John McCain likes to point to his record on climate change as an example of an issue on which he differs with the Bush administration. But over time his once good-for-a-Republican record on this has started to look more and more threadbare. He wound up abandoning the legislative process formerly known as McCain-Lieberman, and actively opposed its successor, the McCain-Warner bill. McCain opposes all known efforts to encourage renewable electrical sources, and he's repeatedly promised to try to encourage low gasoline prices through increased drilling and reductions in taxes on oil companies. And now here's McCain economic adviser Steve Forbes more-or-less promising that McCain would, in practice, abandon cap and trade on carbon emissions:
Brad Johnson notes that if McCain follows Forbes here, he'll be following in the footsteps of Bush who promised to regulate carbon dioxide on the campaign trail in 2000 before deciding he liked pollution a lot.
McCain's increasingly watered-down position on climate has managed to pay dividends in terms of a huge spike in campaign contributions from oil and gas interests. It's McCain's right to sell out on this topic, but one hopes that if executives for polluting companies can notice that McCain's changes his stripes here that campaign reporters can as well.
UPDATE: Two things. First, clearly, that should be the "Lieberman-Warner" bill that McCain now opposes. Also, I'm told that McCain now says he favors renewable energy tax incentives even though he's always voted against them in the past.
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