Face it, if you’re John McCain, you hate like Hell that eight years of Bush’s anti-environmental policies have created so much havoc with the environment that suddenly it’s an issue people care about.
In the past, McCain has run as a moderate Republican and pro-environmentalist. Is there anything to back up that assertion?
Follow me below the fold to see more of McCain’s record on the environment.
First, what does his fellow Republicans say? Check out the video, it might surprise even the staunchest McCain supporter.
Even Republicans don’t know of anything he’s done to help the environment or the energy situation in the twenty-six years he’s been in office.
But then again, Republicans aren’t notoriously pro-environment.
Where does he rank as far as wildlife organizations are concerned?
The Wilderness Society gives out the Ansel Awards. Is McCain on that list? (A few other Republicans are.)
Sen. Ernest Hollings 2005
Rep. Nick Rahall, III,
& Sen. Harry Reid 2004
(Not awarded) 2003
Sens. John Kerry &
Joseph Lieberman 2002
John Lewis 2001
John Porter 2000
Kathleen A. McGinty 1999
David Obey &
Dale Bumpers 1998
Albert Gore, Jr. 1997
(Not awarded) 1996
(Not awarded) 1995
Bruce F. Vento 1994
(Not awarded) 1993
George Miller 1992
George J. Mitchell 1991
Gaylord Nelson 1990
Allan Cranston &
William V. Roth, Jr. 1989
John H. Chafee 1988
Sidney Yates 1987
Stewart L. Udall 1986
Cecil D. Andrus 1985
Morris K. Udall 1984
Phillip Burton 1983
John F. Seiberling 1982
Jimmy Carter 1981
Ansel Adams 1980
The League of Conservation Voters have officially endorsed Barack Obama over John McCain. Of course, they wisely endorsed John Kerry over Bush, so it’s not too surprising.
Does the Sierra Club give out awards or endorsements to John McCain? Hell no! Not according to the Washington Post where they describe exactly why they won’t endorse McCain:
The Sierra Club announcement was not a surprise: the group’s executive director, Carl Pope, had hammered the presumptive GOP nominee, John McCain, for months over his missed votes in the Senate and his support for nuclear power subsidies as a way to address global warming. Pope criticized McCain this week after the senator from Arizona said he now supports lifting the federal moratorium on offshore oil drilling.
“We believe Senator Obama is the change our nation needs — he is the leader who will put America on the path to a clean energy economy that creates and keeps millions of jobs, spurs innovation and opportunity, and makes us a more secure nation,” Pope said in a statement.
While McCain touts his commitment to addressing climate change during every campaign stop, he has angered many environmental activists by voting inconsistently on their key issues and insisting that building dozens of nuclear power plants would be key to reducing the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.
So while McCain thinks it’s cute to dig at the Senators and House members who have taken the time off and gone to their districts, who can forget his sudden somersault on the oil drilling issue?
Nice to get big campaign donations from oil companies in exchange for those backward somersaults, isn’t it? (NOT) Given the Olympics this year, I guess big oil rewarded McCain with a perfect “10″ for those backward somersaults–the reward…a sudden burst of donations.
On Monday, after the Web site, Talking Points Memo, listed the names of the Hess contributors, scrutiny fell on a couple, Alice Rocchio, who is identified in campaign finance records as an office manager at Hess, and her husband, Pasquale, who is listed as a foreman at Amtrak.
They each gave a whopping $28,500 to Mr. McCain and the Republican National Committee.
John Kerry said on MTP that McCain’s not the same person on environment that he was in 2004. He said, ”John McCain has changed in profound and fundamental ways that I find personally really surprising, and frankly upsetting.”
When I was a kid we had a saying after a statement like that…”You can say that again!”
The LA Times wrote about McCain’s confused record on the environment. He apparently hasn’t made many maverick-like decisions since 2002 (so I guess that would put it in the John Kerry was right category.)
Here’s what the LA Times wrote:
“We must steer far clear of the errors and false assumptions that have marked the energy policies of nearly 20 Congresses and seven presidents,” the presumptive Republican nominee told a crowd of oil executives in Houston.”
Sounds good so far but keep on reading. Amazing somersaults to follow…
McCain’s changing energy agenda:
*He has championed standards to require that automakers make vehicles more fuel-efficient, yet opposed standards to require that utilities use less fossil fuel by generating more power from renewable sources, such as wind and solar.
*McCain has rejected federal tax breaks for renewable energy producers, but backs billions of dollars in subsidies for the nuclear industry.
*He has criticized corn-based ethanol for doing “nothing to increase our energy independence.” Yet while campaigning in 2006 in the Midwest corn belt, McCain called ethanol a “vital, vital alternative energy source.”
Somersaut=inconsistant to some, right? You make the judgement call.
