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Trying to get the upper hand on lowering gas prices for voters, Barack Obama painted John McCain as doing little to lower the appetite for imports since he joined Congress. Noting he had been there 26 years, Obama suggested his Republican rival resisted solutions.
"Today, we import triple the amount of oil than we had on the day Senator McCain took office," Obama told the Democratic National Convention in his featured speech Aug. 28, 2008, in Denver.
First, Obama refers to a 26-year period that began after McCain won a U.S. House seat in 1982, taking office in 1983. (McCain joined the Senate in 1987.)
Using that 1983 starting point, imports tripled by several measures, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Between 1983 and 2007, imports of crude oil — refined to produce products like gasoline — went from 3.3-million barrels a day to 10-million, the EIA reports.
During the same time, net imports of all petroleum went from 4.3-million barrels a day to 12-million, the EIA reports. That's a bit below tripling, but pretty close.
We rate the charge True.
Barack Obama, Speech to Democratic National Convention, Aug. 28, 2008
U.S. House Biography, "McCain, John S. biographical information "
Energy Information Administration, "U.S. Crude Oil and Petroleum Products Imports from All Countries, " July 28, 2008
Energy Information Administration, "U.S. Crude Oil Imports," July 28, 2008
Energy Information Administration, "United States Crude Oil and Petroleum Products Net Imports," July 28, 2008
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