Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Candidates' Positions On Global Warming

Yesterday I complained that journalists weren't doing enough to inform the voters of where each of the candidates stood on various issues and what kind of proposals they had in dealing with those issues. I may have spoken too soon, because I found this AP article this morning.

While the major presidential candidates agree global warming is real, the Republicans are sharply divided over what to do about it - even as they chase votes in Florida, where the predicted risk of rising sea waters and more severe storms is anything but a passing concern. ...

"Climate change is real. It's happening. I believe human beings are contributing to it," former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said during a debate in Iowa when pressed on the issue.

But Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney adamantly oppose a mandatory cap on the greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, that are blamed for the earth's warming. Both have borrowed a page from President Bush's strategy by maintaining that the answer is to free the country from its dependence on foreign oil.

That's in marked contrast to Sen. John McCain, who is battling Giuliani and Romney for the lead in Florida. The Arizona senator has been among Congress' loudest voices for aggressive action, co-sponsoring legislation in 2003 that called for capping greenhouse gases - principally carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels - and frequently chiding the Bush administration for its failure to support mandatory measures to reduce such emissions. ...

...Giuliani has no taste for mandates on carbon emissions, saying they make no sense.

"The best way to deal with it is through energy independence," he argues, calling for building more nuclear power plants, promoting conservation and alternative fuels and more research into capturing carbon dioxide from coal plants. He argues mandates to cap greenhouse gases don't make sense.

"The best way to deal with it is through energy independence," he argues, calling for building more nuclear power plants, promoting conservation and alternative fuels and more research into capturing carbon dioxide from coal plants. He argues mandates to cap greenhouse gases don't make sense.

Some environmentalists say they're not surprised by Giuliani's position given his association with one of the most influential law/lobbying firms in Washington that represent energy interests. Giuliani joined Houston-based Bracewell-Giuliani as a partner three years ago. ...

Romney has a similar recipe for dealing with global warming.

"We can dramatically reduce our CO2 emissions by putting ourselves realistically on a course of energy independence," he told New Hampshire voters, adding that he opposes any mandatory, across-the-board carbon limits unless other countries take steps as well.

"It's global warming, not America warming," has been his standard reply when asked for his views on regulating carbon dioxide.


While the bulk of the article concerned the GOP candidates, one paragraph deep within the article was devoted to the Democrats (perhaps because all three of the leaders actually agreed).

The leading Democratic candidates - Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards - have called for a mandatory 80 percent cut in greenhouse gases from 1990 levels by mid-century and have outlined global warming proposals more stringent than Democratic legislation before the Senate.

While it would have been nice to know just what each of those proposals entail, at least the article did lay out where the various candidates stand.

It's a start, and none too soon.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Thomas said...

I'm constantly amazed that, despite a dozen televised debates and a twenty four hour news cycle that gives candidates nearly unlimited face time with the electorate, politicians still succeed in avoiding statements of substance.

6:44 PM  

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