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. It's soon over

    Randy – Denver

    Right on!

    May 12, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. hmmm

    As an independant, I vote on the issues, not the person, not the party, the issues. And this year my issues are the economy, the war, the environment, and health care. Based on these concerns, even if the person wasn't my first choice, my vote goes to whomever wins the Democratic Party nomination because that person best represents my interests. Write in votes and having the other candidate run as an independent won't work (as history has proven) because if HRC couldn't win the majority of the primaries, the odds are unlikely that she can win the GE and anyone who thinks otherwise is not thinking straight. So casting votes for people who did not gain your party support is really just another vote for the opposing party.
    Now I'm not the most logical person in the world so I'm having a hard time understanding what is the matter with so many people writing on here. Over 70% of Americans think that America is going the wrong direction and yet so there are people who would rather continue going in the same wrong direction than to at least try to make things better. You owe it to your neighbors, your children, the soldiers fighting and giving up their lives in Iraq, and mostly to yourselves to make a logical decision to get our country back on track. I get that you don't like the person who won the nomination, I get that you don't like the process, I get that you don't like Obama's supporters (I don't blame you) but walking around with a chip on your shoulder because you didn't get the person you wanted to represent you is illogical.

    I'm asking all my fellow Americans to use your head. If you don't see the solution you want for your problems, then aim for what you can realistically get so that in the end you can at least say you tried.

    Vote the issues 08.

    May 12, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Relevant

    "A REAL American" said this in response to me:

    "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."

    To which I say... Just you wait until your wife or mother or friend or daughter gets brutally raped and becomes pregnant from it, we'll see how quickly you change your tune.

    Roe v Wade is not about whether or not YOU think abortion is right or wrong. It's about whether or not the government has the right to force a woman to live through the everlasting hell that I describe above. I'm not going to sit here and try to change YOUR mind about it–your post clearly indicates that YOU want Roe v Wade overturned, so, I guess you're already voting for McCain.

    However, for those of us who do believe that the government should not govern over a woman's right over her own body, McCain is the enemy. And no matter how one feels about the Democratic primary, one shouldn't ignore the reality of McCain's positions just to "spite" the Democrats.

    May 12, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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