WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the League of Conservation Voters, which works to turn environmental values into national priorities, applauded Tom Brokaw and NBC News for including a direct question about global warming in this evening’s debate. Such questions have been few and far between, but tonight’s responses from the two candidates proved that our next President’s answer to that question will fundamentally shape the future of the country.
Senator Obama listed a new energy future for America as his #1 priority and outlined an ambitious plan to create jobs, ensure national security and protect the planet with meaningful investments in clean energy. While in one breath Senator McCain called for an All Of The Above energy plan, in his next breath, he only spoke about more oil drilling and more nuclear power – the same energy proposals that the Bush Administration has championed for the last eight years.
“As we listened to their energy proposals tonight, Senator McCain unwisely urged us to look at his record,” LCV President Gene Karpinski said. “So we did. While Senator Obama has consistently supported clean renewable energy, energy efficiency, and efforts to reduce global warming pollution, Senator McCain failed to vote in favor of clean energy and measures to reduce global warming at least twelve times. It’s no wonder that McCain’s plans for the future fail to live up to either his rhetoric or to our country’s needs.”
McCain was absent when the Senate voted to table an amendment that would have allowed conventional and polluting sources of energy, such as coal-fired power plants and nuclear power, to qualify for credits under the national renewable electricity standard. YES is the pro-environment vote. [Roll Call #211, H. R. 6, 6/14/07]
McCain was absent when the Senate failed to override the filibuster against the renewableelectricity standard and again when the Senate failed by one vote to repeal billions of dollars in subsidies to big oil in order to fund clean energy. YES is the pro-environment vote. [Roll Call #416, H.R. 6, 12/7/07 and Roll Call #425, H.R. 6, 12/13/07]
McCain was absent when the Senate voted on an amendment that would have eliminated public health and environmental permitting procedures for new or expanded oil refineries, coal-to-liquid refineries and ethanol or bio-diesel plants and would have replaced all state and federal approvals with a single “consolidated” permit, set arbitrary deadlines for approving permits, barred state courts from reviewing permitting decisions, and limited challenges brought in federal court. NO is the pro-environment vote. [Roll Call #210, H.R. 6, 6/13/07]
McCain voted no on an amendment that would have raised the CAFE standard for cars, SUVs, and minivans to 40 miles per gallon by 2015, saving 3.1 million barrels of oil a day by 2020—as much oil as the U.S. currently imports from the Persian Gulf and could extract from the Arctic Refuge and the California outer continental shelf, combined—and would have annually kept more than 500 million tons of carbon dioxide out of the air. YES is the pro-environment vote. [Senate Roll Call #157, H.R.6 amendment 902, 6/23/05]
McCain voted no on an amendment that would require electric utilities to produce 10% of their electricity from clean, renewable sources by 2020. YES is the pro-environment vote. [Roll Call #141, H.R. 6, 6/16/05]
McCain voted no on an amendment to raise the CAFÉ standard for cars and light trucks to 490 mpg by 2015. YES is the pro-environment vote. [Roll Call 309, S. 14, 7/29/03]
McCain voted yes on an amendment that would replace a 10% renewable energy standard with a provision for utilities to offer electricity from renewable sources only to the extent available. NO is the pro-environment vote. [Roll Call #55, S. 517, 3/21/02]
McCain voted no on an amendment to raise the renewable energy standard from 10% to 20%, a level that the Department of Energy believes is both affordable and feasible. YES is the pro-environment vote. [Roll Call #50, S. 517, 3/14/02]
McCain was absent when the Senate voted on a resolution expressing that the freeze on CAFÉ standards should end. YES is the pro-environment vote. [9/15/99]
McCain voted yes to block an amendment that would add $62 million to the Energy Department’s solar and renewable energy programs. NO is the pro-environment vote. [Energy and Water appropriations, 6/16/99]
McCain voted yes on a motion to table an amendment that would have added $33 million to renewable programs and decreased spending for nuclear weapons. NO is the pro-environment vote. [H.R. 4506, 6/30/94]
McCain voted yes on an amendment to give states money for using more fuel; states investing is mass transit, car polling, HOV lanes, and programs to control congestion, energy consumption, and pollution would have their allocation of transportation funds decreased. NO is the pro-environment vote. [S.1204, 6/18/91]