The following is from the July 31, 2008, edition of CBS News. Bruce Bullock, director of SMU's Maguire Energy Institute, provided expertise for this story.

McCain Camp Sees Energy As Winning Issue

Brian Montopoli Political Reporter

If you're looking for someone to blame for high gas prices, John McCain's campaign is happy to help.

In a television ad released by the campaign last week, "Pump," an announcer criticizes Barack Obama for "saying no" to offshore drilling and "independence from foreign oil."

"Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump?," she asks - after which a photo of Obama appears onscreen.

The spot has been derided by USA Today as "baloney" for laying the blame for high gas prices solely at Obama's feet, and Obama responded with an ad of his own in which an exasperated-sounding announcer suggests McCain blaming Obama for gas prices represents "the same old politics." . . .

In a broad sense, according to Bruce Bullock, the director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University, "the mechanisms that Obama offers are more government oriented, whereas the mechanisms that McCain is talking about tend to be more incentive based towards the market." . . .

SMU's Bullock said that while both candidates' proposals "have some merit" - he points to Obama's emphasis on investments in alternative energy and McCain's push to increase supply - they are both offering "gimmicks" as well. (Among them, he says, are Obama's proposal for a windfall profits tax on oil companies and McCain's proposed gas tax holiday.)

"I don't think we can produce our way out of this, and I don't think we can conserve our way out of this," Bullock said.

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