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McCain's climate change interview, continued

By Juliet Eilperin

A spokeswoman for Sen. John McCain offered the following clarification Monday night: Her boss didn't support bringing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions back down to 2000 levels as a presidential candidate, even though he did advocate this earlier in his Senate career.

The issue, which surfaced during a radio interview McCain gave Tuesday, centers on what climate target McCain (R-Ariz.) is willing to embrace.

The show's host asked, "If we knew then what we know today about these scientists and this fraud, would you still be in favor of capping carbon emissions at 2000 levels?" McCain replied, "I've never favored it at a certain level."

Brooke Buchanan, the spokeswoman, said that while McCain did support capping emissions at 2000 levels a few years ago, he said in 2008 that wanted to bring them down to 2005 levels by 2020.

And above all, Buchanan wrote in an e-mail, McCain wanted to make clear that he wants to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, without waiting for Congress to act.

"Senator McCain would like to expand nuclear energy production and use the power of market forces to make reductions in greenhouse gas emissions," Buchanan wrote. "In the interview he was referring to the EPA endangerment finding that seeks to cap emissions through regulatory fiat regardless of economic impact."


Juliet Eilperin

 |  February 17, 2010; 5:28 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: McCain backtracks on climate change | Next: New rules proposed to consider climate change under the National Enviornmental Policy Act


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Erata: The world gets 85% of its energy from fossil fuels.

If alternative energy was efficient we might be using it. Hydroelectric dams are the largest source of renewable energy worldwide. Rooftop solar water heating is also cost efficient, but does not have a widespread usage in the US.

Nuclear energy is probably more efficient than windmills. One day this winter Europe was becalmed. Their windmills stopped. They had to switch the power grid. Without pumped hydroelectric storage capacity wind might fail.

Posted by: rainsong | February 17, 2010 10:17 PM
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I think McCain was being vague, not back tracking. Kyoto adherents sought to wean Europe off hydrocarbons and carbon emissions to the tune of 80% within a few decades. 85% of the world's energy comes from hydrocarbons. Due to Chinese growth the world's coal consumption grew 3% in 2008 (DOE-EIA). In some parts of the world progress is a smoking chimney, not closing factories and power plants.

Posted by: rainsong | February 17, 2010 9:16 PM
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