Muckraker: Grist on Politics

GOP presidential candidate John McCain released a new television ad today, “Pump,” which puts the blame for rising gas prices on Democrat Barack Obama.

“Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump?” the ad asks, as a photo of Obama appears on screen, and a crowd shouts, “Obama, Obama!”

“One man knows we must now drill more in America and rescue our family budgets,” the ad continues. “Don’t hope for more energy, vote for it. McCain.”

McCain, President Bush, and Republicans in Congress have touted drilling as the short-term solution to rising energy prices, despite the fact that energy experts and economists widely agree that opening offshore areas to production won’t actually lower oil prices until about 2030 — and maybe not even then. Guy Caruso, the Bush-appointed head of the Energy Information Administration, says that offshore drilling wouldn’t affect the price at the pump very much.

But McCain’s ad creates the impression that more drilling is the solution to today’s high gas prices. Watch it:

UPDATE: Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor just put out a response to the new McCain ad. “John McCain said recently that ‘our dangerous dependence on foreign oil has been thirty years in the making, and was caused by the failure of politicians in Washington.’ As someone who’s been in Washington for 26 years, Senator McCain is one of those politicians, and he’s consistently opposed investments in renewable energy that would reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” writes Vietor. “Now he’s proposing nearly $4 billion in tax breaks for the oil companies and Washington gimmicks that he admits will only provide ‘psychological relief’ to consumers.”

“Barack Obama has fought for energy independence in the Senate and has a plan to invest $150 billion in renewable sources of energy that will create five million new jobs and provide struggling families with an immediate energy rebate and a $1,000 middle-class tax cut,” he continues.