With energy at the top of the political agenda right now, and Americans demanding action from their leaders, the Sierra Club has released a new side-by-side comparison to help its members and the public compare the energy plans of John McCain and Barack Obama. The scorecard examines the candidates’ energy plans in four key areas: taking on Big Oil, investing in the clean energy economy, fixing global warming, and increasing fuel economy.
Taking On Big Oil
Obama - Proposes an immediate $1,000 energy rebate and additional tax relief for
working Americans, paid for by taxing Big Oil’s tens of billions in windfall profits. , CBS News, 08/01/08; Boston Globe, 06/12/08
McCain – Has refused to cut off the $13 billion in existing government giveaways to
Big Oil and wants to give the oil industry another $3.8+ billion tax break. Also proposed a gas tax holiday that 230 leading economists say would help no one but Big Oil. , Senate Votes: 2007, #223, #416, #425 and 2008, #146; Bloomberg News 05/05/08; AssociatedPress, 07/08/08.
Investing in the Clean Energy Economy
Obama – Invests $150 billion in clean energy, energy efficiency, advanced biofuels and fuel-efficient cars in order to create 5 million new jobs. Believes that nuclear power shouldn’t be expanded until safety, waste storage and security problems are solved. , New York Times, 05/14/08; CNN, 05/08/08; Los Angeles Times, 08/06/08.
McCain – Has cast 8 votes against a Renewable Electricity Standard or funding for clean energy, and has not supported crucial incentives needed to develop wind and
solar power. Instead, favors trucking nuclear waste through 44 states (but not Arizona) and building 100 new nuclear power plants , at a cost of $1 trillion. , Senate Votes: 1999, #171; 2001, #125; 2002, #50, #55, #59; 2005, #141, #363; 2006, #42; 2007, #97, #223, #416; and 2008 #8, #95, #147, #150, #190, #192; Bloomberg News 06/19/08; EnergyBiz, May/June 2008; Las Vegas Sun, 6/26/08.
Fixing Global Warming
Obama – Has a comprehensive plan to cut global warming pollution by 80% by 2050. His plan makes polluters pay for what they emit and refunds the money to consumers in order to bring energy costs back under control. , www.newenergyforamerica.com
McCain – Supports action on global warming, but proposes an outdated plan that fails to do what scientists say will avert the most catastrophic effects of global warming and will give away hundreds of billions of dollars to polluters. , EPA, 7/16/2007; Wall Street Journal, 2/11/08.
Increasing Fuel Economy
Obama – Proposes doubling fuel economy to 50+ miles per gallon and wants a $7,000 tax credit for consumers who buy highly efficient vehicles. , Detroit Free Press, 08/05/08.
McCain – Has voted both for and against fuel economy standards. Failed to vote for the first increase in mileage standards in over 30 years. , New York Times, 5/13/2008; Washington Post, 5/12/2008; Senate Votes: 2007, #208, #225, #226, #416, #425, #430.
Boy, that McCain sure is some Maverick, huh? Guess the choice is pretty clear if you care at all about our energy future.