May 12th, 2008
10:08 AM ET
13 years ago

McCain appeals to independents with environment pitch


Watch John McCain’s new ad called A Better Way.

(CNN) - Kicking off a week-long push seen as outreach to independent and Democratic voters in crucial swing states, John McCain will deliver a speech in Portland, Oregon this morning outlining his vision for fighting global warming.

“We stand warned by serious and credible scientists across the world that time is short and the dangers are great,” McCain will say, according to prepared remarks. “The most relevant question now is whether our own government is equal to the challenge.”

McCain’s commitment to fight global warming puts him at odds with some Republicans in Congress and the Bush administration, which has not made climate change a top priority. His stance on carbon emissions places him closer on the environmental spectrum to Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

In his speech, the Arizona senator will propose capping carbon emissions incrementally, with the goal of returning to 1990 emission levels by the year 2020 using a cap-and-trade program. Such a program would cap greenhouse gas emissions at certain levels, and allow more efficient energy producers to sell off emissions permits to other, less efficient companies, thereby creating market-wide incentives to reduce carbon output.

McCain believes this system will encourage companies to seek out more efficient means of production.

“As never before, the market would reward any person or company that seeks to invent, improve, or acquire alternatives to carbon-based energy,” he will say.

McCain has also released a TV ad in Oregon suggesting that climate change is behind deadly weather phenomena like hurricanes. The spot features a McCain voiceover saying, “It’s not just a greenhouse gas issue, it’s a national security issue.”

McCain will also speak about the environment on Tuesday in the neighboring state of Washington. Oregon and Washington among several potential battleground states in the West, including California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, where voters count the environment as a top issue.

However, McCain is not completely breaking with more traditional Republican positions on environmental matters. He agrees with the Bush administration’s stance on the Kyoto Protocol, which the United States has refused to ratify because large polluting nations like China and India are not obligated to reduce emissions.

McCain is also an ardent supporter of expanding the use nuclear power, a fact he mentions at nearly every campaign stop.

The Democratic National Committee is accusing the presumptive Republican nominee of hypocrisy on the energy issue, e-mailing reporters a list of McCain advisers who have served as lobbyists for the oil industry.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Of course, John McCain is the Environmental President. That's because B.S. is bio-degradable! 🙂

    May 12, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. proud army and navy mom

    mccain is speaking like he hasn't been in the senate the whole time George w havebeen stepping all over the laws.

    he endorsed bush the whole time. now he wants to do something about the mess?

    I shouldn't blame Mccain, he probably just don't remember.

    May 12, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. Tom in S.A.

    I'm with Tony in Ohio.

    May 12, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. tidho

    capping emmisions?...he's supposed to be a Republican!

    Emmissions caps raise production costs. Higher production costs means off shoring jobs – to other countries without the same environmental standards.
    Net result – same emmissions released, with less domestic jobs.
    ...great plan.

    May 12, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Independent

    Wher has he been for the past 26 years? All of a sudden he cares abouth the environment. Sure, he can help our country just likehe will help the environment in Iraq. Remember, bomb,bomb,bomb,bomb,bomb Iran!

    May 12, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. David

    oh, great. looks like McCain is buying into the global warming hoax. so why do thousands of scientists also say this is not happening and that the earth's temperatures actuall have maintained and cooled the last 9 years. it's a farce.

    May 12, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. Brian


    May 12, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. a REAL American

    Relevant–"there is no way I, or any self-respecting woman, or any soul who cares about a woman's right to choose will ever vote for you."

    Tell me, in which constitutional amendment can "the right to choose to terminate a young human being" be found? Oh yeah, it's not in any of them!

    Besides, most "self-respecting" women should/would utilize their power to choose before acting totally irresponsible! These same women, which include my wife, my mother, and friends, believe abortion is an abomination, and is just another way for liberals to promote irresponsibility in America.

    May 12, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. Dear D

    You're not a true republican. You are however a true idiot. To go from "republican" to the polar opposite makes you confused. Write in Ron Paul if you're a "TRUE" republican.

    May 12, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    McCain does NOT support mandatory caps on carbon emissions. On global warming his stance is identical to Bush's. His environmental record is only marginally better than Bush. It's McSame.

    May 12, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    No real Democrat would vote for John McCain. So-called "Reagan Democrats" will, but they have been voting Republican since 1980.

    May 12, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Jacob

    Isnt this the same guy who got a 0% approval rating on environmental issues for his 2007 and 2006 Senate Ratings?

    May 12, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. Paul

    Hillary or McCain

    We need someone with experience in the White House

    Hillary we are with you all the way!!!

    They are forgetting about FLA and Michigan. When did they stop being part of the Union?

    HILLARY 08 yes she will!!!

    May 12, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Justin

    Oh yeah Republicans give a crap about the environment, that's a good one.

    May 12, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Jeff in Alabama

    I will be writing in Hillary Clinton's name on the ballot when I vote in the election if she is not on the ballot. And depending on how the DNC behaves the next couple of months, I may place my vote for McCain. Are you listening to us Howard Dean?

    May 12, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. Chewbacca

    If Hillary supporters won't vote for Obama would they be willing to vote for Ron Paul if McCain fails to gain the Republican nomination at the Republican National Convention?

    May 12, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Debby

    I am an Independent and if Hillary doesn't win, I will vote McCain. I would have voted McCain over Gore in 2000 if he got the nomination. He like Sen. Clinton have alot of integrity.

    May 12, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. skylark

    As a resident of AZ and because of the horrid "Electoral College" my vote in the election will proably not count no matter which Dem candidate wins.
    But I will go to the polls. I will vote Democratic, even if I have to hold my nose and vote for Hillary.
    I will think past personal predjuces and vote for the future generations, for restoration of this country's respect in the world.
    There are no white people. We are all shades of beige and brown.
    Even albinos are pink. Dead people are blue. We are supposed to be :
    "One nation, indivisable, with liberty and justice for all"
    Have you all forgotten?
    Obama/Napolitano '08

    May 12, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. Uncle Sam

    We have on one hand, a naive presidential hopeful who promises change, while on the other we have an experienced heroic statesman who has a proven record of change. Am I missing something?

    Americans for McCain '08

    May 12, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. After further review,Texas

    I wanted to be like Tom Cruise in "Top Gun" but Cindy woke me up.Waaaaaaaa

    May 12, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. Danny

    John we need your Republican help to knock BHO out now because Democratic support with the wrong guy and he is not American guy. The
    bid problem is Obama doesn't care to pledge of allegiance that's mean he not going to stand for American so knock him out now.

    May 12, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. fred

    AMEN Adam, Hillary supporters will never vote for Obama!!

    He is on his way out...either way!!

    Go Hillary!!

    If not Hillary...then McCain!!

    May 12, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. skylark

    By the way
    Why isn't the fact that Obama is multiracial ever mentioned.?
    Vote for his light half if you can't get past the dark.
    He is the best of both. His experience is that he sees both sides so is better to represent all of us.
    Obama/ Napolitano '08

    May 12, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. Roy Arellano (San Antonio)

    ADAM, first post, please get a clue and seek/present the truth.

    May 12, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. Will

    Yep, McCain's real plan is to let the plants and animals take our infrostructure as it corrodes and bomb everything in Iraq until nothing can live there.

    May 12, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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