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Dems, McCain Jockey on Environment


John McCain stands on the shores of the Chester Morse Lake in the Cedar River Watershed with Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Doug Sutherland, left, and Ralph Naess of Seattle Public Utilities in North Bend, Wash., May 13, 2008. (Associated Press)

By Juliet Eilperin
NORTH BEND, Wash. -- Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama are rejecting Republican rival John McCain's characterization of them as newcomers to the issue of global warming.

McCain (Ariz.) said Tuesday that voters would trust him more than the Democrats on climate change because he has focused on the issue since voters questioned him on it during the 2000 presidential campaign.

"I've been involved in this issue for many, many years," he said. "They have never, to my knowledge, been involved in legislation nor hearings nor engagement on this issue. I have a long history. I've traveled around the world and seen the impacts of climate change."

In fact, Clinton (N.Y.) joined McCain on two of the trips where he witnessed the impact of global warming. She accompanied him to the Canadian and Alaskan Arctic in 2005; the year before the senators journeyed together to the Norwegian island of Svalbard.

Clinton has voted consistently to curb greenhouse gas emissions since winning her Senate seat in 2000. As a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, she voted in 2002 for a bill that would have imposed limits on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants -- the first mandatory carbon cap ever considered by a Senate committee.

"Sen. McCain is welcome to rewrite history if he likes but the reality is that Senator Clinton has been very active on the issue of climate change," wrote Clinton spokesman Phil Singer in an e-mail.

Nor has Obama (Ill.) been a slacker when it comes to climate change. Last year he authored legislation directing the National Science Foundation to establish a climate change education program. He pushed for tightening federal fuel economy standards as part of the transportation bill, passed an amendment providing research money for hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles and sponsored legislation to partially reimburse some U.S. automakers for their retirees' health-care coverage in exchange for requiring them to invest at least 50 percent of their costs savings in technology to reduce gas consumption.

And although McCain emerged as the Senate GOP's most vocal climate change advocate several years ago by authoring legislation on the topic with Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), both Obama and Clinton have endorsed legislation that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions more dramatically than McCain's current plan.

McCain supports cutting U.S. emissions 60 percent compared with 1990 levels by 2050. Both Obama and Clinton back an 80 percent reduction by mid-century -- more in line with the targets outlined by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That panel has cautioned that in order to avoid dangerous climate change, worldwide greenhouse gas emissions must drop in half by 2050, requiring at least an 80 percent decline among industrialized countries because developing countries' emissions are expected to increase for at least another dozen years.

Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan was quick to criticize the presumptive GOP nominee's remarks on Tuesday.

"While Barack Obama has brought Republicans and Democrats together around plans to raise our fuel standards and invest in renewable energy, John McCain's 'long history' involves opposing countless measures to invest in renewable fuels and alternative energy technology," Sevugan said.

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said the Democrats were splitting hairs over the senator's remarks.

"Of the candidates who are running for president, there is no one who has demonstrated more leadership on the issue of global climate change than John McCain," Bounds said. "I believe he was making that point."

From the perspective of many foreign leaders, all three candidates mark a significant departure from President Bush and his current climate policy. "Looking at what the presidential candidates are saying, it's clear that they are going to be different," said British Environment Minister Hilary Benn, who is in the United States for meetings this week.

By Washington Post Editor  |  May 14, 2008; 7:17 AM ET
 
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Comments

LOL! :-D

What kind of People support a totally Un-Qualified Candidate for the Executive Seat?

Another reporter misspells Senator Obama's first name. I'm frustrated, to say the least. Do blogs not have editors?

Posted by: Jon |


"Barry" Spells Barak, with said C, -just live with it. BARACK.

LOL! His "Base"! :-D

Posted by: RAT-The | May 14, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

#1 Hey Ann Mochum,
Either you are a fanatic Repugnant/McCAIN SUPPORTER or you make > $200k in annual salary OR both!

Hillary is looking and sounding more like "Baghdad Bob" heading for the same end.
So Hillary won with ALL the Racist voters she has been wooing for the last two months - -
What - a - SURPRISE !!!!!!!
DID IT EVER OCCUR TO HRC and HER SUPPORTERS THAT WE INDEPENDANTS and SOME FORMER REPUBLICANS I KNOW OF, WILL NEVBER VOTE FOR THAT PHONY Hillary IF SHE SOMEHOW MANAGES TO STEAL THE NOMINATION FROM OBAMA ??!!
The shameless, bigoted MSM are GOING OUT OF THEIR WAY to ONLY FOCUS on the (racist) group of the electorate who WILL NEVER VOTE FOR AN AFR-AM MAN EVER!
GREAT JOB MSM !!

Posted by: Hussien for America | May 14, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Why do I hate our Congress-And all the FOOLS wanting to make one our President?

Well, maybe because one group dupes the other so effectively!

"In fact, Clinton (N.Y.) joined McCain on two of the trips where he witnessed the impact of global warming. She accompanied him to the Canadian and Alaskan Arctic in 2005; the year before the senators journeyed together to the Norwegian island of Svalbard."


To all the Clueless, allow me to say, VACATION TIME!

Golly, the Polar Bears might be over-populating, better go up to Alaska and look at one-I'll need my fishing gear and Rifle to get samples of the Bear's natural Foods! ;~)

John McCain and the two "Incompetents" ARE the Problems! THEY are either Existing Washington Dead Weight, or in the case of "Barry", a Stooge for the Oldest Dead Weight.

Get McSame/Amnesty off the GOP Ticket!

NOW!

Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are the Right Candidates. They can bury their hatchets in a Senile old Senator! Tell Huckster to just leave his Cross at home!

We are all aware he is a Failed Minister already. ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | May 14, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"Clinton Extends Her Lead Among Congressional Districts"

Read the full article, and what the Obama campaign doesn't want to talk about at:

http://politicallydrunk.blogspot.com/2008/05/clinton-extends-her-lead-among.html

Support The Obama Truth Week

Posted by: JB | May 14, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

"Clinton Extends Her Lead Among Congressional Districts"

Read the full article, and what the Obama campaign doesn't want to talk about at:

http://politicallydrunk.blogspot.com/2008/05/clinton-extends-her-lead-among.html

Support The Obama Truth Week

Posted by: JB | May 14, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse


NEW GOP ENERGY PLAN

McCain offer free Hay

for your horse and buggy

Posted by: voodoo economics | May 14, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Since the GOP resembles WV in percent of non-white 5% voters how much of the white vote does a DEM canidate need? 35%?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 14, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Another reporter misspells Senator Obama's first name. I'm frustrated, to say the least. Do blogs not have editors?

Posted by: Jon | May 14, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

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