Despite Senator McCain’s recent efforts to paint himself as the energy-savvy candidate, a further look at his record exposes the truth of his environmental ineptitude
In recent weeks, Senator John McCain has shifted his campaign focus to energy; presumably a response to public concerns over rising gas prices and global warming.
One must agree that the Senator from Arizona has indeed put on a good show. Though, a series of entertaining rants is all Senator McCain has devolved into. He has thrown around a $300 million figure to possibly motivate inventors to help resolve our dependence on oil. He has discussed the development of nuclear energy facilities in Nevada (despite the fact 3/4 of Nevada voters oppose such a move).
The reality is that Senator McCain has repeatedly voted against legislation to create “green” jobs and in favor of increasing nuclear waste in the state of Nevada.
In 2002, John McCain voted to approve a site at Yucca Mountain as a repository for nuclear and radioactive waste. After the vote, McCain said that storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain would answer “one of the most important environmental, health and public safety issues for the American people.” In 2000, McCain voted to override the presidential veto of legislation that would establish a permanent nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. In 1997, McCain similarly voted to establish a repository at the Mountain. McCain voted yes on a similar bill in 1996. [2002 Senate Vote #167, 7/9/2002; The Arizona Republic, 7/10/2002; 2000 Senate Vote #88, 5/2/2000; 1998 Senate Vote #148, 6/2/1998; 1997 Senate Vote #42, 4/15/1997; 1996 Senate Vote #259, 7/31/1996; 1996 Senate Vote #256, 7/31/1996]
When coupled with the fact that Senator McCain has consistently voted against the creation of “green” jobs, it is easy to see the inherent contradiction of his policy on energy.
John McCain supported the filibuster of the 2007 energy bill that included an extension of the production tax credit to 2011. While McCain missed the vote to on the bill, according to his staff he did, in fact, support the continuing the filibuster, which eventually killed the bill. In its place, Congress passed another version of the legislation that did not include an extension of the tax credit. A 2008 economic study by Navigant Consulting found that “over 116,000 U.S. jobs and nearly $19 billion in U.S. investment could be lost in just one year if renewable energy tax credits are not renewed by Congress… The study concluded that over 76,000 jobs are put at risk in the wind industry, and approximately 40,000 jobs in the solar industry.” [HR 6, Vote 425, 12/13/07, Failed 59-40: R 9-39 D 48-1 I 2-0; Forbes, 12/13/07; U.S. News & World Report, 12/14/07; American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association press release, 2/4/08]
For a man who claims he has taken up the cause of trying to find alternative energy resources in order to salvage Americans from swelling gas prices, it has become clear that McCain has been wholly inconsistent when it comes to energy. The only constant on energy when it comes to McCain is that he talks a good game to appease the American public but makes decisions behind closed doors that push us further from resolving the energy crisis.