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Clinton, Stumping in Pa., Takes on Oil Profits

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) made a campaign stop at Curran Gulf Station in Pittsburgh today to dramatize her proposal to tax oil profits. (AP.)

By Perry Bacon Jr.
PITTSBURGH -- Continuing her extensive campaigning in Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton promised to increase the taxes on profits from oil companies and criticized her rival Barack Obama in an appearance at an event held at a gas station in Pittsburgh.

"Both Senator Obama and Senator McCain have sided with Dick Cheney and Big Oil," Clinton said, noting both had voted for a 2005 bill that offered some tax subsidies for oil companies.

Obama aides say he backed the bill because it increased funding for potential alternative sources of energy such as ethanol, and they criticized Clinton for taking "thousands of dollars from oil lobbyists in this campaign." Obama's presidential campaign does not accept funds from federal lobbyists.

For Clinton, the stop at the gas station and a later speech at a rally here marked her fourth and five events in the Keystone State, which holds the next Democratic primary on April 22. Obama has made only one stop in the state, canceling another because of Senate votes.

"I don't see how a Democrat wins the White House without winning Pennsylvania," Clinton said. "Pennsylvania is a microcosm of the entire country. It's our sixth biggest state."

The two candidates are sharply diverging when it comes to strategies to prove to the Democratic officials known as superdelegates who is the best general election candidate. Clinton's team is casting Pennsylvania as a major contest in the Democratic nomination battle, arguing the person who wins in this crucial state must be considered more electable. Obama, while promising to campaign here, is arguing he has already won many key swing states, so Democratic delegates should consider the results of the contests everywhere. Clinton will head to St. Patrick's Day parades in Pennsylvania on Saturday, while Obama plans to campaign in Indiana, which votes on May 6.

"The last time I checked, Missouri was a swing state, Wisconsin's a swing state. Virginia, which we have a chance to put in play, hasn't been a swing state, but should be a swing state," Obama said in a press conference earlier this week. ... Colorado is a swing state. Iowa is a swing state."

At the gas station, Clinton emphasized her plan to reduce gas prices and improve the environment by employing school buses that use electric power, increasing American production of biofuels such as ethanol and investigating what Clinton calls "market manipulation of wholesale oil prices."

With its large number of working class workers, Pennsylvania demographically resembles Ohio, a state Clinton won handily last week. Obama has said Clinton is the favorite here, and when his campaign agreed to participate in a debate next month in Philadelphia, it also asked that Clinton participate in one in North Carolina, which also votes on May 6 and may be a stronger state for Obama. Clinton has so far not committed to the North Carolina debate.

"I would like to see what happens in Pennsylvania," says Steven Achelpohl, a superdelegate who is chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party. "Obama showed some terrific strength in some states. Hillary has showed strength in other states. My deal is electability."

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 14, 2008; 6:29 PM ET
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LOONYBIN2000-You are right that we need a qualified Businessman in the Office.
If you go back to the First Posting, you will see where it could help!
Mitt Romney would balance the Ticket and get that needed experience/ expertice in there!

HE could be the Businessman, the Military Man Needs! The Conservative the RINO needs. And the Moneybags the GOP needs! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | March 15, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Hillary ,You must Stop Obama.He is a White hater.But he is much to young to lead a country like the USA .Also Your Laugh is hurting you.

Posted by: Podge1500 | March 15, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

If Obama is so gulible to beliebe Tony is as straight as an arrow and wants the people of this country to believe he was not aware of his preacher's views and hatred of this country, then such a thin skinned person has no right to even think he can deal with world leaders as President of our country.

As for resolving the Oil mess we are in, and it surely is a mess. There is no magic wand , Bush and
Cheney have practically paralized the middle class and have taken our freedoms , which we hold dear to us and made a mockery out of the United States. Hillary will, I am certain work as hard as humanly possible to get us back on our feet. Mc Cain is an idiot and will continue to do as B dictates. As for Obama, he sure does have to grow up. He cannot keep hiding his ignorance and the American people will not tolerate, "Oh, did not Know" if you dont know Hussein better learn first how to walk, before you try to attempt to RUN!

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | March 15, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse


I've lived in the rustbelt region for almost all of my life. I have watched our industries disappear. If you want to thank someone for this, thank the architects of NAFTA and China's entrance into the World Trade Organization:

Thank the Clintons.

Posted by: wolfi101 | March 15, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Hillary will not be able to control oil companies after taking large donations from their lobbyists. If you tax the oil companies, they will just charge more to the consumers. If you start to regulate the oil price, we will have to first decide if we want to become China, a communist regime.

