From NBC's Mark Murray
Although hardly a front-burner issue in the Democratic race, Clinton has routinely criticized Obama's vote for the 2005 energy bill. Here is Clinton at a debate earlier this year: "I think it's well accepted that the 2005 energy bill was the Dick Cheney lobbyist energy bill. It was written by lobbyists... It had enormous giveaways to the oil and gas industries." Clinton voted against the measure.
And here's a recent radio ad the Clinton campaign is running in Pennsylvania: "Obama ... doesn't mention that he voted for the Bush Cheney energy bill," the narrator says. "It was called a piñata of perks and the best energy bill corporations could buy. Hillary Clinton voted against that bill."
McCain -- who, like Clinton, voted against the legislation -- also now is hitting Obama on this issue, which suggests the 2005 energy bill could come up in an Obama-McCain general election. Obama "voted for an energy bill that was laden with sweetheart deals and tax breaks for the major special interests," McCain told FOX's Carl Cameron earlier in the week. "I voted against it."
A few weeks ago, the AP fact-checked the charges and countercharges over this energy bill. "It is a stretch to call it 'Dick Cheney's energy bill,' a hot-button reference for many Democrats. Although the House bill was framed according to the vice president's energy priorities, by the time it passed the Senate many of those measures, such as drilling in an Arctic wildlife refuge, had been stripped away."
More: "Clinton's claim that the bill 'was loaded with new tax breaks for oil companies' also overstates the case. While it included $2.6 billion in tax breaks for oil and gas industries, that was offset by nearly $3 billion in oil taxes, mostly in an extension of the oil spill liability tax."