John McCain’s Global Warming Plan Makes The Globe Warmer

In what is billed as a major policy speech on energy and the environment, John McCain has introduced a plan that just makes things worse. His proposals only benefit the big oil companies that are amongst his biggest supporters and who are well represented on the staff of his campaign. In the advance text of his speech he says:

“In the face of climate change and other serious challenges, energy conservation is no longer just a moral luxury or a personal virtue,”

I wonder when energy conservation stopped being just a moral luxury or a personal virtue. Last week? Last year? Whenever it was that McCain decided to take up the issue? And is there anyone who has ever referred to in that way other than Vice-President Dick Cheney?

McCain claims that his plan will reduce harmful emissions 50% by 2050. Contrast that with Barack Obama’s plan to cut emissions by 80%. However, a key part of the McCain plan is to increase oil exploration and permit offshore drilling in environmentally sensitive coastal areas. How does increasing oil production lead to emissions reductions? McCain doesn’t say. That doesn’t stop the National Review’s Noel Sheppard from promoting offshore drilling as a campaign issue that he says will help McCain. Sheppard cites a Rasmussen poll that finds that 67% of voters believe that drilling should be allowed off the coasts of California, Florida and other states. There are couple of problems with this poll. First, the actual question asked began with a leading preface:

“In order to reduce the price of gas, should drilling be allowed in offshore oil wells off the coasts of California, Florida, and other states?”

The question intentionally leads the respondent into a supposition that such drilling would reduce gas prices. There is no evidence to that effect offered by the pollster – or by economists. The survey results would have been very different had they prefaced the question by saying, “Despite having no impact on reducing the price of gas…”

Secondly, this is a national poll. It would have been more enlightening to include survey results of just the residents of California and Florida, who will bear the brunt of the policies under discussion. Before assuming that this is a winning issue for McCain, Sheppard might want to take into account that the voters of a swing state like Florida are overwhelmingly opposed to offshore drilling. And nationally voters give Obama a 20 point lead on the question of who will better deal with high oil prices.

McCain’s other big energy initiative is his proposal for a gas tax holiday. The absurdity of this as an approach to lowering either prices or pollution is glaringly evident. Oil companies will quickly fill the gap made by any temporary tax break. In fact, the price of gas has already increased by a larger amount than the federal tax in just the days that have transpired since McCain first proposed his holiday. What’s more, Saudi oil producers have come out in favor of tax cuts for petroleum products. Surprise! They know that lower prices will stimulate sales that fatten their wallets. And more sales produces more use which produces more pollution. It also exacerbates dependency on fossil fuels.

It ought not to be surprising that McCain is articulating the philosophy of his advisers, at least fifteen of whom have lobbied for Big Oil. McCain is firmly on the side of the Bush administration and the Saudi oil barons on matters of conservation, climate change, and petronomics. If Republicans want to make this a campaign issue, I say bring it on.


2 thoughts on “John McCain’s Global Warming Plan Makes The Globe Warmer

  1. you live under a rock?? does, in your opinion, drilling here and now suggest to you that Mc cain is for the oil mongers? wouldn’t it be more believable that the people with the most oil interest not want drilling to take place? and on the subject of EPA concerns.and global would take approx. 41 trillion dollars to accomplish what Mr. obama suggest..bearing that in mind, re. his numbers for tax increases for the rich in this country..the revenue from that source wouldn’t even come close..and by the way the companies and so called rich would be motivated to go outside this country along with the ones already there to make their will YOU work when there is no monetary reason to have a business here?? and where do you think the revenue WILL come from??..answer; the middle class, where its’ always come from when a democrat gets far by historical standards, takes about 8 to 12 years to repair what the democrats destroy..don’t believe it? the last 20 years how many dems in office compared to reps.? The only real reason we are in a oil based recession now is because the dems have consistantly blocked any move to drill in the last 30 years..still don’t believe it..look it up..its’ a fact..and now you want the most liberal and non partison electorate to have office??..if you like the way this country is headed continue with this unfounded praise of the one that will take you there..

    • Are you saying that the oil companies don’t want more domestic drilling??? Who do you think is doing all the lobbying for it? And like I said, 15 of those lobbyists are McCain’s campaign staff.

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