McCain-Palin – the oil industry’s dream ticket

Global Warming
Photo Credit Stijn Vogels

I don’t pretend to know a whole lot about American politics and generally avoid commenting for that reason however, the addition of Sarah Palin to the Republican party presidential campaign meant I had to say something!

Sarah Palin is less of a friend to the environment than George Bush. I know that may be difficult to believe but remember that Gov Palin is from the state of Alaska whose economy is tied in pretty closely with oil and gas.

Consider that Gov Palin, earlier this year, sued the Bush Administration over its decision to place the Polar Bear under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, claiming that climate models predicting the continued loss of sea ice – the main habitat of polar bears – are unreliable! This at a time when North Pole has become an island for the first time the last 125,000 years as climate change has made it possible to circumnavigate the Arctic ice cap.

Then there is her recent about-face on drilling. In her speech at the convention Gov Palin said

Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America’s energy problems – as if we all didn’t know that already.

This seems to contradict completely her statement just last July that

I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can’t drill our way out of our problem

Just two weeks ago Gov Palin was calling for more off-shore drilling off Alaska’s coast. She characterized opponents as “manipulating politicians” and she also said that different

alternative-energy solutions are far from imminent and would require more than 10 years to develop

John McCain is at least as bad. He has been in the pocket of big oil for decades. Tom Friedman called him out a few weeks back for not showing up for a crucial vote on extending the investment tax credits for installing solar energy and the production tax credits for building wind turbines and other energy-efficiency systems. This was the 8th straight time he missed the vote. As Tom wrote:

Once, he was even in the Senate and wouldn’t leave his office to vote.

This is nothing new, as As the Center for American Progress reported in April:

In 2002 and 2005, there were votes in the Senate to require utilities nationwide to generate 10 percent or 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy resources. Sen. McCain voted against renewable electricity every time.

* 2005: Voted against a renewable portfolio standard
* 2002: Voted against 20 percent requirement:
* 2002 (Vote 55): Voted to gut 10 percent requirement:
* 2002 (Vote 59): voted to gut 10 percent requirement:

In the same report they also note that:

On average, senators voting for big oil tax breaks and against incentives for renewable energy and efficiency in 2007 received $195,973 in campaign donations from the oil industry during this decade. In 2007 alone, Sen. McCain received $291,658 from the oil and gas industry.

[My emphasis]

Contrast these positions with Sen Obama’s aggressive, comprehensive, and achievable energy plan and if you have any interest in your future well being or the well being of the planet, it is pretty clear who the necessary choice for president is.

Many of the links in this post were found via Joe Romm’s supremely informative ClimateProgress site.