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Speech, Part 4: Will McCain bring conservatives with him on climate? As if!

By Joe Romm  

"Speech, Part 4: Will McCain bring conservatives with him on climate? As if!"

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A President McCain would have no magic wand to get conservatives to join a cause they simply don’t believe in, much as he wasn’t able to get them to join the cause for his McCain Lieberman climate bill. As E&E News (subs. req’d) reports today:

Several key Capitol Hill Republicans stood defiant yesterday against the types of changes to U.S. global warming policy spelled out earlier this week by presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain….

“I’m going to vote for McCain this year for president, but if he offers that bill I’ll vote against it and work against it,” pledged Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee….

Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), who would likely become the lead Republican on the Senate Environment Committee next year if McCain wins the presidency, said he wanted to work on a different type of climate plan that focused first on incentives for new energy technologies.

“We both agree there’s a problem,” Voinovich said. “We have a difference of opinion about how to solve the problem.”

Retiring Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee … “I’m not for that,” Domenici said. “I respect [McCain] greatly. But I think before we’re finished, there’ll be an awful lot of reality added to this.”

That’s a pretty pathetic response, especially when you consider that McCain’s plan is already too watered down to solve the climate problem (see here). Still, it can’t be considered a big surprise given that only 27% of conservatives say human emissions are warming the earth (see “The deniers are winning, especially with the GOP“).

Interestingly, there is at least one conservative who understands the central flaw in McCain’s plan:

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), for example, said he wasn’t so sure McCain got it right in calling for the unlimited use of domestic and international offset projects for industry compliance in a cap-and-trade system. “That’s something that’s very poor public policy and hopefully he’ll evolve on that,” he said

[Note to Corker: Conservatives don't believe in evolution!]


On the other hand, even a conservative from the state most obviously suffering the consequences of global warming endorses a strategy that would gut any climate bill:

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski challenged McCain to reverse his position against a “safety valve” that puts an absolute ceiling on the price of emissions.

[Note to Murkowski: A safety valve undermines the whole point of a cap & trade (see here and here).]

Even a couple of sort of moderate conservatives won’t go as far as McCain’s lame bill:

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said he did not support the economy-wide climate proposal McCain suggested earlier this week….

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), one of the six Republicans who twice voted for McCain’s original climate bill, echoed that assessment. “These are starting points,” he said. “I don’t see them as ending points.”

Yes, my fellow Americans, conservatives remain the single biggest obstacle to avoiding catastrophic global warming.

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4 Responses to Speech, Part 4: Will McCain bring conservatives with him on climate? As if!

  1. Lamont says:

    McCain made comments in Seattle about not wanting to give incentives for solar, saying that it distorted market forces. Someone should nail him on coal and nuclear incentives. If he’s not giving away billions in nuclear incentives there’s no way all his yammering about nuclear is going to happen.

  2. Rich says:

    Don’t confuse conservatives or even religious conservatives with Republicans. My in-laws live 18 miles from Greensberg, KS. It is about as conservative a town as you can get. Yet, it was the kids that convinced the entire town to bring new meaning to the name Greensburg and rebuild it according to the platinum standard. Like the kids of Greensburg young evangelicals are also convincing their parents. As for the idiot Congress critters you quoted, they won’t probably survive the next election cycle. If somehow McCain gets elected green conservatives and green Republicans like myself will remind him that he promised to make real substantive changes from the last eight years. So, you got it backwards. (Real) Conservatives will bring McCain on board not the other way around.

  3. Wise Golden says:

    I’m a conservative. In the past two years, I’ve bought a Hybrid car (preparing to buy a second) and reduced my oil consumption by 50%. I’ve replaced my 8 SEER heat pump with a 16 SEER heat pump. I’ve replaced my electric water heater with a solar unit. I’ve replaced 40 incandescent bulbs with CFL’s. I’ve unplugged 16 appliances that leak electricity. I’ve planted 5 fruit bearing trees in my yard for my own, and my neighbors consumption. I’ve reduced my water usage by 50%. I’ve reduce lawn chemicals from 7 times per year to 1 time per year. I hardly ever buy new cloths anymore. I’ve invested 6 figures in alternative energy plays on the stock market.

    And everyday, as I coast to a stop light, some a-hole in an SUV with a “Bush Lied” bumper sticker guns her engine and passes me on the way to the red light.

    Tell me again how it is that conservatives are causing global warming.

  4. Earl Killian says:

    Wise Golden, you are personally doing many of the things that can be done at the individual level. Thank you! However, our greenhouse gas emissions cannot be solved by the virtuous few limiting their emissions. It takes government action. if you are voting for people like Bush, that has probably undone all of the collective efforts of people like yourself. Bush’s active hostility to the things government needed to do since 2001 is a major part of the problem.