Hillary can promise us the Moon in the sky for our votes, but we have to be smart enough not to be fooled by her 35 years of talking experience. She also promised to seat FL and MI delegates, knowing that it is against the party rules. If you are one of Bill or Hill friends, she will take care of you for your votes. Fair enough?

Posted by: dummy4peace | March 15, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I am an Independent and voted for Obama, because I want to be sure that each major party has the best qualified nominee for the general election.

However, I know a few of my Republican friends voted for Hillary in the primary, because they want McCain to win the White House and they are more concerned about Obama than Hillary. Well, we will find out the truth in November.

Posted by: dummy4peace | March 15, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Defending big oil? How is pointing out facts - such as that oil companies are paying more than double in taxes than what their much ballyhooed revenues are - "defending" these companies? Or asking why some profitable businesses should have their taxes raised but others shouldn't - how is that defending big oil?

Oil companies don't need little old me to defend them...I'd just like to see one of you people explain why success should be punished. I'm breathless with anticipation.

Posted by: kevin.allexon | March 15, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Obama's not one to talk about oil. At his town meeting at Newman Smith High School in Texas, he said we need to stop buying oil from countries like Iran and Russian. Nice. We haven't bought oil from Iran since Carter was president!!

Posted by: bequi99 | March 15, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Hillary has tricked her supporters and laid cover for a minority of racist/xenophobic voices in the party, without doing anything substantive to condemn them. Her ego is sinking the party. This may no longer be recoverable. the dems have pretty much lost my vote.

enjoy eight more years of clintons... how short sighted!

Posted by: maq1 | March 15, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

I cant believe how rude some of you readers are!!! Insulting Pennsylvanians who are some of the most highly educated,NON-RACIST people around. Anyone voting for Obama after what his "spiritual advisor" acted out on his pulpit , is a total idiot. It is very obvious that the man who wants to CONTROL our country is a Racist himself. I am so sick of his arrogance,and his acting as if he doesn't have to account for any of his previous actions in his life, whereas the Clintons whole life was put out there for everyone to dissect. If you Obama people really care about your country, go to his churches' website and read how racist his church is and what they stand for- oh yeah, but he denounces him. Yea, right , Obama you're gonna have to start answering some questions now. I cant wait until the Democratic Convention when Obama loses because of all of his dirty laundry that will be revealed. Hillary will be chosen as our nominee, and for God's sake,people , wake up!!! This man is living in a dream world. He'll never be our President, due to his lack of any type of experience. Hillary will carry all of the major states against McCain, and that's just the way it goes. Sorry, fools.

Posted by: shuni | March 14, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

A very, very interesting summary from an Obama supporter. He/she sounds truly shaken. Here's the link if you wanna sound-off:

Posted by: Umbria | March 14, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse


I live in San Diego. How about you?

Posted by: JakeD | March 14, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

to: Kevin A (above)

I almost hate to admit it, but I was shocked to learn that, according to "", these big breaks to "Big Oil" are largely a myth.

Some of this money has gone to research "alternative energy". In a way, this research only make sense if a (set of) large companies would expect to survive long term, and not have their supply line continually threatened.

Having said that, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why the banks, and other financial institutions, failed to take the long-term view regarding their subprime lending practices.

Many of you may not remember the 1980's bail-out of the Federal Savings and Loan Corporation. And, just today, the Fed is allocating emergency money to bail out "Bear Stearns". (and, I expect more "corporate welfare" to come) Maybe these financial Ceo's are not as misguided as they appear.

... Then, and as it is now, this party is being thrown by all of us!

Posted by: roho331 | March 14, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

What did Cheney discuss with the oil executives? He made it clear to them that the phrase "Northeastern heating oil shortages", a phrase so popular during President Clinton's terms, would not be tolerated, and there have been -no- heating oil shortages; thank you, sir.

The price of oil certainly has something to do with energy policy--those of you familiar with the energy bill know that there is no energy in the energy bill. Not a single barrel. When was the last refinery built in Americaa? Was it 40 or 50 years ago? Why can the Chinese and the Mexicans drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico and we cannot?

I'm confident that alternative energy sources will continue to play an ever-increasing role in our energy supply, but greater domestic oil production now would protect us from the whims of Hugo Chavez, Mideast terrorists, and the fumbles of candidates Obama and Clinton who alienated Canada with their NAFTA rants. Canada is our gretest source of oil.

