On Monday, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) unveiled an “incoherent” global warming plan at the North American headquarters of the Danish wind turbine company Vestas. McCain has justified his long and active opposition to federal support for the domestic wind industry by claiming it “is doing fine.” In his speech Monday, McCain praised wind power for “changing our economy for the better” and said:
When we debate energy bills in Washington, it should be more than a competition among industries for special favors, subsidies, and tax breaks. In the Congress, we need to send the special interests on their way — without their favors and subsidies.
Yesterday, the Wonk Room noted that his top economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, disagrees with McCain’s rosy assessment of the wind industry, saying that it needs federal support because “he would want to make sure that we did not at this point in time stop the wind and solar from progressing.”
In fact, two of McCain’s top advisers have been directly involved in stopping the wind industry from progressing, by lobbying against the construction of the first offshore wind farm in the United States — the Cape Wind project proposed for Massachusetts’s Nantucket Sound:
Charlie Black, Senior Political Adviser to McCain: Senate lobbying disclosure documents reveal that lobbying firm BKSH & Associates was retained in January 2008 by the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound to “Defeat the proposal for 130 wind turbines” and “promote alternative means to meet energy needs without sacrificing Nantucket Sound.” Charlie Black was the chairman of BKSH until March. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act database]
Tom Loeffler, McCain’s Campaign Co-chairman: The Loeffler Group received $380,000 from the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound from 2003 to 2005 to lobby against Cape Wind. The Loeffler Group was founded by former Republican congressman Tom Loeffler, who remains its chairman. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act database]
(HT: Energy Smart.)