Tuesday, June 24, 2008

John McCain on Energy Security for a Prosperous Nation and Clean Environment

Today, John McCain Will Discuss Our Need To Move Toward Cleaner Energy Sources To Safeguard Our Environment And Energy. John McCain believes that we must develop cleaner sources of energy to protect our environment, confront the threat of climate change and become a leader in the international green economy.

· John McCain Believes That Conservation And Clean Energy Will Result In A Cleaner Environment And A Secure Energy Future. John McCain believes in common-sense conservation which means that it is not always a matter of making due with less energy but using energy in smarter ways. Business owners who invest in green buildings can substantially cut their energy costs and homeowners can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year through conservation. Clean energy in the form of nuclear, clean coal, wind, solar and hydro-electric will provide us green and renewable energy.

The Evidence Of Climate Change Is Compelling And Demands Our Urgent Attention:

Scientific Data Indicates That Climate Change Is Real. Fossil fuel emissions retain heat within our atmosphere, resulting in disastrous changes in our climate. The effects of climate change include: the shrinking of glaciers, Antarctic ice shelves and polar ice sheets; reduced snowpack, with earlier runoffs in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere; and in the frozen wilds of Alaska, the Arctic, Antarctic, and elsewhere, wildlife biologists have noted sudden changes in animal migration patterns, a loss of their habitat, and a rise in sea levels. Carbon emissions contribute to climate change and their reduction is essential.

John McCain Proposes A Cap-And-Trade System That Would Set Limits On Greenhouse Gas Emissions While Encouraging The Development Of Low-Cost Compliance Options. A climate cap-and-trade mechanism would set a limit on greenhouse gas emissions and allow entities to buy and sell rights to emit, similar to the successful acid rain trading program of the early 1990s. The key feature of this mechanism is that it allows the market to decide and encourage the lowest-cost compliance options.

How Does A Cap-And-Trade System Work? A cap-and-trade system harnesses human ingenuity in the pursuit of alternatives to carbon-based fuels. Market participants are allotted total permits equal to the cap on greenhouse gas emissions. If they can invent, improve, or acquire a way to reduce their emissions, they can sell their extra permits for cash. The profit motive will coordinate the efforts of venture capitalists, corporate planners, entrepreneurs, and environmentalists on the common motive of reducing emissions.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets And Timetables:

· 2012: Return Emissions To 2005 Levels (18 Percent Above 1990 Levels)

· 2020: Return Emissions To 1990 Levels (15 Percent Below 2005 Levels)

· 2030: 22 Percent Below 1990 Levels (34 Percent Below 2005 Levels)

· 2050: 60 Percent Below 1990 Levels (66 Percent Below 2005 Levels)

The Cap-And-Trade System Would Allow For The Gradual Reduction Of Emissions. The cap-and-trade system would encompass electric power, transportation fuels, commercial business, and industrial business -- sectors responsible for just under 90 percent of all emissions. Small businesses would be exempt. Initially, participants would be allowed to either make their own GHG reductions or purchase "offsets" -- financial instruments representing a reduction, avoidance, or sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions practiced by other activities, such as agriculture -- to cover 100 percent of their required reductions. Offsets would only be available through a program dedicated to ensure that all offset GHG emission reductions are real, measured and verifiable. The fraction of GHG emission reductions permitted via offsets would decline over time.

· Barack Obama's Cap-And-Trade Plan Lacks The Balance To Be Successful. His first year in Congress, Barack Obama supported John McCain's 2005 cap-and-trade proposal. However, as a presidential candidate, Barack Obama has outlined his own cap-and-trade proposal that requires a drastic reduction in emissions without any mechanisms for an easy economic transition. This could result in a shock to the economy with potentially higher energy prices or the need to shutter existing coal electricity facilities.

In Becoming Energy Independent, The Government Must Lead By Setting The Right Example In Its Own Use Of Fossil Fuels:

John McCain Will Make Greening The Federal Government A Priority Of His Administration. The federal government is the largest electricity consumer on earth and occupies 3.3 billion square feet of space worldwide. It provides an enormous opportunity to lead by example. By applying a higher efficiency standard to new buildings leased or purchased or retrofitting existing buildings, we can save taxpayers money in energy costs, and move the construction market in the direction of green technology.

John McCain Will Reduce Emissions From Transportation And Electricity Production:

John McCain's Clean Car Challenge. John McCain will issue a Clean Car Challenge to the automakers of America, in the form of a single and substantial tax credit for the consumer based on the reduction of carbon emissions. John McCain will commit up to a $5,000 tax credit for each and every customer who buys that car, encouraging automakers to be first on the market with these cars in order to capitalize on the consumer incentives. For other vehicles, whatever type they may be, the credit is determined on a sliding scale -- the lower the carbon emissions, the higher the tax credit.

John McCain Will Propose A $300 Million Prize To Improve Battery Technology For Full Commercial Development Of Plug-In Hybrid And Fully Electric Automobiles. A $300 million prize should be awarded for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars. That battery should deliver a power source at 30 percent of the current costs. At $300 million, the prize is one dollar for every man, woman and child in this country -- and a small price to pay for breaking our dependence on oil.

John McCain Will Commit $2 Billion Annually For 15 Years To Advance Our Clean Coal Technologies. Some believe that market viable clean coal technologies could be over 15 years away. John McCain believes that this is too long to wait and we need to commit significant federal resources to the science, research, development, and deployment of this critical technology. Once commercialized, the U.S. can then export these technologies to countries like China that are committed to using their own vast resources of coal.

Nuclear Power Is A Proven, Safe, Zero-Emission Source Of Energy And It Is Time For The U.S. To Recommit To Advancing Our Use Of Nuclear Power. The U.S. has not started construction on a new nuclear power plant in over 30 years. Currently, nuclear power provides 20 percent of our overall energy portfolio. It is also important to be able to build the components for these plants and reactors within the United States so that we are not dependent on foreign suppliers with long wait times to move forward with our nuclear plans.

John McCain Will Encourage The Market For Alternative, Low Carbon Fuels Such As Wind, Hydro And Solar Power. According to the Department of Energy, wind could provide as much as one-fifth of electricity by 2030. The U.S. solar energy industry continued its double-digit annual growth rate in 2006. To develop these and other sources of renewable energy will require that we rationalize the current patchwork of temporary tax credits that provide commercial feasibility. John McCain believes in an even-handed system of tax credits that will remain in place until the market transforms sufficiently to the point where renewable energy no longer merits the taxpayers' dollars.

John McCain Will Move The United States Toward Electricity Grid And Metering Improvements To Save Energy. John McCain will work to reduce red tape to allow a serious investment to upgrade our national grid to meet the demands of the 21st century -- which will include a capacity to charge the electric cars that will one day fill the roads and highways of America. And to save both money and electrical power for our people and businesses, we will also need to deploy SmartMeter technologies. These new meters give customers a more precise picture of their overall energy consumption, and over time will encourage a more cost-efficient use of power.

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