The rhetoric and the reality on McCain and the environment
Carpetbagger Report, May 12, 2008:
And then there’s environmental policy, which McCain is emphasizing heavily this week as a way of making him appear more moderate, helping him with independents, and distancing himself from the far-right wing of his own party.
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It all sounds very nice, just so long as you don’t look past the surface.
If we’re judging McCain on a sliding Republican scale, then sure, he’s not quite as reckless and irresponsible on environmental issues than some of his fellow conservatives. He believes global warming is real and he doesn’t believe trees cause pollution. If the soft bigotry of low expectations means anything, McCain looks pretty good in comparison to, say, James Inhofe.
But part of the problem is that McCain’s commitment to sensible environmental policies is a bit like the weather in Chicago: if you don’t like it, wait a few minutes, because it’s bound to change.
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“I’m proud of my record on the environment,” he said at a news conference Friday at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. “As president, I will dedicate myself to addressing the issue of climate change globally.”
But an examination of McCain’s voting record shows an inconsistent approach to the environment: He champions some “green” causes while casting sometimes contradictory votes on others.
McCain has missed every major environmental vote this Congress
Raw Story, May 13, 2008:
Wall Street Journal completely omits McCain voting record
The Journal paints McCain as a maverick among Republican rank and file on environmental issues, in an article that is best misleading. While McCain has championed legislation to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in his speeches, he hasn't voted for it. And while he's opposed drilling in the Arctic, he also refused to support a ban on drilling in a 2005 defense appropriations bill.
The article also fails to mention that McCain ranks last among the 535 members of the current Congress in a rating by the League of Conservation Voters.
McCain has missed every major environmental vote this Congress, according to an analysis by the League. His League lifetime record is just 24 percent. This compares with 86 percent for Obama and 86 percent for Clinton. Obama and Clinton ranked 67 and 73 percent in the League's most recent report.
"McCain was the only member of Congress to skip every single crucial environmental vote scored by the organization, posting a score lower than Members of Congress who were out for much of the year due to serious illnesses and even lower than some who died during the term," a release from the Sierra Club noted in February.
"He's certainly better than Bush, and ... the average Republican senator" on environmental matters, but "dramatically worse than the average Republican governor," Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, told the Journal Monday. "Pope said his organization might refrain from endorsing one presidential candidate over another this year because 'there is huge opportunity for all three of them still to grow.'"
Strangely, the Journal used this quote to claim that the Sierra Club's decision not to endorse anyone was instead "a sign of Sen. McCain's potential appeal to environmentally conscious voters."
McCain touts himself as being out the Republican lockstep on the issue of climate change. His record, however, is mixed -- and his current proposals and outspoken stance on climate change don't entirely mesh with his voting record.
McCain Talks Environment, Misses Votes When It Counts
Crooks and Liars, February 23, 2008:
The Daily Green:
McCain skipped every one of the 15 votes that the League of Conservation Voters deemed critical measures for the environment, including votes where the Arizona Senator’s yea would have meant passage by a single-vote margin.
McCain has won support from many environmentalists … but his absenteeism on important votes this session calls into question his reputation as a maverick who might buck the party line on some energy and environmental issues.
“Out of 535 Members of Congress, John McCain is the only one who chose to miss every single key environmental vote scored by the League of Conservation Voters last year. When it came time to stand up and vote for the environment, John McCain was nowhere to be found,” said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. “Every other Member who received a zero from LCV last year at least had the temerity to show up and vote against the environment and clean energy time after time. And unlike John McCain, I doubt any of them would claim to be environmental leaders or champions on global warming.”
On the environment, McCain offers more of the same — for the most part
Carpetbagger Report, March 22, 2008:
Usually, when highlighting the ways in which John McCain offers the nation four more years of George W. Bush, the list includes a familiar litany of issues — war policy, foreign policy, irresponsible tax cuts for the very wealthy, healthcare, education. Dealing with the environment, however, generally doesn’t make the list.
To his credit, McCain, unlike most Republican leaders, believes global warming science and recognizes the need to combat it. His proposals aren’t exactly ambitious, but McCain’s position alone helps gives the impression that, as Republicans go, he’d be a step in the right direction on environmental policy.
Fortunately, even this assumption is starting to draw scrutiny.But, at least he’s good on climate change, right? Well, kind of.
In his quarter-century in Congress, McCain has demonstrated a “pattern of voting with polluters and special interests instead of consumers and the planet,” said Carl Pope, executive director of the San Francisco-based Sierra Club.
Labels: John McCain