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Obama Draws Distinctions Between His Global Warming Plan and McCain's

Contact: Jay Natoli, (202) 785-8683 or February 11, 2008  

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On the eve of last weekend’s caucus in Washington State, Senator Barack Obama began to point out differences between his plan to address global warming and the approach of Senator John McCain in this story reported by Jeff Mason of Reuters:;_ylt=AspSND0ncffzaIl01mY7BqBh24cA

According to the story, “Obama said he would not wait until January 2009, when the new president takes office, to get started.  ‘I think we need to start reaching out to other countries ahead of time, not because I'm presumptuous, but because there's such a sense of urgency about this.’  Nearly 200 nations, including the United States, agreed at U.N.-led talks in December to launch negotiations on a new pact to fight global warming. But many environmentalists say real progress will only be made once President George W. Bush, long a global warming skeptic, leaves office.  ‘The moment I secure the nomination, I want to bring together experts in this area to start putting together the U.S. position ... what we're going to be doing internally, what we can agree to with other countries,’ he said.”

Obama also reiterated his support for a cap-and-trade system in which polluters would have to purchase permits for greenhouse gas emissions on a 100% auction basis.  Reuters reports, “Under such a system, companies that exceed their CO2 limits must buy more permits to pollute, while those that come in beneath their limits may sell the permits on a market.  Obama said his plan was superior to McCain's because it required companies to buy all of those permits up front -- a process known as auctioning.  ‘I've been very specific about proposing 100 percent auctioning, which makes an enormous difference in terms of how effective it's going to be,’ Obama said.”

It is encouraging to see the candidates engage in this debate and draw these distinctions.  The American people want to know where their leaders stand.  Throughout this campaign, in town hall meetings from Concord to Columbia, from Sioux City to Seattle, the candidates have been talking about this issue.  All remaining major candidates agree that steps must be taken to address global warming, but there are vast differences between the candidates’ proposals and priorities.  Jeff Mason and Reuters deserve credit for this fine reporting.  It is time the rest of the mainstream media started picking up on these differences and reporting on them.  

To find out where the candidates stand on the issues, visit:

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