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Joe Conason: On energy, McCain sounds a lot like Cheney

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 11:16 AM
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Joe Conason: On energy, McCain sounds a lot like Cheney

On energy, McCain sounds a lot like Cheney

The GOP nominee wants to distance himself from Bush on climate change, but he'd do better to emulate Jimmy Carter than the vice president.

By Joe Conason

June 27, 2008 | Behind John McCain's multistage release of his energy and environmental platform there lies a campaign imperative even more urgent than freedom from foreign oil. Somehow, he must get out from under the albatross of the president he did so much to reelect four years ago, and soon.

So in the battleground states, McCain's new advertising already touts him as the Republican who defied the Bush White House on the issue of climate change. Those ads boast that he "stood up to the president and sounded the alarm on global warming -- five years ago. Today, he has a realistic plan that will curb greenhouse gas emissions. A plan that will help grow our economy and protect our environment."

And indeed McCain has a plan, although whether his ideas are realistic, let alone sufficient to the challenges of climate change, remains open to dispute. What is most striking about the Arizona senator's proposals, however, is not how much they differ from Bush's ideas, but how closely they resemble the controversial, industry-backed recommendations drawn up by Vice President Dick Cheney's secretive National Energy Task Force in the spring of 2001.

For now let's leave aside McCain's sweepstakes pledge to award $300 million to the inventor who develops a more efficient electric-car battery -- a publicity stunt unworthy of a presidential candidate that will do little to encourage additional research in a field already of great interest to auto manufacturers around the world (which are unable to build enough batteries even now to meet demand for hybrid cars). Let's focus instead on the more serious aspects of his plan to achieve "energy security" for the United States, while reducing greenhouse gases to forestall warming.

On June 16 in Texas, McCain called for increased offshore oil drilling, although when he appeared a week later in California, the straight talker quickly added that issuing actual drilling licenses should be the sole prerogative of state governments. Addressing the same politically sensitive subject, the Cheney task force struck a reticent note, perhaps because the president's brother Jeb was then governor of Florida, where offshore exploration is deeply unpopular. In veiled language, the task force merely recommended that the president direct the secretaries of commerce and interior to "reexamine" federal laws and regulations to "determine if changes are needed regarding energy-related activities and the siting of energy facilities in the coastal zone and on the Outer Continental Shelf." But everybody understood what was meant by the report's mush-mouthed phrasing: Prepare to drill offshore wherever we can get away with it -- which is essentially what McCain was urging in Houston, to the applause of oil executives.

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BridgeTheGap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 11:18 AM
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1. And that's why we call him "McSame!"
Just another Dick in a different package...
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 11:19 AM
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2. Bab, it is becoming ever more clear that
the Bush team is writing much of what comes out of McCain's camp.
Not just the lame rovisms, but Iraq policy, energy policy, gun policy, social and tax policy, pretty much everything.

But being the 200 yr old maverick that he is, I am sure that when he returns to his grueling M-F campaign trail, he will be able to show us what differences really exist between Bush the Wth, and McBush the III.
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