Republican presidential candidate John McCain was in southeast Michigan yesterday at the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant. Just 24 hours after Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke about his energy plan, McCain laid out part of his energy platform. The Arizona Senator began his remarks by saying, “It’s time we got serious about energy independence.”
McCain stated that he supports the construction of an additional 45 nuclear power plants as a way to “reduce our dependence on foreign oil without adding to climate change.” McCain did not present any new energy policy proposals while in Michigan, instead he continued to promote what he calls his Lexington Project. The Lexington Project calls for an expansion of domestic oil exploration and production, a clean car challenge, the use of what is referred to as “clean coal,” an investment in alternative energy, and a “cap and trade system that would set limits on greenhouse gas emissions.” Under McCain’s plan, there would be a 60% reduction in carbon levels by 2050.
McCain took the opportunity to criticize Senator Obama by saying that the Democratic Senator “was against off-shore drilling and against nuclear power.” The fact is that in recent days Barak Obama has reconsidered his position on off-shore drilling and has been a strong proponent of nuclear power. Recently, the two presidential candidates have been making claims about each other’s energy policies. In a new ad by the Obama campaign, the ad overstates McCain’s relationship to oil companies and how much money his campaign has received from them. According to the non-partisan FactCheck.org, McCain has received $1.3 million from the oil industry, not the $2 million the ad claims. The Obama ad also claims that McCain would “propose another $4 billion in tax breaks” for the oil industry. However, FactCheck.org writes, “McCain is not proposing new tax breaks specifically targeted to the oil industry. He’s proposing a general reduction in the corporate income tax rate, which Democrats figure would benefit the five largest oil and gas companies by $3.8 billion.”
McCain did address a crowd of supporters while in southeast Michigan, but according to the Detroit News, there were protestors outside the gates of the nuclear power plant, several of them were union workers with the Fermi 2 plant who held signs in support of Senator Obama.