McCain's Not-So-Straight Talk on the Environment

I was just reading some more of Lincoln Chafee's fascinating book, Against The Tide, the chapter about how the Senate dealt with environmental issues in light of Cheney's success in persuading Bush-- if it took much, or even any persuasion-- to do a 180 on his campaign promises to be an environmentally friendly president. When Cheney announced to a gathering of Republican senators that the Regime had decided to throw away all their environmental pledges, the crowd burst out into a chorus of cowboy whoops and cheers. But Chafee-- at least in the part of the chapter I finished over dinner last night-- named McCain as one of the small cadre of Republicans who helped save ANWAR from the oil companies (a passion of Chafee's).

Today's Washington Post gets further into the weeds. Basically McCain is significantly better than Global Warming deniers like Inhofe... but not as good as the worst, most reactionary Democrats, anti-environmental hacks Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, and Max Baucus. There are also 9 Republicans with consistently better environmental voting records than McCain (Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Judd Gregg, Gordon Smith, Arlen Specter, John Thune, John Sununu, Bob Corker, and Norm Coleman-- all of whom have barely mediocre environmental voting records).

The Post makes a point that McCain is "the most unpredictable, erratic" Republican who sometimes support pro-environmental policies.


McCain has made the environment one of the key elements of his presidential bid. He speaks passionately about the issue of climate change on the campaign trail, and he plans to outline his vision for combating global warming in a major speech today in Portland, Ore.
"I'm proud of my record on the environment," he said at a news conference Friday at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. "As president, I will dedicate myself to addressing the issue of climate change globally."
But an examination of McCain's voting record shows an inconsistent approach to the environment: He champions some "green" causes while casting sometimes contradictory votes on others.
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