Election Talk: Energy Plans

I’m glad to see that environmental issues are getting some primetime play this election.. (About time!) Former VP Al Gore gave a great speech on this topic at the DNC (although his delivery could have been slightly less rushed), and more Americans than ever before seem to be taking note. Both candidates are facing pressure to go green and find ways to eliminate our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

Kids, if we don’t have our Earth, we don’t have America. We need to step up and do right by our planet. With this in mind, the candidate’s energy plans are incredibly important. Taking a look at both plans, there are many of the same ideas. A lot of Democrats like to make it like John McCain has no interest in alternative energy, but that’s not true. Like Obama, McCain also believes in giving rebates to Americans and an economy-wide cap-and-trade program. Given all that I had heard in the media and all of the talk of ‘more of the same,’ I was pleasantly surprised to find such mentions on McCain’s website.

Please go to their websites and read for yourselves:

Obama: New Energy for America

McCain: The Lexington Project

After taking a look at each candidate’s plan, a few things stood out to me:

  1. Sen. Obama’s plan supports a greater decrease in Greenhouse emissions (80% decrease by 2050 v. McCain’s “60% below 1990 Levels (66% below 2005 Levels)“)
  2. Sen. McCain mentions Climate Change and Greenhouse gases, but he doesn’t discuss details or why this topic is so important.
  3. Sen. Obama says that 5 million green jobs will be created. Sen. McCain gives no range or numbers.
  4. Sen. McCain says that he’ll invest in electric cars while Sen. Obama says that we’ll put 1 million plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015.

In general, a main distinction to me is McCain’s lack of specifics, and people like specifics. While his plan features some the same ideas that Obama’s does, his first solution to getting America off our foreign oil independence is to drill here. A lot. His VP pick, Gov. Sarah Palin, has fought to drill in Alaska, even petitioning to get polar bears off the endangered species list in an effort to find ways to drill more.

Another reason I’m quite fond of Obama’s plan is because he stresses communication with other nations to get the whole world going green. His plan includes working with the UN to get other countries working toward the same goals of addressing the climate problem and working together to find solutions. The US needs to serve as an example, instead of ignoring environmental treaties as the Bush Administration has been fond of. That said, I was very pleased to see that not only does Obama want us to get in gear, he wants us to become a world leader in the development of green techonologies.

So, please peruse the candidate’s respective plans and find out more information. Don’t take what the media says to be the only truth out there. There’s no excuse for being oblivious in an age when information is abound.


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