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It’s 3AM in the Whitehouse – What is the Next President Doing About Climate Change and Energy?

Honestly, if it’s 3 o’clock in the morning at the White House (and the phone isn’t ringing), I hope the next president is getting some sleep. We need a well-rested president.

But just in case the president is laying awake considering all the important issues before the nation and the world, I wonder how climate change and energy policy will figure in his or her mind. How important are these issues to the three people vying for the reigns of power? Do they feel any urgency? Are they willing to make hard choices and push the country out of the intransigent and untenable position in which it has been placed by George Bush in regard to climate change and energy policy?

It’s a little hard to know exactly what Obama, Clinton, or McCain will do at this point because hardly anyone in the media is asking.

A recent press release from the League of Conservation Voters states that “in 190 interviews and debates, TV’s top five political talk show hosts have asked only 8 questions about one of the greatest challenges of our time – global climate change”.

The media does not serve the public well when it allows an important issue like climate change to go largely unaddressed. Two LCV board members, former House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert and former EPA Administrator Carol Browner, are calling on journalists to remedy this oversight and question the candidates on global warming.

In the meantime…

The Candidate’s Positions:

With the help of the work done by the LCV, and from statements made on their respective websites, here’s some quick facts on each candidate’s position on climate change:

Hillary Clinton:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% from 1990 levels by 2050
  • Fleetwide vehicle efficiency standard of 55mpg by 2030
  • Electricity from 25% renewable sources by 2025
  • Supports liquid coal if it reduces carbon emissions by 20%

From her website: Powering America’s Future: New Energy, New Jobs

 

Barack Obama:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% from 1990 levels by 2050
  • Fleetwide vehicle efficiency standard of 50mpg in 18 years (2027)
  • Electricity from 25% renewable sources by 2025
  • Supports liquid coal if it reduces carbon pollution by 10%

From his website: Plan for a Clean Energy Future

 

 

John McCain:

  • Lead author of the McCain/Lieberman Climate Change Bill proposing a 65% reduction in carbon emissions over 1990 levels by 2050
  • Supports more efficient vehicles standards. Has not stated specific targets.
  • Has opposed legislation for renewable energy targets (opposed 10% standard in 2005 and 20% standard in 2002)
  • Has no articulated position on liquid coal or new coal-fired plants

From his website:  Stewards of Our Nation’s Rich Natural Heritage

 

 

 

 

 

 

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