Obama seemingly voted for the bill -- which opponents Clinton, Joe Biden and Christopher Dodd voted against -- to support energy industry players in Illinois. Following passage of the bill, his office put out a
with the headline "Obama Says Energy Bill Helps Illinois by Doubling Ethanol Use, Investing in Clean Coal." According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Obama's 2004 Senate campaign received
from the energy industry -- $178,200. Illinois has huge coal reserves and produces corn, which is used to create ethanol.
, Obama's campaign funding has proved problematic. In fact, his presidential campaign has received substantial funding from a variety of energy companies, chief among them
, which has donated close to
for his campaign already. Other energy firms donating funds include Exxon Mobil,
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Obama's campaign didn't respond to email requests for clarification on his vote for the 2005 energy bill.
Clearly, the U.S. does require leadership to ensure that America becomes the global leader on developing an alternative energy industry. But it isn't clear that Obama is far enough removed from big oil interests.