In His Big Speech, McCain's 10 Energy Lies Top Palin's 4 Energy Lies

10/05/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

My fellow Americans, when I'm President, we're going to embark on the most ambitious national project in decades. We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much.

LIE #1: McCain has no plan to reduce oil imports -- indeed, throughout his career he has explicitly rejected every plan that might reduce oil imports substantially, including fuel economy standards, biofuels, and renewables. Heck, he even rejected the plan offered by billionaire conservative oilman T. Boone Pickens to aggressively deploy clean energy and alternative fuels over the next ten years (see The real, Luddite McCain: "The truly clean technologies don't work").

We will attack the problem on every front.

LIE #2: This is, of course, the GOP's Big Energy Lie, widely debunked (see "The Big Energy Lie -- Blog round-up").

We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and we'll drill them now.

LIE #3: No, we won't drill them now. We might drill these new wells in 10 years, as the U.S. Energy Information Administration expert on offshore drilling explained to me (see "The cruel offshore-drilling hoax, Part 1").

We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas.

LIE #4: McCain has fought against wind and solar and alternative energy for his entire career because he genuinely but mistakenly believes "The truly clean technologies don't work" (see "Anti-wind McCain delivers climate remarks at foreign wind company" and "Why McCain hates renewables but pretends he loves them.")

We will encourage the development and use of flex fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles.

SEMI-LIE: I'm gonna give this to him on a technicality. While he has traditionally opposed government programs to push fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative fuels into the marketplace (the only possible strategy the could lead to energy independence), he has announced a pointless gimmick that makes the statement technically true (see "McCain proposes another energy gimmick, Part 1 -- pointless battery prize. Is this another $300M to ExxonMobil?").

Senator Obama thinks we can achieve energy independence without more drilling and without more nuclear power.

LIE #5: Senator Obama has made quite clear that he supports nuclear power and is open to an "all-of-the-above" compromise that includes drilling.

But Americans know better than that.

(hopefully) LIE #6: Let's all hope Americans don't buy McCain's lies.

We must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices and to restore the health of our planet.

LIE #7: This is a repetition of the Big Energy Lie. But by nature the big lie only works if you repeat it, so I'm counting it. The only energy resources McCain has ever pushed are drilling and nuclear.

It's an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we have faced greater challenges.

LIE #8: There is nothing ambitious about McCain's plan. It doesn't even include strategies to promote the most important energy source, energy efficiency -- a source McCain doesn't even pay lip service to in his big speeches, a source he actually mocks (seem "McCain on energy efficiency: He is Cheney's third term!" and "Will McCain's cynical lies destroy the chance for serious energy and climate policy?")

Earlier in the speech, McCain said of Palin:

She's tackled tough problems like energy independence and corruption.

LIE #9: Palin has done nothing to help achieve energy independence because there is nothing the State of Alaska can do. As Pickens and EIA and every independent expert keeps telling us, this is one emergency we can't drill our way out of.

McCain also said:

We lost their trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Senator Obama passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies.

LIE #10: The 2005 Energy Bill was certainly imperfect, but it contained more clean energy and energy efficiency incentives than any bill in more than a decade, so of course McCain opposed it. Ironically, it also contained more nuclear energy incentives than any bill in more than a decade -- and yet McCain opposed it and keeps claiming that those who voted for that bill don't support nuclear power. Now that is chutzpah.

Can you beat a liar if the media don't call him or her out? It is very, very tough, but it can be done. I'm gonna remain cautiously optimistic.