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McCain/Obama’s Green Policies

I’m not crazy about politicians. I know, you’re not either. Elected officials lie to gain their positions of power then leverage them for as much income as possible. Any good that happens along the way is usually incidental (the argument can be made that this is not a comment on politicians per se but on mankind -- ie, anybody, given the kind of power the average congressman has, will look to ‘cheat’ a bit -- but since we’re focusing on the presidential candidates today, let’s stick with that particular brand of human, um, frailty).

Put it this way: If politicians were an endangered species, there wouldn’t be a whole heck of a lot of protests staged to save them.

But vote we must. And for this blog’s purpose, the only thing we need to consider is where each candidate comes down on protecting the environment. So, let the considering begin with this summary of the facts:


GLOBAL WARMING
Both McCain and Obama support a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions (though there are differences – read each one carefully and see for yourself).

Palin is the only one among the four who has recently publicly disputed anthropogenic global warming. She has since tempered her remarks.


ENERGY
McCain has consistently voted against, or failed to vote on at all, legislation to promote renewable energy, and doesn’t set any specific goals for solar, wind, geothermal, etc.

McCain wants 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030.

Obama has voted consistently for legislation to promote renewable energy and sets a goal of 25% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

Biden has voted consistently for legislation to promote renewable energy.

McCain has taken more than twice as much campaign money from energy companies this election cycle as Obama.


OIL/GAS
Obama is for drilling in limited coastal areas.

McCain, once against offshore drilling, now wants to drill off the U.S. coast, but he is against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Biden used to be for offshore drilling, now is against it (I think; tough to keep track).

Palin is for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

As Alaska governor, Palin enacted higher state taxes on oil companies.

Todd Palin worked for BP, one of the world’s leading oil companies, as recently as 2007.

McCain has a history of pushing for higher fuel standards and will give $5,000 tax credits to people who buy zero-emission autos and would offer $300 million to the company that comes up with the perfect battery for an electric or plug-in hybrid.


WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
Obama doesn’t have much of a history on it; says he’s for the Endangered Species Act.

Also isn’t much for McCain – he tends to waffle a bit on the subject.

Palin opposed the listing of polar bears as a threatened species, citing scientific data that she claimed supported her position but later was shown to invalidate it.

Palin supported a program to kill predators, including wolves and bears, to leave more game for hunters.

Biden has a history of being animal-friendly.



COAL
Both Obama and McCain are for “clean coal,” a technology some call a sham.

Both McCain and Obama say mountaintop mining – in which mountains are blasted to get at coal and whatever is uncovered that isn’t coal gets buried in valleys, where it contaminates streams – needs to stop.


For extensive summaries of each candidates’ environmental views, you’re probably best to check out the League of Conservation Voters’ comparison charts. Of course, you can always go to the candidates themselves: Obama, McCain.






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“McCain/Obama’s Green Policies”

  1. Anonymous eastst Says:

    I read your article about the candidates' stands on Green issues but why did you leave out Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party candidate? She's on the ballot and doesn't support coal or nuclear or offshore drilling! Ann Link

  2. Blogger Fictionary Duck Says:

    I second that. Americans need to be aware of the alternatives to the corporate-driven Democrats and Republicans. Sadly, candidates like Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader are left out of the debates and receive virtually no mainstream media coverage.