McCain vs. McCain on the Environment

Last night in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Senator McCain vowed to put America ahead of party. 

This statement struck me as odd considering that since becoming the GOP's presumptive nominee, McCain has abandoned his past moderate environmental views and adopted the much less environmentally friendly platform of his party.

On Fuel Efficiency ---
  • Old McCain: In 2002 he sponsored a bill in the Senate with John Kerry raising fuel efficiency standards to 36 miles per gallon by 2016. Read more HERE. 
  • New McCain: In 2007 he failed to even vote on a law, which passed the Senate 86-8, that raised fuel efficiency standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. Read more HERE.
On Global Warming ---
  • Old McCain: In 2003, McCain and Joe Lieberman sponsored the Senate's first law that restricted carbon emissions. Read more HERE.
  • New McCain: In 2007 the Senate failed by one vote to pass a tax credit that would help expand clean energy sources, McCain was the only Senator who didn't vote on the law. Read more HERE. 
  • Old McCain: In 2003 & 2004, McCain held hearings on climate change as Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee. Read more HERE. 
  • New McCain: In 2008, McCain flip-flopped on the bi-partisan Warner-Lieberman Climate Change Act, an aggressive piece of legislation written by Senior Republican Virginia Senator John Warner and Senior Independent Connecticut Senator Lieberman that was praised as a great step in fighting global warming.  During his campaign's "Green Tour" McCain said he would support the bill but later said he wouldn't support it. In the end, he just didn't vote at all. Read more HERE. 
On the Oil Industry ---
  • Old McCain: In 2005, McCain voted against the 2005 Energy Bill which was written by Dick Cheney and old industry lobbyists behind closed doors. It gave billions in tax incentives to oil companies during their most profitable years. Read more HERE
  • New McCain: In 2008, McCain's presidential platform includes $3.8 billion in tax breaks for the top 5 largest American oil companies. Read more HERE.  Shockingly, McCain's current "Renewable Energy" platform says he support tax subsidies until..."the market transforms sufficiently to the point where renewable energy no longer merits the taxpayers' dollars. "  In February,  Exxon-Mobile alone set the record for the highest annual and quarterly profits in American history, do profits like that "merit taxpayers' dollars?" Read more HERE.
On the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ---
  • Old McCain: In January of this year, McCain said drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was akin to drilling for oil in the Grand Canyon and the Everglades. Read more HERE.
  • New McCain: In June, he said he was willing to go back and reconsider drilling in ANWR. See the video HERE. In August he reiterated his plan to reconsider his opposition to drilling in ANWR.  Read more HERE. Just two weeks ago, McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate, she fully supports drilling for oil in ANWR immediately. Read more HERE. 
On Offshore Oil Drilling ---
  • Old McCain: In 1999, as a presidential candidate, McCain scolded the Clinton administration for extending 36 offshore oil leaves along the California coast. He also scolded the special interests in Washington that sought offshore drilling leases. Read moreHERE. 
  • New McCain: In June of this year, McCain called for the moratorium on offshore oil drilling to be lifted so oil companies could drill for oil in America's oceans. Immediately, McCain's oil industry executive campaign contributions raised from just over $200,000 in May to over $1.1 million in June. Read more HERE. 
On the League of Conservation Votes ---
  • Old McCain: In 2004, McCain was endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters in his Senate Campaign. Read more HERE. 
  • New McCain: In 2007, McCain received a 0% rating by the League of Conservation Voters because of his failure to vote on a single piece of environmental legislation. Now the League has endorsed his opponent, Barack Obama in the presidential election. Read more HERE.
On Keeping Your Tires Inflated --- 
  • Current McCain: On August 4th, the McCain campaign handed out tire gauges to mock Obama's call to Americans to conserve gasoline by doing things like keeping tires inflated. McCain laughed at Obama's idea even though McCain supporters California Gov. Schwarzenegger and Florida Gov. Crist have recommended, along with Nascar, tire inflation for conservation. Read more HERE
  • Current McCain: Two days later, McCain said at a town hall meeting, "Obama said a couple of days ago says we should all inflate our tires. I don't disagree with that. The American Automobile Association strongly recommends it." Read more HERE. 
The sad truth is that McCain has been debating McCain on environmental issues this entire campaign. He could participate in a lively and lengthy debate with himself on environmental policy for hours. It seems that when McCain is interested in exciting his base, he doesn't put "Country First."

UPDATE: Oct. 1 2008 --- Some more information sent in from reader C.M.

See "McCain Turns Back on Grand Canyon"

Good stewardship for The Grand Canyon National Park has often been touted as an example of McCain's support for the environment but real life events in the past 8 years prove the opposite.

"....There has been a recent dramatic increase in mining claims on uranium-rich federal lands adjacent to the park. And there is now growing concern that radioactive mining waste could contaminate the park and also seep into the Colorado River, which provides drinking water to more than 25 million people. While out on the hustings, McCain has been pushing his plan to build more than 100 nuclear power plants over the next 50 years, as one possible answer to U.S. dependency on foreign oil. So, it appears that, rather than trying to forge a nuclear energy policy that also protects the park and the river, McCain has opted to vanish from the controversy now raging in his home state..."

" ...McCain gave us hope that he might be a Teddy Roosevelt type of Republican,” said Roger Clark, air and water director for The Grand Canyon Trust, a Flagstaff, Ariz., environmental group. “Since the beginning of his run for president, including 2000, that has kind of crumbled.”...
Coastal & Wetlands Conservation

 McCain has expressed concern that America's "no net loss" wetlands policy is not being achieved but McCain has clearly decided he's making a big deal about drilling offshore. Louisiana has oil and gas under its marshes, and when you go in there to drill, you're bound to spill something.  McCain has also suggested that he would reconsider his past opposition to oil drilling in the coastal wetlands regions of ANWR. Extensive drilling of the type McCain advocates could do significant damage to existing the nations wetlands.


  1. How could a man who once was somewhat of a leader on environmental issues choose a running mate who doesn't even believe in global warming? I have lost all respect for him.

  2. Clearly he thinks he *must* get elected -- even if that means choosing a seriously under-qualified running mate, who disagrees with him on many important matters -- and even if it means running a shabby campaign that the old McCain would have been ashamed of. I suspect he thinks that pursuing the war in Iraq is worth all these trade-offs, but whatever his motives, it sure is disheartening to see.

  3. i don't like McCain he's dumb