February 25, 2008
Election 2008 -- The Candidates Speak in Their Own Words -- Part III:John McCain
During the last year, Foreign Affairs published a series of pieces on the 2008 presidential election, allowing candidates to frame their foreign policy in their own words. Foreign Affairs Election 2008 I am reviewing those pieces for discussions of global environmental issues, including climate change. I find this a particularly useful approach because it allows candidates to move beyond sound bites and into the substance of what they believe.
I expect to look at all of the current candidates: Democratic and Republican. Today's post is John McCain.
Here's the foreign policy of John McCain with respect to the environment (especially global warming) in his own words:
SECURING ENERGY AND SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT
America's dependence on foreign oil constitutes a critical strategic vulnerability. America accounts for 25 percent of global demand for oil but possesses less than three percent of the world's proven reserves. Most of the world's known reserves are in the Persian Gulf, in the hands of dictators or nationalized oil companies. Terrorists understand our vulnerability: had it succeeded, the attempted suicide attack on a Saudi refinery in February 2006 would have driven the world price of oil above $150 per barrel. The transfer of American wealth to the Middle East through continued oil purchases helps sustain the conditions under which extremism breeds, and the burning of oil and other fossil fuels spurs global warming, a gathering danger to our planet.
My national energy strategy will amount to a declaration of independence from our reliance on oil sheiks and our vulnerability to their troubled politics. This strategy will include employing technology to achieve new efficiencies in energy extraction and consumption, enforcing conservation, creating market incentives to encourage the development of alternative sources of energy and hybrid vehicles, and expanding sources of renewable energy. I will also greatly increase the use of nuclear power, a zero-emission energy source. Given the proper incentives, our innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, and workers have the capability to lead the world in achieving energy security; given the stakes, they must.
I have proposed a bipartisan plan in the U.S. Senate to address the problem of climate change and ensure a sustainable future for humankind. My market-based approach will set reasonable caps on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, provide industries with tradable emissions credits, and create other incentives for the deployment of new and better energy sources and technologies. It is time for America to lead the world in protecting the environment for future generations.
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