Doubling Up on the Double-Talk

September 2, 2008 at 9:29 am 1 comment

The dust is slowly settling from the Republican and Democratic Presidential running mate announcements last week. While Obama’s selection took many by surprise, McCain’s seemed to come out of left field. The big question now is, who are these people and what do they bring to the table?

Many will dismiss the VP selection as an after-thought, relying solely on the Presidential nominee to carry the ticket. However, from an environmental standpoint, it is important to consider the running mate as the VP is the person who is responsible for the country’s energy policy for the next few years. Let us take a moment to consider who exactly we are dealing with.

Senator Joe Biden is, reportedly, a strong supporter of “energy independence” with a focus on non-food based biofuels. Biden has a good voting record with the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) with an over all score of 83 out of 100. During his own bid for presidency, Biden’s emissions policy closely matched Obama’s, calling for an 80% reduction over 1990 levels by 2050.

“If I could wave a wand, and the Lord said I could solve one problem” states Biden, “I would solve the energy crisis, that’s the single most consequential problem we can solve.” Yet, with almost the same breath, Biden further adds, “I believe that all new coal-fired power plants should be built with carbon capture and sequestration capacity.”

This example shows that Biden, though in favor of alternative forms of energy, is favoring the continued use of more polluting energy production. Though his suggestions to clean the output of the coal-fired plants are viable, he does not address the more damaging concerns regarding the far more destructive coal mining and transportation operations.

Sarah Palin does not have a record with the LCV, as she has only been in politics for a few years. She is in favor of tapping existing fossil fuels (e.g., mining and drilling). Also, she recently spear-headed a lawsuit to remove the Polar Bear from the endangered species list – a change that would open previously protected habitats to drilling – an effort that will certainly not earn her the environmentalist vote.

Her lack of political experience also leaves her as a prime target for lobbyists. The fact that she hails from a state deeply dependent on Big Oil and a spouse employed by one of the major oil companies (BP), it remains likely that she will not be easily swayed to consider forms of energy that don’t include crude.

It is abundantly clear that the environment did not play much of a part in either of these VP decisions. Also, it is obvious that both candidates chose their running mates to shore them up in areas where they are lacking. Obama needed someone with more political experience, specially versed in US foreign policy. McCain, on the other hand, needed to offset his old-guy-with-one-foot-in-the-grave image, and therefore chose a young, attractive, dynamic running mate.

Talk is cheap… That is if anyone is paying attention.

By briansrapier

[via EcoGeek]


Entry filed under: Alternative Fuels, Biofuels, Energy, Environment, Fuel Economy, Informational, Politics. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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