Candidates and Fuel

Recently, both candidates have said and done and been observed doing plenty of things that illuminate their positions on energy, the environment, the economy.  Mostly they say it’s about the economy and energy.  They’re not talking so much about the environment- except, on McCain’s end, slightly ironically, from what I can tell-  but they are revealing themselves.


So here’s the summation:

McCain is for offshore drilling so we can have plenty of cheap oil, auto efficiency standards so we don’t need oil, a gas tax holiday so we can afford all the gas-made-from-oil we like, and a 300 million dollar prize to whomever invents a totally sweet car battery to make our oily cars obsolete.

Barack Obama is aok with corn ethanol and would like some switch grass work to be done, supports a windfall tax on oil companies, and wants to close loopholes that may allow speculators to push up the cost of oil beyond where supply and demand would have it.

McCain opposes the windfall profits (as do I: why not just stop subsidizing oil companies already?), and Obama thinks offshore oil drilling is ridiculous (as do I, and the Bush’s Energy Information Administration, and most people who are well versed in oil markets, regardless of who they’re voting for).  And as for McCain’s 300 million prize, well, the conservative National Review likes the concept of giving people who invent things government money but hates everything else McCain does for the environment, and the liberal Climate Progress points out some pretty glaring flaws in the actual idea.  So take your pick.

I’m not entirely happy with Obama’s energy and environment positions.  Sure, by all means, close speculator loopholes.  But corn ethanol is a beastly subsidy, and we can do better in both fuel production and food markets by ending it.  Still, good on him for opposing foolhardy drilling measures despite political “expediency”, and not pandering to the public by promising cheaper gas.  Now, let’s hear more, Senator O.

As for McCain, well.  He sure is talking a lot about this, but when is he going to make up his mind on whether we need to use more oil or less oil?  You can’t, in one sane, honest mind, espouse reductions in greenhouse gases, and at the same time promise cheap oil for everybody.  With all the double-talk, he’s managed to alienate both his conservative supporters and the environmentalists he wants to give him a chance.

2 Responses to “Candidates and Fuel”

  1. 1 Biking Person June 26, 2008 at 11:50 am

    so your post got me to investigate Barak Obama’s energy and environmental plans more closely. It looks like, in his energy plan he recognizes all the problems with corn-based ethanol, or at least lists them, but would still include corn in the general biofuel subsidy thing.
    Anyway, it was interesting reading and great procrastination material. Here’s the link:

  2. 2 virescent July 1, 2008 at 12:00 am

    Thanks for the link. Yeah, Obama’s plan isn’t perfect, but it’s a good start, I think. And hopefully hell flip-flop on corn ethanol!

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