Additionally, it might be nice to be able to sell some oil (for a profit) to friendly nations, always a good foreign policy tool.

Posted by: denmar143 | March 14, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Who are these jokers defending big oil? These companies conspired in SECRET with Cheney years ago on the nation's energy policy and we are still reaping the "reward" of sky-high prices. It's not that America deserves any less though.

The rest of the world pays dearly for gas and oil and we will probably have to readjust our thinking. But a candidate such as Ms. Clinton who is focusing on EXCESSIVE profits and alternative energy sources is worth hearing out.

The jokers defending big oil must be writing in from Texas--or maybe Saudi Arabia!

Posted by: Bi1lMe | March 14, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse


They don't care that it paid it's fair share of taxes -- there are plenty of other companies that make just as much (or more, like the movie industry out here in California) PERCENTAGE of profit -- they aren't going to get their taxes raised, are they?!

Most Democratic voters can think for themselves -- natterly71 is correct in pointing out that raised taxes will be passed on to the consumers at the pump -- just look at all the taxes on gasoline in Europe!

Posted by: JakeD | March 14, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Quote: "Go back to Arkansas."

Please don't wish that on Arkansas. She is NOT from Arkansas. Once a yankee, always a yankee.

Posted by: wly34 | March 14, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I respectfully disagree with 'jacksmith'; how can you miss that Republicans have been voting -FOR- Mrs. Clinton so as to keep her in the campaign and therefore to continue the ugly sniping that we have seen? The phrase in the media has been to 'keep her around to bloody up Obama.' When Republicans feared that she might lose Texas or Ohio, and then drop out of the campaign, they poured out in droves to vote for her.

With Mrs. Clinton in the campaign, we have been treated to the likes of Geraldine Ferraro. Today has begun the media examination of Obama's hate-America-first, (God d*mn America!) pastor Jeremiah Wright, supporter of Farrakhan and all things ugly and un-American. (By the way, why did the media keep Obama's religion and pastor under wraps while keeping up a relentless onslaught against Mitt Romney's Mormonism?)

By keeping Mrs. Clinton in the campaign, the nation's citizens are beginning to ask themselves whether they want someone in control of their health care system who can so easily change rules; consider Florida and Michigan.

It is Mrs. Clinton who would be the weaker candidate against McCain as has been demonstrated by all the polls; her negatives are very high.

Mrs. Clinton will continue to pursue the nomination through Florida and Michigan do-over's or by siphoning off super delegates.

I think Clinton's supporters will support McCain if Obama is the nominee, and Obama's supportrs will support McCain if Mrs. Clinton is the nominee.

Posted by: denmar143 | March 14, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Quote: "If she convinces superdelegates to go against the will of the majority and takes the nomination, I simply won't vote in November (first time in decades). That's a promise. To honor my own integrity, I'll accept a McCain presidency and take the long view (for my kids) that the need to discourage dishonest politics is worth fighting, even when it hurts."

My thoughts exactly!

Posted by: wly34 | March 14, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Raise taxes on the oil companies? Who do you think will end up paying the tax on oil company profits? The consumer, who will also be forced to buy "health insurance" instead of health care under Corporate Doormat Clinton's plan.

Let's all ignore that the price of oil is a direct consequence of Bush and Co.'s destabiling wars in the Middle East; national policies that ignore alternative energy, global warming, fuel economy standards; and national policies that reward corporate malfeasance, price gouging and the priorities of the congressional-military-industrial complex, issues that Clinton has utterly and completely failed to address in her desperate rush to assume the crown.

And where did she get $5 million to put into her own campaign? Let's see the tax returns since Bill has been out of office and the paybacks have been rolling in ...

Posted by: natterly71 | March 14, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Quote: "Tax them. Get the money from them to fund new energy research."

The very reason that the Republicans will probably win the White House again.
Tax em, tax em. Do you not realize that these corporations are owned by people like you and me. Well, like me anyway.

Posted by: wly34 | March 14, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Quote: "Hillary Clinton has actually won by much larger margins than the vote totals showed. And lost by much smaller vote margins than the vote totals showed. Her delegate count is actually much higher than it shows. And higher than Obama's. HILLARY CLINTON IS ALREADY THE TRUE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE!"

I've already asked for your proof of those statements, but it's obvious that you can't give any. So why not stop publishing things that you can't prove?

