Thursday, February 14, 2008

Clinton vs. Obama vs. McCain vs. Huckabee: Energy/Environment

Here is a comparison of what the leading candidates say about energy and the environment on their "issues" pages of their campaign web sites. These are just excerpts but I have provided the links if you want to read all of what they say. I tried to condense each to about the same length. I assume that these issue statements were carefully decided upon and carefully crafted to appeal and communicate to a national audience (as opposed to a speech directed to a particular special interest audience). I have added some comments in red.

Hillary has a bold and comprehensive plan to address America's energy and environmental challenges that will establish a green, efficient economy and create as many as five million new jobs. Centered on a cap and trade system for carbon emissions [reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050], stronger energy and auto efficiency standards [increase in fuel efficiency standards to 55 miles per gallon by 2030] and a significant increase in green research funding, Hillary's plan will reduce America's reliance on foreign oil and address the looming climate crisis.

Barack Obama's Plan: Reduce Carbon Emissions 80 Percent [same goal as Hillary] by 2050 [Cap & Trade, Confront deforestation]; Invest in a Clean Energy Future; Support Next Generation Biofuels; Set America on Path to Oil Independence [double fuel economy standards within 18 years]; Improve Energy Efficiency 50 Percent by 2030; Restore U.S. Leadership on Climate Change. [both democrats have more specific actions and goals than the republicans]

John McCain believes that we are vested with a sacred duty to be proper stewards of the resources upon which the quality of American life depends [this idea of stewardship is similar to the spirit of the democrats positions but with a conservative bent -- more market forces as opposed to government control]. Ensuring clean air, safe and healthy water, sustainable land use, ample greenspace - and the faithful care and management of our natural treasures, including our proud National Park System - is a patriotic responsibility. … He has offered common sense approaches to limit carbon emissions by harnessing market forces that will bring advanced technologies, such as nuclear energy, to the market faster, reduce our dependence on foreign supplies of energy, and see to it that America leads in a way that ensures all nations do their rightful share.

The first thing I will do as President is send Congress my comprehensive plan for energy independence. [Huckabee's environmental issues are narrower and seem to be strictly related to the economy.] I'll use the bully pulpit to inform you about the plan and ask for your support. I'll use the bully conference table to meet with members of Congress until I have the votes. The plan will get underway during my first term, and we will achieve energy independence by the end of my second term. … We have to explore, we have to conserve, and we have to pursue all avenues of alternative energy: nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel, and biomass. … Our free market will sort out what makes the most sense economically and will reward consumer preferences.

Other recent comparison posts of mine: abortion, stem cell research, marriage, federal spending

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