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Washington Watch

John McCain's Environmental Record

League of Conservation Voters Ranking
John McCain scored a 0% on the League of Conservation Voters' 2007 National Environmental Scorecard. Of late, McCain has made a pattern of skipping votes on environmental issues. According to the scorecard, McCain was the only member of Congress in 2007 to skip all 15 crucial environmental votes scored by LCV. McCain's lifetime score with the LCV is 24%.

The 2005 Energy Policy Act
Voted against it, asserting it would raise gas prices and that it focused too much on alternative fuels. The act passed and was signed into law in August 2005. Read more about the act here.

Efficient Energy Through Certified Technologies and Electricity Reliability (EFFECTER) Act
Cosponsored this bill in 2005, which would have provided tax incentives for energy efficient building, applicances, and other products. You can read a summary here.

Coal-To-Liquid Fuels
Supports this fuel type as long as it emits 20% less carbon over its lifetime than conventional fuels.

CAFE Standards
Advocates raising fuel-economy standards for automobiles to 40 miles per gallon and light trucks to 32 mpg by 2020.

Funding Clean Energy
Obama will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial-scale renewable energy, invest in low-emissions coal plants, and begin the transition to a new digital electricity grid.

Greening Our Workforce
Obama will use proceeds from the cap-and-trade auction program to invest in job training and transition programs to help workers and industries adapt to clean technology development and production. Obama will also create an energy-focused Green Jobs Corps to connect disconnected and disadvantaged youth with job skills for a high-growth industry.

Renewable Power
Will require that 25 percent of electricity consumed in the U.S. be derived from clean, sustainable energy sources by 2025.

Renewable Fuels
Obama will require 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be included in the fuel supply by 2022 and will increase that to at least 60 billion gallons of advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol by 2030.

League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Rating
Obama has a lifetime score of 96 from the LCV. The LCV endorsed Senator Obama's primary and general election bids in his 2004 Senate race. In Illinois, Obama was one of only six state senators who received a 100% Environmental Voting Record Award for 2003 from the Illinois Environmental Council.

Creative Way To Implement Plans
Obama would create a Global Energy Forum — that includes all G-8 members plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa. The forum would focus exclusively on global energy and environmental issues.

Dirty Laundry
Obama accepted $159,800 in contributions from Exelon, the nation's largest nuclear power-plant operator, for his presidential campaign and received notable support from Exelon in his previous political campaigns. During debate on the 2005 energy bill, Obama helped to vote down an amendment that would have killed vast loan guarantees for Exelon and other power-plant operators.

More Dirty Laundry
Obama opposes the House-passed bill that would reform the 1872 Mining Law. That law lets companies mine public lands without paying royalties and doesn't hold them responsible for mine cleanup. Obama said "The legislation that has been proposed places a significant burden on the mining industry and could have a significant impact on jobs [in rural Nevada] given the difficulties the industry is already facing in maintaining its operations."