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CLIMATE CHANGE, ELECTION CHANGE (Reinhard)
The Oregonian ^ | May 15, 2008 | David Reinhard

Posted on 05/15/2008 10:38:57 AM PDT by jazusamo

It's been a swell few months for the Republican base since John McCain wrapped up the nomination. Democrats have disemboweled themselves in a titanic clash that pits Barack Obama's hope against Hillary Clinton's history. The Clintons have shown their true colors in helping voters to see Obama's. Republicans have reunited in a way that was unthinkable just months ago, although, as McCain told me this week, there's still "re-energizing to do."

Monday's global warming speech at Vestas Wind Technology likely won't help. Then, again, it probably wasn't supposed to. Re-energizing the base is so primary season. Monday was the start of the general election campaign for McCain. That means courting moderates, independents and Democrats -- appealing to the center -- which has been McCain's strength.

And this will drive the GOP's conservative base bonkers -- even as it also makes McCain the most electable Republican presidential candidate in this most un-Republican of years.

"We have many advantages in the fight against global warming, but time is not one of them. Instead of idly debating the precise extent of global warming, or the precise timeline of global warming, we need to deal with the central facts of rising temperatures, rising waters and all the endless troubles that global warming will bring."

I could have been at an Obama or Clinton speech or an Al Gore PowerPoint presentation. But, no, there was the presumptive GOP nominee, declaring the climate-change debate over and environmental doom on the way unless we act now.

Yes, it takes getting used to if you're skeptical about (a) man-made global warming or (b) man's ability to reverse global warming in any real way without job-killing, GDP-reducing, income-lowering government mandates.

But then, this speech wasn't for the skeptics, and it was only partially for those worried about pesky costs and benefits. It was for voters in the middle of the climate-change debate -- voters who want action -- but may not be comfortable with the stands of Obama or Clinton and their allies among the extreme-green environmental groups.

McCain talks up his plan to cap and trade greenhouse gas emissions as a market-oriented approach, but it would still involve the government giving companies allowances (caps) for carbon emissions. The companies could trade unused allowances with other companies that need more allowances. Extra allowances would also be available through government auction.

Yes, as McCain says, this would unleash the forces of American innovation, since companies would have extra incentives to move away from carbon-based fuels. But this new market would still involve a heavy government presence in our energy economy and cost industry and consumers big bucks.

McCain believes his plan differs from Obama's and Clinton's in key respects. They "want to mandate certain winners and losers," and this "clearly means more big government." Also, he wants nuclear power to be part of the answer reducing greenhouse gases: "I don't see how you get there without nuclear."

It's easy to see why. As he pointed out, our 104 nuclear reactors produce about 20 percent of our electricity, and no greenhouse gas emissions. Without them, another 700 million tons of carbon dioxide would go up into the sky each year. That equals almost all emissions from U.S. cars. Imagine if nuclear energy produced more than half of our electricity, as it does in France. McCain thinks a cap-and-trade market would improve the economics of nuclear power.

He understands conservative discomfort with him on whether man-made global warming is a reality, but he asks this question: Even if I'm wrong, what do we lose by going in this direction?

His answer: We'll still have cut our dependence on foreign oil, which is "a national security issue."

Beyond this, he says, "I hope they will look at what is fundamentally a market approach."

If none of this proves satisfying, GOP conservatives may have to find other reasons to perk up in the general election campaign. One, this is the kind of bipartisan centrism that comes naturally to McCain and that voters find appealing. Two, there's this other inconvenient truth: McCain will be the GOP presidential nominee and his global warming policy -- much like his larger presidential candidacy -- beats the Democratic alternative.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008; globalwarming; mccain; reinhard

1 posted on 05/15/2008 10:38:57 AM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

all your base are belong to history.

McCain and post-partisanship rules. (where have we heard that capitulatory term before?)


2 posted on 05/15/2008 10:45:41 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICE toll-free tip hotlineĀ—1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRget!!!)
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To: jazusamo; proud_yank; FrPR; enough_idiocy; rdl6989; IrishCatholic; Normandy; Delacon; ...
 




Beam me to Planet Gore !

3 posted on 05/15/2008 10:54:56 AM PDT by steelyourfaith
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To: NormsRevenge

I think Reinhard stated it pretty well but would have liked to have seen him come down on McCain for his climate change pandering.


4 posted on 05/15/2008 10:55:18 AM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: NormsRevenge

Some body is going to have to invent the best nose holder in history.


5 posted on 05/15/2008 10:55:33 AM PDT by rocksblues (Folks we are in trouble, "Mark Levin" 03/26/08)
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To: jazusamo

“It’s been a swell few months for the Republican base since John McCain wrapped up the nomination.”

Someone is smoking rope.


6 posted on 05/15/2008 10:56:15 AM PDT by Grunthor (Juan agrees with Ted Kennedy on Amnesty, Gore on GW & says Hillary'd be a good POTUS)
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To: Grunthor

I’m not so sure, he didn’t say conservative base.


7 posted on 05/15/2008 10:59:38 AM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo

Reminds me of an old tagline around here....”Are you a Conservative, or just a Republican?”


8 posted on 05/15/2008 11:01:15 AM PDT by Grunthor (Juan agrees with Ted Kennedy on Amnesty, Gore on GW & says Hillary'd be a good POTUS)
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To: jazusamo
He understands conservative discomfort with him on whether man-made global warming is a reality, but he asks this question: Even if I'm wrong, what do we lose by going in this direction?

The people who have to pay for the higher cost of carbon emissions taxes on everything they buy and use, transported by carbon-emitting semi trucks.

9 posted on 05/15/2008 11:15:33 AM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: mvpel

Correct...Plus the listing of polar bears that came out yesterday will only be the tip of the iceberg, no pun intended. Enviros will have this country locked up as far as energy goes for decades.


10 posted on 05/15/2008 11:25:18 AM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: Grunthor
“It’s been a swell few months for the Republican base since John McCain wrapped up the nomination.”
Someone is smoking rope.

Well I for one have enjoyed sitting in the bleachers throwing (metaphorical) brickbats at all three rings of the presidential electoral circus.

11 posted on 05/15/2008 2:20:24 PM PDT by Fraxinus (My opinion, worth what you paid.)
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To: Fraxinus

“Well I for one have enjoyed sitting in the bleachers throwing (metaphorical) brickbats at all three rings of the presidential electoral circus.”

Always fun attacking libs. This year, we got us what they call “a target rich environment.”


12 posted on 05/15/2008 3:01:32 PM PDT by Grunthor (Juan agrees with Ted Kennedy on Amnesty, Gore on GW & says Hillary'd be a good POTUS)
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