Ad Nauseam: Pump

John McCain released a new television advertisement where he promises relief at the gas pump for working families by increasing oil drilling in America.

The ad begins by showing an old fashioned gas pump as a voice darkly intones, “Gas prices, $5, $% no end in site.”  Then, as the image changes to rapidly rising pump numbers, the very serious voice continues, “Because some in Washington are saying ‘no’ to drilling in America.  No to independence to foreign oil.”

As an image of Barack Obama appears on the screen as the voice continues, “Who can you blame for rising prices at the pump?”  A crowd chants, “OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA!”

The screen changes to John McCain talking with a microphone as the narrator continues, “One man knows we must drill more of America and rescue our family budgets.  Don’t hope for more energy.  Vote for it.”   

Wow.  Where to start?

First, it’s apparent that McCain is writing off the environmental vote in an effort to pander to people who have been most hurt by the government’s disastrous energy and transportation policies by, well, promising to continue and expand those policies.

While McCain is now on record in guaranteeing an increase in drilling and oil production, Obama is on record promoting alternative transportation be it in the form of non-motorized transportation or transit.  Making this ad worse, energy experts are near unanimous in their prediction that putting more drills into the ground wouldn’t have any impact on prices at the gasoline pump.

Last, I don’t vote or hope for more energy.  I usually just eat a power bar before hopping on my bike.

As the presidential race drags on, we’re seeing a greater and greater divide between the two candidates’ positions on transportation.  One is promising, despite a disturbing fascination with ethanol, to invest in the tried and true ways to reduce automobile dependency.  The other is promising to continue it.

  • Unfortunately, it turns out that the voters (even the young and the liberal) are on McCain’s side on this one. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center shows that now liberals and conservatives are both equally supportive of new drilling:

    http://people-press.org/report/433/gas-prices

    It’s scary. That “environmental vote” that McCain is writing off, doesn’t actually appear to exist anymore.

  • Aaron

    Zane, I have confidence that things will change – remember Clinton and her stupid idea of lifting the gas tax, which at first had support until Obama and surrogates got information out there about how lifting it wouldn’t accomplish anything? That turned around pretty quickly.

    It’s early on and folks haven’t had a chance to respond yet.

  • rob bregoff

    I believe, given climate crises, that Americans are supportive of higher gas prices, the same way that smokers support higher tobacco taxes: they believe that it will help them overcome an unhealthy anti-social behaviour.
    Higher gas prices have, refreshingly, brought thousands of new riders to bikes and transit, many of whom couldn’t find it in their awareness to explore other possibilities than driving.
    Even at $5 a gallon, gas is still much cheaper than in the European Union, so, really, we’re still getting a deal.
    Giving SUV drivers a big smile and a thumbs-up? Priceless!

  • LOLZ to this stupid ad. They used the same voice-over actress as GM did to make their EV1 commercials, which as we all know was a smashing success of an ad campaign.

    For your viewing pleasure:

  • the opening shot of the gas pump looks like it was taken in the LA river.

  • Obama does not have a great counter to the fact that the conservatives argue… if we had started drilling in ANWR in 2001, when Bush took office, we wouldn’t have this problem right now. The other thing that McCain will argue is that alternatives are not anywhere near adoption, and many of them, like ethanol and hydrogen, are just plain stupid. I think exploration is a good idea myself, to allow for a gradual transition… but the oil coming out of it should be placed immediately in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and be taxed heavily when it is taken out, to make this more of a resource to be used when the terrorists blow up the Port of Houston rather than something to be dipped into when prices are just a few cents too high.

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