Posted by: wly34 | March 14, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

There you are, Hillary! This election is going to be about oil. We need to know what did those Oil execs discuss with Dick Cheney. Whoever dares raise the oil issue will be the next President. McCain and Obama will not have enough guts to attack the big oil companies. Tax them. Get the money from them to fund new energy research.

Posted by: n88e88 | March 14, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

What next?? Kissing babies while she pumps gas??
The price of gasoline is a result of supply and demand. Nothing Bush, Clinton, or anyone else does will have any result.
Stop using gasoline and the price will go down. Simple as that.

Posted by: wly34 | March 14, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I am sick of the screaming witch who won't hesitate to stab you in the back. Remember how honored she was to pull up a chair next to Barack during a recent debate. Next day she comes out swinging telling Obama that he "should be ashamed of himself." This country will remain divided if the witch gets in and nothing will get done. Obama will not have Clinton as his VP. Go back to Arkansas.

Posted by: jacked | March 14, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Why should oil companies be singled out for higher taxes? Why not be intellectually honest and just propose higher corporate taxes for businesses? Oh that's right, because higher taxes on companies takes away capital, encourages corporations to move offshore and typically results in job losses. Not to mention the U.S. already has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world. Geez, ExxonMobil posted $39 Billion in net revenues in 2006, but does anyone know or care that it paid over $101 Billion in TAXES to various governments (state, fed & local)?

Posted by: kevin.allexon | March 14, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Obama is correct in pointing out that he's won numerous swing states already, once again putting the lie to HRC's latest little con that PA is somehow a crucial marker. He also brings with his candidacy the ability to put several swing states in play. More importantly, he has the majority of votes, the majority of delegates, the vast majority of states, and an INSURMOUNTABLE lead in delegates--unless the election is stolen out from under him, which, if it happens, will KILL the party. Literally, as in 'Roadkill, guts everywhere, roll up the window, quick."

Sen. Clinton is employing a constant stream of distortions ("Ohio is the crucial test, a PA win means I win") to continue a campaign that's already lost by any DEMOCRATIC standards. Why this kind of manipulation is acceptable to anyone in our party is a mystery. W and his crew reprised and, for awhile, perfected the art of "Say it enough times and people will believe it." There's a precedent for that kind of manipulation, and it's not a pretty one. Sadly, for some reason, it works, and so hyper-ambitious pols with no shame continue to embrace it.

This nomination should already be called for Obama. He should be getting on with the task of choosing a VP and mounting a general-election campaign. I'm amazed and getting angrier every day that Sen. Clinton's divisive, desperate, hubristic campaign continues, despite the fact that she cannot win enough delegates except by the most undemocratic of means, manipulation and theft. Clearly, she's willing to win that way. Does that say nothing to her supporters about her integrity? Her dedication to democratic principles? Hasn't our long ordeal with W taught us anything about politicians who operate this way?

I was wondering how we Dems might manage to lose this cakewalk. If we do, Sen. Clinton's legacy will certainly be etched in stone for all time. What a shame, because she's capable of doing some good things (for her country, remember?) as a senator and, perhaps, majority leader for her party. If she continues her desperate push to Be President By Any Means Necessary, fat chance she'll ever be accepted into that honorable position.

I'm a long-time, loyal Dem and a precinct captain. If she convinces superdelegates to go against the will of the majority and takes the nomination, I simply won't vote in November (first time in decades). That's a promise. To honor my own integrity, I'll accept a McCain presidency and take the long view (for my kids) that the need to discourage dishonest politics is worth fighting, even when it hurts.

Posted by: yogi11 | March 14, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse


Large numbers of Republicans have been voting for Barack Obama in the DEMOCRATIC primaries, and caucuses. Because they feel he would be a weaker opponent against John McCain. And because they feel that a Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ticket would be unbeatable. And also because with a Clinton and Obama ticket you are almost 100% certain to get quality, affordable universal health care very soon.

But first, all of you have to make certain that Hillary Clinton takes the democratic nomination and then the Whitehouse. NOW! is the time. THIS! is the moment you have all been working, and waiting for. You can do this America. "Carpe diem" (harvest the day).

I think Hillary Clinton see's a beautiful world of plenty, and comfort for all. She is a woman, and a mother. And it's time America. Do this for your-self, and your children's future. You will have to work together on this and be aggressive, relentless, and creative. Americans face an even worse catastrophe ahead than the one you are living through now.

You see, the medical and insurance industry mostly support the republicans with the money they ripped off from you. And they don't want you to have quality, affordable universal health care. They want to be able to continue to rip you off, and kill you and your children by continuing to deny you life saving medical care that you have already paid for. So they can continue to make more immoral profits for them-self.

