Notes from McCain Energy Call

Posted: Jun 17, 2008 6:05 PM
McCain campaign senior economic policy advisor Doug Holtz-Eakin held a 6pm conference call to buttress McCain's 5pm energy speech. (See my full story on the speech HERE.)

Key intro quote from Holt-Eakin:
"Oil is used as a weapon against the US economy."
(Holtz-Eakin will be referred to as HE from here on and all questions and answers are paraphrased.)

First question: How do you lift the moratoriums?
HE:President would lift the ban, get Congress to approve and then go through the appropriate "rulemaking" to allow states to conduct exploration off their coasts. (I'm not totally clear on this, will review the audio later to clarify.)

Second question:Something about McCain giving preference to oil companies.
HE: McCain will eliminate tax subsidies for oil. He wants to treat companies equally.

Third question: The drilling won't make a difference for 5 years, does McCain know that?
HE: McCain knows it will take time, part of the reason why McCain supports repealing gas taxes. We should start now, otherwise we'll never solve the problem.

Fourth: How much does Senator think futures markets matter?
HE: Futures are not 100 percent explained by fundamentals in use. There is an investigation underway.."no one knows exact numbers and it's important to restore people's faith in these markets."

Fifth: Why not let people of Alaska decide to drill like California and Florida?
HE: Senator thinks ANWR is a special place

Sixth: How concerned is the campaign that this position will hurt him in coastal states?
HE: McCain cares about putting all options on the table. This model was successful in Louisiana.

Seven: Does McCain believe in a windfall profits tax? He said in the past oil companies were making obscene profits.
HE: McCain opposes windfall profits tax, has never proposed it and it "quite cognizant" of the failure of windfall profits tax in the 1970's. 

Again, these questions and answers are paraphrased. Usually the McCain campaign is kind enough to send out a audio link to their phone conferences, which I will post in this blog when available.