I am sure all of you have been waiting for my presidential endorsement… 😉 I am endorsing Barack Obama for his environmental plan. Without getting into a terrible amount of details Obama has a better, clearer, and more aggressive plan to address the environmental needs of this country. That being said though I do not agree with everything listed in his plan. I also think I need to point out that McCain is one of the most pro-environmental Republican candidates we could have gotten, which is all relative since he is being compared to some of most non-environmental candidates in the primary race.
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) compared some of the key policies that they feel is important in this chart. LCV has compared the two over the their careers and gave them a lifetime score and a 2007 score. Obama’s lifetime score is 86% compared to McCain’s 24%. Their 2007 score was Obama 67% and McCain 0%. On of the major differences noted is that McCain says he supports a cap and trade plan he does not outline a timeline or any other measures on how to do it. Obama says he wants to cut emissions by 80% by 2050.
Here are some of the things Obama and Biden want to do in their administration to help the US and the environment
1. Invest $150 Billion over 10 years to advance energy technologies by investing in basic research and job training in clean technologies. They always want to create a venture caption fund to fill the gap in US technology development by partnering with existing investment funds and national laboratories to ensure that technologies get developed in the US (Germany has been very successful in supporting Solar Technology innovation through tax credits and other incentives, some could argue that Germany is far away ahead of all other countries in the development in that technology, thus stimulating their economy!)
2. Set standard to allow the market to invest and innovate bu establishing a national low carbon fuel standard, require 25% of electricity to come from renewable resources by 2025, and ensuring that the Federal government uses renewable sources of electricity (at least 30% by 2020). An interesting fact you may not know there were solar panels on the white house in the late 70’s but Ronald Regan had them removed during his administration!
3. Make the Federal Government the leaser in Saving Electricity by making federal building more efficient and overhaul the efficiently codes. Think of all the job this will create and if the new technology they are using are USA made even better… we just have to start making this stuff here.
4. Use innovative measure to improve efficiency of buildings by establishing a grant program for early adopters, flip incentives to energy utilities, and expand federal efficiency grants.
5. Create a Green Job Corps. In this economy what a great time to start something like this.
6. Invest in a digital smart grid. Our grid needs to upgraded to accommodate these new energy sources including storage of energy.
7. Increase the fuel economy standard. They want to double the fuel economy standard within 18 years.
8. Make the US a leader in combating climate change around the world. Right now we are close to a laughing stock to the rest of the world with our energy consumption, pollution…etc. I think it would be fantastic if we worked to be a good example not a bad example.
9. Create a global energy forum called the G8+5 which has the top greenhouse gas emitting countries sitting down and figuring out how to solve the problems.
Obama/Biden plan for the environment can be read here.
I feel it is important to point out that Obama supports clean nuclear energy and clean coal… both of which I personally do not support. I think the names of those two “technologies” are grossly misleading, there is nothing clean about them. Unfortunately, we did not have a Presidential candidate with the exception of some 3rd party candidates that did not support these technologies so as voters we do not have much choice.
Even if you do not agree with me I encourage you to make sure you vote. I hope that who ever is elected realizes that while the economy is on the forefront of our mind now, we cannot lose sight of the long term problem with our environment and they way we live. Just like we are learning to live with our credit mistakes and changing our lives in light of that mistake, we need to see that we must make changes now for our environment or it will be beyond a “bailout package” .
Remember to vote next Tuesday!!