McCain's energy plan: let the market decide

Now that John McCain has been officially enthroned as the Republican party's choice for the window seat in the Oval Office, it's time to look at his proposals for how to deal with this country's seemingly insatiable thirst for energy. As expected, the focus of McCain's plan is to let the market decide what the best and most efficient means are to reduce America's dependence on imported petroleum and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A cap and trade system that would allow polluters to buy emissions offsets lies at the heart of the plan. Part of the system would involve auctioning off of emissions permits, presumably the way the FCC has done with spectrum auctions for wireless providers. Some of the proceeds from these auctions would be used to help support prize programs for the development of advanced technologies, such as McCain's $300 million battery prize. Some of the money would also be used to help low income people move to more efficient technologies.
McCain also wants to eliminate both subsidies for corn ethanol and tariffs on imported biofuels like sugar cane ethanol from Brazil. While McCain supports the development of next-generation biofuels and wants automakers to accelerate getting more flex-fuel vehicles on the market, he makes no mention whatever of distribution. While Brazil has encouraged ethanol and flex-fuel, the country has also mandated that fuel stations have to include ethanol pumps. The candidate also supports tax credits of up to $5,000 for purchasing plug-in vehicles and bigger fines for manufacturers that miss CAFE targets. To help reduce carbon emissions further and help support the use plug-ins, McCain wants to build 45 new nuclear plants over the next two decades. Offsetting this, McCain also wants to spend $2 billion a year for the next fifteen years on clean coal technology. Even if they can carbon capture on a large scale, McCain makes no mention of the environmental impact of current mining techniques like mountain top removal. Check out more at GFF.

[Source: Green Fuels Forecast]

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