As a follow up to the ongoing debates and the VP Green Report we published last week, we want to examine presidential candidates views on the environment. We figured since we covered the vice presidential candidates we would give the main attractions some lip service. Both Obama and McCain have very different plans for our country on a number of issues. Here at Autonomie, we wanted to highlight their ideas and history on both the environment and energy policies. So here we go:

As we mentioned before, here at Autonomie Project we are not endorsing a particular candidate but will be voting with the ticket that best meets our values as individuals and as a company.

John McCain:

  • Co-sponsored the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2007, which caps pollution to 2004 levels by 2012, although only in utilities, industry, and transportation.
  • He has proposed a Cap and Trade Policy that would set a limit of greenhouse production and create a market where ability to emit pollution would be traded. Believing that the lower cost energy production would succeed. The reduction for the cap are set to the following: reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Barack Obama:

  • Obama has stated he intends to keep the federal ban in place on offshore drilling, as well as drilling in Alaska. However, during the course of the campaign he has said he will consider it; stating “…we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage — I don’t want to be so rigid that we can’t get something done.”
  • He also believes a cap and trade system is the key to cutting emissions. His plan calls to reduce emissions 80 percent below 1990 rates by 2050 and emission permits would be up for sale, causing polluters to pay for the amount of greenhouse gases they emit.
  • Obama has been a strong supporter of developing new types of alternative energy and has introduced his New Energy for America plan which would not only fund new research for alternative energy, but also provide short term releif for middle America.
  • He has called for the creation and funding for hybrid and new cleaner car emissions research and devolopment. In fact, to fund this he introduced the Heath Care for Hybrids Act, this asks the American auto industry to produce and devlop more efficient hybrids in exchange for the government taking care of retired auto workers heath insurance. He is proposing to get 1 million Plug-In Hybrids on the road by 2015.
  • Cosponsored the Coal to Liquid Fuel Production Act of 2007 which used high energy to convert coal into liqued fuel, which is quite damaging to the environment. Many environmentalists opposesed this bill. However, Obama has since stated that he will only support coal energy if it emits 20 percent less carbon than traditional fuels.

So there you have it: a quick rundown of the key issues both Obama and McCain support regarding the environment. Now its up to you to decide who has a better plan for the environment, energy, and the future of our nation!! The choice is yours.

This is a re-printed letter from Co-op America, that we find extremely important! It takes just a few minutes to send out letters to all the candidates in this election, Presidential and local. We just did it ourselves! So make sure your environmental concerns are addressed and click on the Take Action Button today!!!!!!

Over the course of this campaign, we’ve heard a lot of talk about oil pipelines in Alaska, “drill, baby, drill,” and even an unfortunate embrace of so-called “clean coal” technology, though no form of coal is ever truly “clean.”

With less than one month to go before Election Day, we need to let our candidates know we’re demanding a comprehensive, modern, green energy policy that will put this country back on the right path in more ways than one.

Right now, we can launch a new green energy plan for the US that is intentionally designed to meet five urgent needs at once. We can:

  1. tackle the rising price of fuel, a hardship for many American families,
  2. transition the US away from its dependence on foreign oil,
  3. push back against the perils of climate change, and
  4. reverse rising unemployment rates, which reached a five-year high in September.
  5. create real investment into our economy that will counter the ongoing Wall Street meltdown, and its impact on Main Street.

While Co-op America members have been making green-energy changes in their lives for many, many years, the time is NOW for a major system change.

We’re challenging each of you to come together with us and tell all presidential and congressional candidates that our country is ready for a clean energy infrastructure that makes it easier to live green.

All of our candidates need to be reminded that if we do this – if we implement a comprehensive green energy policy that calls for energy efficiency, cleaner cars, and renewable solar and wind power –  we’ll ALL reap the rewards of a cleaner environment, reinvigorated economy, and more secure future.

When you click through to take our action, you’ll be prompted for your ZIP code, which will bring up all congressional and presidential candidates running for office in your area.  Then you can add your own personal touch to our editable message, urging all of the candidates to endorse a greener energy platform.  Please take this urgent action today.

Send your message to the candidates now »

For background on Co-op America’s clean-energy recommendations, check our latest editorial, in which we debunk the myths that can discourage progress on green energy, and outline the components that any elected leader should have in her or his energy policy.  (Please post it widely online, send it to your local paper, and otherwise help us get the word out.)

Then, click through to our action page for more information on what should NOT be included in our energy policy (off-shore drilling, oil-and-gas subsidies, new coal plants, risky nuclear plants), before using our form to send your own message to Congress.

Thanks for joining with us to keep this critical issue at the top of our leaders’ minds, as we push for action now, and under the new administration in 2009.

Here’s to all you do,
Alisa (signature)
Alisa Gravitz, Executive Director, Co-op America

P.S. Clean energy news: The solar energy tax credits were extended for eight years as part of legislation signed into law on October 3.  You can now get 30% tax credits for solar installed on your home or business – without a cap on the amount of the credit.  Thanks to all of our members who joined with us in pushing for these tax credits!

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