*McCain has shown more interest in confronting global warming than most of his GOP colleagues…
*A self-proclaimed acolyte of former Democratic Rep. Morris K. Udall of Arizona, the legendary environmental lawmaker, McCain was among the first Republicans to call for action by the federal government.
*In 2002, he collaborated with Democrats on legislation to require automakers to increase vehicle fuel efficiency. And he has broken with his party to push legislation to create a federal system for capping greenhouse gases.
At the same time, McCain became a vocal critic of government subsidies, particularly for oil and gas producers. In a debate, he derided the 2003 energy bill for “increasing our dependence on conventional fuels” and was one of six GOP senators to oppose it.
But here’s the contradictions:
* McCain — who argues the federal government should not be “picking favorites” — has routinelybacked federal subsidies for some energy producers but not others.
*While McCain has talked tough about giveaways for oil companies, for example, he has only occasionally challenged the industry.
*In 2003 and 2005, McCain criticized his colleagues for giving tax breaks to oil producers. “It doesn’t make fiscal or common sense,” (snip)”to provide billions of taxpayer subsidies to encourage the production of energy by companies that are a
lready gaining tremendous riches at today’s sky-high oil and gas prices.”
*He has also acted to protect the industry’s bottom line. In 1999, McCain backed efforts to prevent the Interior Department from collecting more royalties from oil companies drilling on public land.
*The department wanted payments to reflect the market price of oil, a change that could have boosted receipts by an estimated $60 million a year or more.
*Six years later, after rejecting offshore drilling, he voted for legislation that opened up large sections of the Gulf of Mexico to exploration, a major industry priority.
Holtz-Eakin said McCain believed that states should have the authority to decide whether there was drilling along their coastlines. (In contrast, McCain voted to deny governors authority to veto liquefied natural gas terminals in their states.)
*On his recent energy tour, McCain also called for 45 new nuclear plants by 2030, a goal he is prepared to back with billions of federal dollars.
*before he was an opponent of subsidies for nuclear power, voting five times in the 1990s against taxpayer aid for research on new-generation nuclear reactors. As recently as 2003, McCain opposed federal loan guarantees to help the nuclear industry finance new plants.
Three years ago, however, McCain began pushing more taxpayer assistance to help develop nuclear power as part of his proposed legislation to cap greenhouse gas emissions.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group and Public Citizen estimated a version of McCain’s bill would authorize more than $3.7 billion in subsidies for new nuclear plants.
“Sen. McCain was a leader in going after subsidies,” Ellis said. “Government support for an industry that can’t stand on its own two feet seems to contradict his record.”
McCain now defends the subsidies as essential to kick-start the industry. “If we’re looking for a vast supply of reliable and low-cost electricity, with zero carbon emissions and long-term price stability, that’s the working definition of nuclear energy,” he said recently.
On the campaign trail, McCain has also said the federal government should spend $30 billion over the next 15 years to help companies develop less polluting ways to burn coal.
And he has indicated support for legislation to force automakers to build more vehicles that can run on fuels other than gasoline.
Yet McCain has been a consistent opponent of standards that would require utilities to derive a minimum percentage of their power from renewable sources, such as wind, solar or geothermal.
“I have heard from utilities in my own state that a federal mandate of this sort is largely a requirement to import wind,” McCain said during a 2005 Senate debate. McCain has voted against renewable standards at least four times since 2002. He has also opposed tax incentives to encourage the development of power from sources other than nuclear.
In 2002, he ridiculed a proposed federal incentive for companies trying to convert animal waste into power,
He opposed tax credits in 2001 and 2006 for companies that generate power from solar, wind, geothermal and ocean wave energy, all of which produce no greenhouse gases.
But when McCain summed up his energy initiative last week — recapping plans for more oil exploration, more nuclear plants, and federal support for cleaner coal plants and new car batteries — he offered no proposal to expand the use of renewable energy.
Clearly his record seems to be hit or miss. But another important question is to know what he’s said about Bush’s junk science on climate change.
I think that’s for another diary though.
So let’s just chat about the policies that have been put forth. Wil they truly reverse the damage that eight years of Bush and his junk science and junk policies has caused? What will the next Congress and President be able to accomplish in order to reverse the damage? Will the Republicans filibuster every bill or will they finally show up for their committee meetings?
What do you think about all this?
I know those were long blockquotes and I snipped away so you definitely want to go check out the link at the LA Times.
ProSense has added more important information From thinkprogress:
McCain’s has actually missed several “crucial” energy votes. In July alone, he missed every single energy vote brought to the floor.
“It’s interesting to hear Sen. McCain talk about bringing Congress back” for a vote on offshore drilling, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said this week. “He wasn’t even in Congress when we had two very important bills on energy.”