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Washington Watch

2008 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Guiliani, Paul, Tancredo, and Hunter Have No Environmental Positions

Makes Our Job Easier, This Article Shorter

Not much going on in Washington. Some political loser won the Nobel Peace Prize. That vote doesn't even have an Electoral College, apparently. Still waiting for the House and Senate to decide how to resolve their differences on the energy bill.

So, while we're waiting, your Kicking Asphalt staff took it upon itself to provide you with the environmental positions of each of the Presidential Candidates. We're sure there there's a Nobel Prize winning idea here....somewhere.

Joe Biden (D): Joe’s plans to address climate change and our dependence on foreign oil are among the most comprehensive of all the candidates. His proposals include (but aren’t limited to):

- Raising fuel economy standards by 1 mile per gallon more each year

- Requiring major gas stations to sell alternative fuels

- Making federal buildings 30% more efficient over the next ten years

- Requiring that new vehicles be flex-fuel vehicles

- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 by imposing a cap and trade system

Learn more about Joe’s Climate Change Action Plan and Energy Plan on his website.

Sam Brownback (R): Sam doesn’t mention "climate change" or "environment" in the "issues" section of his website, but he does talk about energy. He co-sponsored the DRIVE Act, which aims to reduce oil consumption by focusing on new technologies and increased usage of renewable fuels. Click here to learn more about Sam Brownback’s stance on energy.

Chris Dodd (D): The "Dodd Energy Plan" is one of the most comprehensive of all the candidates. It includes (but isn’t limited to):

- Reducing 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

- Enacting a Corporate Carbon Tax

- Increasing efficiency standards for consumer products

- Raising fuel economy standards in automobiles to 50 mpg by 2017

- Requiring that all new government vehicles use hybrid, plug-in, or other fuel efficient and alternative technologies

John Edwards (D): John Edwards' energy plan is also very detailed. Some of his proposals include:

- Setting an economy-wide limit on the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases

- Making 25 Percent of our energy renewable

- Providing $1 billion a year to help U.S. automakers advance and apply the latest technology including biofuels, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric cars, hydrogen fuel cells, ultra-light materials, and drive train improvements

- Raising fuel economy standards to 40 miles per gallon by 2016

Rudy Giuliani (R): Rudy doesn’t have a single thing on energy, global warming, or the environment on his website. Please feel free to go to www.joinrudy2008.com and let us know if we’ve missed something.

Mike Gravel (D): On his website, Mike takes credit for the somewhat dubious accomplishment of clearing the way for the construction of the Alaska Pipeline back in the 1970s. Mike recommends reducing America’s carbon footprint through tax-and-cap legislation. Unfortunately, he basically says that US efforts to reduce carbon emissions need to be combined with efforts from China and India. This is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Check out Mike Gravel’s website to learn more.

Mike Huckabee (R): Mike focuses more on energy independence than global climate change, and pledges to have the US completely energy independent by the end of his second term. To accomplish this, he recommends pursuing all avenues of alternative energy: nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel, and biomass.

Read more at Mike’s website www.mikehuckabee.com.

Dennis Kucinich (D): Dennis’ environmental views are laid out on a page titled ‘A Sustainable Future’ on his website. He notes past accomplishments - including advocating a plan with Mikhail Gorbachev for a Global Green Deal that would enable the introduction of $50 billion of new solar projects around the world, and his co-sponsorship in the House of Representatives of the 2007 Safe Climate Act. You can learn more at his website www.dennis4president.com.

John McCain (R): John takes inspiration from Teddy Roosevelt for the content of his environmental page, “Stewards of Our Nation's Rich Natural Heritage”. The focus is primarily on conservation of natural spaces, but he does mention global warming and the need to combat it.

Barack Obama (D): Barack proposes several concrete steps to address climate issues:

- Implementing an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

- Investing $150 billion over the next ten years to develop and deploy climate friendly energy supplies, protect our existing manufacturing base and create millions of new jobs

- Improving energy efficiency to reduce the energy intensity of our economy by 50 percent by 2030

- Reducing our dependence on foreign oil and reducing oil consumption overall by at least 35 percent, or 10 million barrels of oil, by 2030

One troubling thing is Barack's support for "clean coal" technology, which many environmentalists claim is an oxymoron.

Ron Paul (R): Ron doesn’t have a single thing on energy, global warming, or the environment on his website. Please feel free to go to www.ronpaul2008.com and let us know if we’ve missed something.

Bill Richardson (D): Bill notes that the National Environmental Trust, the National Wildlife Federation, and Vanity Fair magazine recognized him as an Environmental Leader of the Year for his work in New Mexico. He makes several recommendations to combat global warming:

- Cutting oil demand by 50% by 2020

- Creating new efficiencies and energy sources in the electrical sector by 50% by 2040

- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050

You can read the energy and environment pages of Bill's website for more information.

Mitt Romney (R): Mitt recommends energy conservation and efficiency measures, which is good. He also recommends developing more nuclear energy and coal gasification, which is less good. He also wants to drill for more oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is really bad. Click here to read the "Achieving Energy Independence" page of his website.

Tom Tancredo (R): Tom doesn’t have a single thing on energy, global warming, or the environment on his website. Please feel free to go to www.teamtancredo.org and let us know if we’ve missed something.

Fred Thompson (R): Fred addresses environmental issues in the "Energy Security" section of his website. His proposals include:

- A balanced approach to energy security that increases domestic supplies, reduces demand for oil and gas, and promotes alternative fuels and other diverse energy sources.

- Investing in renewable and alternative fuels to promote greater energy independence and a cleaner environment.

- An energy policy that invests in the advanced technologies of tomorrow and places more emphasis on conservation and energy efficiency.

- Conducting research and development into technologies that improve the environment, especially the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Read the "Energy Security" section to learn more about Fred's take on the environment.