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Reality Check: McCain Blames Obama For Gas Prices In New Ad

Published On: Jul 31 2008 06:55:54 AM CDT   Updated On: Aug 01 2008 08:06:09 AM CDT
MADISON, Wis. -

A raging debate over offshore drilling has led to an ad by the John McCain camp blaming Barack Obama outright for problems at the pump.

VIDEO: Watch The Report

There's no doubt people are angry about high gas prices. John McCain's new ad is trying to exploit those feelings. But blaming one person for a nation's pinch at the pump is obviously going too far, according to a WISC-TV analysis.

"Gas prices - $4, $5, no end in sight, because some in Washington are still saying no to drilling in America," stated the ad.

This needs clarification. The moratorium has limited the amount of drilling in America presumably decreasing our nation's supply but it's impossible to know how much that's contributed to our prices, a WISC-TV analysis found.

As far as what's "in sight," many industry experts -- including McCain -- have agreed that lifting a moratorium on offshore drilling wouldn't produce oil for years. McCain has even called the immediate resulting effect just "psychological."

The ad continued, "No to independence from foreign oil. Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump? (Chant): Obama, Obama."

This is misleading, a WISC-TV analysis found. First, Obama is not opposed to oil independence. In fact, he has a $150 billion spending plan aiming to do just that. Secondly, Obama is singlehandedly as much to blame for gas prices as he is for the Brett Favre fiasco.

Why you ask? He's only been in the Senate since 2005 -- the moratorium was enacted in 1982 and most would admit the gas price problem has been growing for decades.

Then there's the other issues that contribute to the price of gas like world weather, consumer demand, unrest in oil-producing countries, vehicle efficiency, refinery capacity, transportation costs, or OPEC policy just to name a few, a WISC-TV analysis found.

"One man knows we must now drill more in America and rescue our family budgets," said the ad.

"Rescue" likely wouldn't come for a while even if drilling started tomorrow. The Federal Energy Information Administration has said the impacts on prices wouldn't be felt until the year 2030, a WISC-TV analysis found.

The Obama campaign is currently running their response to this ad. it details Obama's energy policy and calls McCain's ad "the same old politics."

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