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CAMPAIGN 08: OBAMA & MCCAIN WEIGH IN ON THE KEY GREEN ISSUES OF THE DAY

CANDIDATES OFFER DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT SOLUTIONS TO THE SAME PROBLEM

obama-montage-large.jpgAfter eight years of the Bush administration deficating all over all things green, it is refreshing to not only have a presidential campaign where both candidates agree that global warming is real, that it is man made, and that it is the job of the Federal Government to play a part in reducing the threat, but one where both candidates are willing to get specific as to the steps that they will take to make our country a saner, healthier, more sustainable global citizen.

This being said, there are a rash of differences in the two men’s approaches to the crisis, which I, with the help of research from thedailygreen.com, have outlined below.

When I was putting this posting together, I could not resist from time time editorializing on some of the candidate’s positions. MY COMMENTS ARE IN CAPS!

GLOBAL WARMING

CANDIDATE OBAMA:

Would cut emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050; NOT ENOUGH!

His cap-and-trade regulation would include an auction of all pollution credits;

Would use the money generated to pursue aggressive renewable energy and energy efficiency goals that would create millions of new “green collar” jobs. ‘BOUT TIME!

CANDIDATE MCCAIN:

Would support a 60% cut below 1990 levels of pollution; DEFINATELY NOT ENOUGH!

Would allot credits to existing polluters, rather than auctioning them off. WHY SHOULD THE POLLUTERS NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR THESE?

NATIONAL SECURITY

CANDIDATE OBAMA:

Would wean the nation off of Middle Eastern and Venezuelan oil within 10 years;

Would invest heavily in renewable energy technologies;

Would improve the energy efficiency of cars and buildings;

Would enact new rules to make burning coal more expensive and to encourage the use of alternatives. ALL GOOD IDEAS!

CANDIDATE MCCAIN:

Would support drilling for more oil; VERY BAD!

Would support using more renewable and alternative forms of energy, including (so-called) “clean coal;” CLEAN COAL IS A FANTASY!

Would support greater use of nuclear power for electricity. WHAT ABOUT THE NUCLEAR WASTE?

NUCLEAR ENERGY

CANDIDATE OBAMA:

While he does not oppose the use of nuclear power, he always acknowledges the safety and radioactive waste arguments; NOT STRONG ENOUGH!

Would redistribute cash from the oil and coal industries to renewables. GOOD!

CANDIDATE MCCAIN:

Has made expanding nuclear power a central part of his energy platform by calling for the construction of 45 new plants by 2030. 45 MORE CHANCES TO POISON US ALL!

OFFSHORE DRILLING

CANDIDATE OBAMA:

Would accept offshore drilling only as part of a compromise to achieve broader energy policy goals, which include massive investments in renewable and alternative energy. ENOUGH COMPROMISES!

CANDIDATE MCCAIN:

Supports increased offshore drilling. “Drill here now” is his common refrain.A SERIOUS FLIP-FLOP FROM MAVERICK MCCAIN!

ETHANOL

CANDIDATE OBAMA:

Would maintain subsidies and tariffs that support the corn-based ethanol industry.
OLD BAD HABITS DIE HARD!

CANDIDATE MCCAIN:

Talks about opposing subsidies for corn growers; GOOD!

Strongly opposes the tariff on Brazilian ethanol, which protects domestic corn growers; BAD!

Supports the use of ethanol and the development of Cellulosic ethanol, but doesn’t get specific.
AT LEAST HE’S THINKING OF SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVES

ENERGY COSTS

CANDIDATE OBAMA:

Would enact a windfall profits tax on oil companies and use the money to give families a $1,000 “Emergency Energy Rebate;” GOOD!

Would invest in plug-in hybrid cars and boosting fuel economy, to help reduce oil imports; GOOD!

Would also take expensive grades of oil stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and swap it for cheaper grades; WHO CARES?

Would spend money generated by a cap-and-trade regulation designed to lower carbon emissions on projects to boost home energy efficiency, and to provide credits to people struggling to pay higher electricity bills; WISE!

Would require local utilities to derive 25% of energy from renewable sources by 2025.
NOT NEARLY ENOUGH!

CANDIDATE MCCAIN:

Would expand domestic production of oil and natural gas; SO 20TH CENTURY!

Would offer a $5,000 tax break to those who buy zero-carbon vehicles, (which do not yet exist); COULD BE PROMISING!

Would eliminate the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff on imported ethanol, which experts say would have a modest effect on price; HURTS AMERICAN FARMERS!

Would oppose a windfall profits tax on oil companies; A PAYBACK TO BIG OIL FOR THEIR SUPPORT!

Would focus on improving the energy efficiency of the federal government, hoping to drive down price by slackening demand; WISHFULL THINKING!

Favors the installation of so-called “SmartMeters” so individuals can better monitor their energy consumption and its cost; GOOD IDEA TO MAKE PUBLIC CONSCIOUS OF USE!

Would create predictable tax incentives for wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.
COULD BE GOOD!

- DENIS

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