Big Oil Candidate Rick Perry Knows AAA...and We're Not Talking Credit Ratings Anymore

Republican Presidential Hopeful Dials CEO of AAA Southern California for Campaign Cash

On August 16, POLITICO reported that Texas Governor Rick Perry would be holding a conference call that day to reach out to potential donors in California. While it was reported that, ''It's uncertain if they'll all be on the call...Perry's organization has quickly put together an impressive list of names on the invite,'' a list which included Thomas McKernan, Chief Executive of AAA Southern California and AAA Texas LLC.

Rick Perry has proven himself to be one of the best political fundraisers in history, having collected nearly $120 million in contributions for state races in Texas since 1998, when he ran for lieutenant governor. According to the National Institute on Money in State Politics (and as reported on August 15 at Think Progress), over $11 million of that huge sum came from the oil and gas industry.

So it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that Perry's fundraising team included McKernan on the list it prepared for Perry's conference call with California donors. In 2006, the AAA executive joined Big Oil in opposing California Proposition 87, which would have increased taxes on oil extracted in California in order to fund research and production incentives for alternative energy, alternative energy vehicles, and energy efficient technologies. (The wording of the proposition also prohibited the cost of the tax from being passed on to consumers.)

Perry has had harsh words for the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve on fiscal and monetary policy in the aftermath of the Standard & Poor's downgrading of U.S. debt in early August, but it sounds like the country's debt rating isn't the only AAA on the candidate's mind.

We know where Thomas McKernan stands on alternative energy. And if support from the oil and gas industry and allies like McKernan get Perry into the White House, it's almost certain that his energy and economic policies won't do much to help the U.S. off its dependence on fossil fuels.

Better World Club gives that an F.

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