OBAMA ON ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
September 10, 2008
How do Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) differ on energy and the environment? The National Journal compared and contrasted the two presidential candidates. Below is a summary of Obama's positions on energy and the environment.
- Obama backs ambitious legislation to cut U.S. global-warming pollution 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
- Under his cap-and-trade proposal, the federal government would auction greenhouse-gas emission "credits" to companies that want to continue to pollute.
- Money from the auction would be used to develop clean-energy technologies, increase efficiency and underwrite the labor costs of transitioning to new technologies.
- Obama wants to keep the nuclear power option open but says that the United States should not build more reactors until the industry finds a safe way to dispose of commercial nuclear waste.
- He opposes dumping radioactive wastes at Nevada's Yucca Mountain.
- Obama reversed his anti-drilling position to support oil exploration along the southeastern coast and Florida shores.
- He favors proposals to require oil companies to use existing drilling leases, and calls for selling 70 million barrels of oil stockpiled in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
- He would impose tougher controls on oil speculation, end tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, impose a "windfall profits" tax on multinational oil companies and enact tougher fuel-economy standards on new cars and trucks.
- Obama would require power companies to generate one-quarter of their electricity from solar, wind or other sustainable sources by 2025.
- He also favors ambitious efficiency goals for new and existing buildings.
Alternative transportation fuels:
- Obama backs federal ethanol mandates and seeks greater federal support for making ethanol from nonfood crops.
- He supports development of coal-to-oil technologies, although he now says that all new fuels should have to meet a national low-carbon standard.
Source: "Obama on Energy and the Environment," in "Where They Stand," National Journal, August 30, 2008.
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