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Reality Check: McCain's New Ad Goes After Obama On Energy Policy

Published On: Jul 17 2008 06:55:29 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 18 2008 08:30:01 AM CDT

The Republican National Committee has jumped in the ad race in Wisconsin with a spot supporting John McCain.

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The subject once again is energy policy as the RNC goes after Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

The ad lays out the thrust of McCain's energy plans and WISC-TV found that it misleads viewers when it comes to Obama's ideas.

The ad states, "Record gas prices, a climate in crisis. John McCain says solve it now with a balanced plan, alternative energy, conservation, suspending the gas tax and more production here at home. He's pushing his own party to face climate change."

It's true, McCain began voicing concerns over climate change before many in his party. He's also said he would support (or advocate) building new nuclear power plants for alternative energy.

He would create a gas tax "holiday" from Memorial Day to Labor Day and is in support of offshore oil drilling. President George W. Bush recently lifted a ban on offshore drilling with an executive order.

But when it comes to McCain's opponent, the ad doesn't get the policies quite right, a WISC-TV analysis found.

Obama is for conservation but he said no to lower gas taxes.

This is true as Obama opposes a summer suspension of the nearly 20-cent federal gas tax. He's said he doesn't believe the savings will be passed on to consumers.

The ad continued in relation to Obama, "No to nuclear, no to more production, no new solutions."

Two of these claims are misleading, a WISC-TV analysis found. First, Obama is not opposed to nuclear power. He's said he favors nuclear energy if it is done in a clean and safe manner with a way to dispose of the waste.

McCain's plan to add a hundred nuclear plants in the U.S. has not identified a way to dispose of waste.

It's true that Obama is against offshore drilling specifically because he said it won't offer any oil price relief for years. But saying Obama offers "no new solutions" is again misleading.

Obama's "new energy" plan includes $150 million in spending for clean energy -- including coal and hybrid technology and other provisions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting renewable fuels.

The ad finishes by saying that Obama is "just the party line ,comma " citing a study by The Congressional Quarterly that tracks votes on what they call party unity.

It's true Obama did vote with the Democratic majority 97 percent of the time.

For the record, according to the same vote study, McCain voted with his party 90 percent of the time, a WISC-TV analysis found.

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