March 26, 2008

McCain's Policy to Double the Price of Electricity

The John McSame campaign continued its march of ignorance this week with a deeply insightful diatribe about climate and national policy. In an interview with E&E News (sub. req'd) the campaign tossed out some info that should really make you question whether the Senator from Arizona could successfully take on the threat of global warming and climate change.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a McCain campaign policy adviser, dropped a few incredibly stupid ideas on the American public, I don't know which one is worse.

1. "The basic idea is if you go with a cap and trade and do it right with appropriate implementation, you don't need technology-specific and sectoral policies that are on the books and that others are proposing

Unfortunately Holtz-Eakin is wrong, and without an aggressive technology development/deployment effort (especially in the transportation sector), a cap & trade system will fail because of the economic strain it will place on America. And what about the explicit statement that McCain opposes "technology-specific and sectoral policies that are on the books" if we have a cap & trade?

How many people who truly care about climate change, other than Sen. McCain, think we are truly pushing clean technologies and transportation too hard? We already know that he doesn't support renewable technology tax credits that have been on the books for years, far before we had a cap & trade policy. This is an especially jaw-dropping statement given that even the delayers themselves have been saying we need a bigger clean tech push for years.

2. Holtz-Eakin called into question the Democratic candidates calls for a new federal low carbon fuel limit, stronger fuel economy standards and policies to reduce US oil consumption. Cap & trade was spouted as the ideal solution by itself and when asked whether McCain would block new corporate average fuel economy requirements that Bush signed into law last December, Holtz-Eakin said, "He's not proposing to eliminate those. He simply wants to check as time goes on if they become completely irrelevant. You might want to take them off the books [!!!], but we're not there yet." (emphasis mine)

In the Energy Information Administration's own analysis of using a cap & trade system to reduce emissions, a good economic model of McCain's strategy because it doesn't capture technology deployment strategies or fuel economy standards, the price of carbon hits a politically impossible level, $348 per metric ton, which, in the EIA analysis, doubles the price for electricity.

3. "You don't need redundant policies that interfere with the flexibility that is the key to meeting these desirable goals at low costs," Beyond a cap & trade "he wants to see the use of nukes. The ultimate policy proposal will be designed to make sure that's true."

The hypocrisy blows my mind. I'll keep it short but taking out "redundant policies" that push clean energy while ramming a very expensive nuclear technology down our throats? A nonpartisan Keystone report "Nuclear Power Joint Fact-Finding" (June 2007) found nuclear "power isn't cheap: 8.3 to 11.1 cents per kilo-watt hour." And as a study by Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) found, nuclear power plant costs have soared in the last couple of years. And, of course, nuclear power has a major supply bottleneck, that will inevitably drive up costs for any country that wants to rapidly accelerate the construction of nuclear power plants.

Those are the facts, and unfortunately it has been proven time and again that the McCain campaign is unconcerned with the facts (sounds a little too much like Bush for my liking). From creationism, vaccination, economic policy, hell damn near everything, the guy refuses to sit down and look at the observed evidence and facts surrounding issues. This scares the shit out of me as I'll be paying for a mistake we made concerning facts in Iraq for the rest of my life. I don't want to go down that same road and I'm afraid that's all McCain offers.

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