Hillary Clinton has actually won by much larger margins than the vote totals showed. And lost by much smaller vote margins than the vote totals showed. Her delegate count is actually much higher than it shows. And higher than Obama's. HILLARY CLINTON IS ALREADY THE TRUE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE!

As much as 30% of Obama's primary, and caucus votes are Republicans trying to choose the weakest democratic candidate for McCain to run against. These Republicans have been gaming the caucuses where it is easier to vote cheat. This is why Obama has not been able to win the BIG! states primaries. Even with Republican vote cheating help.

Hillary Clinton has been out manned, out gunned, and out spent 2 and 3 to 1. Yet Obama has only been able to manage a very tenuous, and questionable tie with Hillary Clinton.

If Obama is the democratic nominee for the national election in November he will be slaughtered. Because the Republican vote cheating help will suddenly evaporate. All of this vote fraud and republican manipulation has made Obama falsely look like a much stronger candidate than he really is. YOUNG PEOPLE. DON'T BE DUPED! Think about it. You have the most to lose.

The democratic party needs to fix this outrage. I suggest a Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ticket now! Everyone needs to throw all your support to Hillary Clinton NOW! So you can end this outrage against YOU the voter, and against democracy.

I think Barack Obama has a once in a life time chance to make the ultimate historic gesture for unity, and change in America by accepting Hillary Clinton's offer as running mate. Such an act now would for ever seal Barack Obama's place at the top of the list of Americas all time great leaders, and unifiers for all of history. But the time to act is soon.

The democratic party, and the super-delegates have a decision to make. Are the democrats, and the democratic party going to choose the DEMOCRATIC party nominee to fight for the American people. Or are the republicans going to choose the DEMOCRATIC party nominee through vote fraud, and gaming the DEMOCRATIC party primaries, and caucuses.

Fortunately the Clinton's have been able to hold on against this fraudulent outrage with those repeated dramatic comebacks of Hillary Clinton's. Only the Clinton's are that resourceful, and strong. Hillary Clinton is your NOMINEE. They are the best I have ever seen.

"This is not a game" (Hillary Clinton)



Posted by: JackSmith1 | March 14, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

This is just more talk. How can we expect Billary to accomplish anything even the moderately difficult issues of this country when she is incapable of getting her own records released from the Clinton Library?

Posted by: jacphill | March 14, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Hillary continues to smear her fellow Democrat for having voted on complex compromise bills while in the Senate (while caving to Bush/Cheney on Iraq and Iran). No wonder nothing gets done in Washington.

We want Change.
Yes, We Can!

Posted by: brumby | March 14, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Does Its-My-Turn Clinton have a car that can run on dirt or something? Unfortunately, mine uses gasoline refined from oil and I'd rather keep it under $9/gal thank you. Increasing ethanol production? She has to be kidding!? Is she the last idiot standing that hasn't figured out ethanol is a boondoggle (oh, wait, IA delegates must be up for grabs . . . go on Hillary, sell us down the river, anything so long as you get the nomination). It's too bad PA has a populace that tends to be older, uneducated and a bit racist because she really needs to be stopped. She must be proud to count voters like that amongst her base.

Posted by: brooksofsheffield | March 14, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Nice proposals, but how will she get this through Congress?

Posted by: parkerfl | March 14, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm not familiar with the topic, but the first thing I thought of when reading the post is that even oil companies have their own arguments.

And, in this case, a real reporter, instead of simply just jotting down what was said, would try to play devil's advocate and present that side of the story and ask for a comment.

Since Perry Bacon Jr. probably isn't an expert on these matters either, the WaPo could bring aboard actual experts from across the spectrum to discuss Clinton's and Obama's positions on this matter.

The WaPo could do that, but won't: they aren't interested in doing a public service and doing their job.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | March 14, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Will Hillary DIANE Clinton go after every company that makes as much (or more) PERCENTAGE of profit?!

Posted by: JakeD | March 14, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Billary talking about Energy and Economics! What a Lawyer Maroon!

NOW, someone like say Mitt Romney, the obvious VP selection for God's Own Party, would have, LOL! (if it was still necessary), mentioned that the People of Pennsylvania would be among the BIGGEST beneficiaries of a Government supported Coal to Oil Refinery or Ten!
That, the US has more Coal, that we can now Distillate, than we know what to do with!
That, Oil, at $40/Barrel justifies the costs!

BUT, that would just be an Economic Genius Talking! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | March 14, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

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