Thursday, September 04, 2008

Senator Barack Obama and the Energy Policy Act of 2005


Senator John McCain has been criticizing Senator Barack Obama on his vote for the Energy Policy Act of 2005. McCain says it was a 'big oil' bill but it actually supports construction of the nuclear power plants that Senator McCain is aggressively promoting. The EPAct of 2005 is a great energy bill. In addition to oil and gas provisions, it has very good energy efficiency and renewable energy titles. It has very good vehicle and fuels, hydrogen, electricity, clean coal, and ethanol titles too. I also know it is a very good bill because I worked for its passage and was a special guest of the White House at the bill signing at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 8, 2005.

Senators McCain and Obama missed the vote on the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 because they were busy campaigning for the presidency. Both of these laws are very good. Do we need another energy bill to address additional problems? Sure we do. We need to renew the alternative energy tax incentives and pass complementary climate change legislation, among other things.

Senator McCain has led the fight in Congress to address global warming through the introduction of two bills over about a five year period. He introduced the Climate Stewardship Act of 2003 and the Climate Stewardship and
Innovation Act of 2005, both of which were cosponsored by Senator Joe Lieberman. Senator Obama was a cosponsor of the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2005 too. So even though it is the political season, McCain and Obama are actually pretty close on most energy and environmental issues. McCain plays it a bit closer to industry and Obama softens some of his stands to appease the tree huggers, but they are basically about as close to the same on these issues as a Republican and a Democrat can be. I would say that both are very good on energy, environment and global warming issues.

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