-off plans of futurists and politicians," Mr. McCain plans to say. "We have proven oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States. But a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production, and I believe it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use." Mr. McCain first made public his position on the moratorium on Monday in Virginia.

Just so this is clear: On the same day that John McCain releases a new ad discussing his commitment to confronting climate change, he also proposes drilling for offshore oil and gas.

Politically, McCain may be seeking the energy security mantle, but he will have trouble claiming to care about climate at the same time, especially when it looks like he is just giving handouts to the oil industry. This move will not help in the short term as wells in these places will not come online tomorrow, and the amount of oil and natural gas extracted would not lower prices in any meaningful way.

Plus, offshore drilling is so unpopular in Florida, that even Jeb Bush opposed it as Governor. In fact, as First Read points out:

No Republicans in Florida have gotten elected statewide without endorsing the moratorium on off-shore oil drilling.

Between this drilling proposal and the gas tax holiday, it sounds like John McCain’s Straight Talk Express may be in bad need of a fill-up.