Is John McCain's $300m battery prize a good idea? Pelosi chimes in

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has come out swinging RE energy issues these last few days, with the two big stories for us being the $300m battery prize money and all that talk about nuclear. Of course, the Democrats can't let all these ideas go un-remarked upon, right? 'Coure not. Therefore, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement yesterday (pasted after the break) on McCain's energy proposals. As far as the battery money goes, Pelosi did not criticize the idea directly, but instead took aiim at McCain's previous lack of support for "more efficient cars, new energy technologies and green jobs" and she repeatedly connected him to still President Bush. Not the most effective strategy to shoot down an opponent's proposals, perhaps, but this is politics, not a real debate. I think our own readers did a fine job of pointing out some of the flaws in McCain's proposal. Maybe Pelosi should be taking tips from y'all.
Press Release:

Pelosi Statement on Senator McCain's Energy Proposals

WASHINGTON, June 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on Senator John McCain's energy proposals:

"With American consumers and businesses struggling as the price at the pump cascades across our economy, Senator McCain's proposals show he aims to continue the 'drill and veto' policies of the current Administration. John McCain's energy proposal is an attempt to divert attention away from his recent flip flop and his support of the failed Bush-Cheney policies that have resulted in skyrocketing gasoline prices for consumers and skyrocketing profits for Big Oil.

"Last week, Senator McCain reversed himself and said we need to drill more. Today, he has reversed years of failing to support more efficient cars, new energy technologies and green jobs. Democrats welcome a debate on energy independence from Senator McCain, but we just don't know which John McCain we are debating.

"Americans are suffering under the Bush-Cheney-McCain policies that were written by Big Oil: $4 a gallon gasoline; $136 per barrel oil and increased reliance on foreign sources of energy. Americans need and deserve a consistent vision for energy independence that will invest in real solutions from their next President."

* * *

Some of McCain's Missed Opportunities on Energy


Sen. John McCain missed two critical energy votes on H.R. 6, The Energy Independence and Security Act, in December 2007. These votes - on December 7th and 13th - would have stopped debate and allowed a vote on an energy bill that included critical tax incentives for renewable energy sources - a bill to strengthen national security, lower energy costs, reduce global warming, grow our economy and create new jobs, and increase American energy independence. These votes were critical to making a $21 billion investment in clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency, including a $3,000 tax credit to help working families afford fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. On the morning of December 13th, Sen. John McCain was the only United States Senator to not vote on this measure. The cloture vote needed sixty votes to pass. It failed, 59-40 and Senate Republicans forced the tax credits to be stripped from the larger energy bill in order to protect $13 billion in subsidies for Big Oil. [Senate Vote #416, 12/7/07; Senate Vote #425, 12/13/07]

The New Direction Congress has already passed innovative energy legislation ( and will bring the following four additional proposals to the House floor this week:

-- Reducing Transit Fares (H.R. 6052) - Gives grants to mass transit authorities to lower fares for commuters pinched at the pump and expand transit services.

-- Cracking Down on Price Gouging- Gives enforcement authority to the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and punish those who artificially inflate fuel prices, similar to legislation passed last year.

-- Closing the "Enron-like London Loophole" for Petroleum Markets - Takes steps to curb excessive speculation in the energy futures markets, which experts have noted is driving up the price of a barrel of oil.

-- "Use It Or Lose It" for Oil Companies Holding Permits and Not Drilling
- Compels the oil industry to start drilling or lose permits on the 68 million acres of undeveloped federal oil reserves which they are currently warehousing, keeping domestic supply lower and prices higher.

[Source: Office of the Speaker of the House]

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