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Kaine-Allen represent Obama-McCain at energy forum

October 15th, 2008 · No Comments

This morning, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (D) and former governor/former senator George Allen (R) acted as surrogates for the Obama and McCain campaigns in an energy forum. From a live-blogging account, it seems clear that the two did a reasonable job as surrogates.: Obama’s policies came out as sensible (even if not aggressive enough) and Allen accurately reflected McCain’s DisDain for the realities of the challenges and opportunities before us on energy issues.

And, notably, astroturfing organizations made their presence felt at the event. For example, this photo is of George Allen receiving a “clean coal” baseball cap from an ACCCE, which is a coal-industry astroturf group.

George Allen demonstrated his ignorance on multiple levels.

  • George Allen stated that Cuba is drilling for oil off the US coast. [This is a falsehood that even Dick Cheney recognizes this isn't true.]
  • Allen emphasized offshore drilling “I’d just as soon be getting our energy off the coast of Virginia as off the coast of Saudi Arabia or Venezuela.” [Simply and bluntly put: we don't have the resources off Virginia's coast to meet the Commonwealth's energy demand despite the Virginia GOP's concerted echoing of the national Republican Party's deception about drilling.]
  • This was part and parcel of Allen’s emphasis on drilling as a core solution to America’s problems. That the resources to solve our energy problems are “under our land and our water”. [The best capturing of this is Congressman Jay Inslee's comment:
  • John McCain thinks that when you look for energy, you look under your feet.

    Barack Obama believes you look above the shoulders and between your ears.

  • Allen argued that coal is a path toward increased jobs. [Ignorance or deceit? Coal mining jobs have falled tremendously in the past few decades, even as production has increased.]
  • Allen doesn’t recognize the values of energy efficiency, suggesting that “green” is appropriate for public buildings but that we “can’t expect” private developers to be willing to invest in green buildings. [Again, is this simply ignorance? "Green" buildings make private owners some serious green. For basically the same acquisition cost, there is lower energy use (bills), lowered bills for water/sewage, lower maintenance and repair costs, higher productivity, higher occupancy and rent levels, and higher resale values.]
  • Tim Kaine seems to have done a good job representing both Obama and reasonable concepts for a more sensible energy future.

  • Kaine says we can’t look to the past for solutions — we need to invent the future that we want. Calls that “a sharp difference between these two campaigns.”
  • Obama believes you grow the economy by investing. Obama supports Metro funding and rail to Dulles, while McCain has a record of being anti-public transportation. Says McCain’s strategy can be summed up by “drill, baby, drill.” [Note: as seen in Allen's comments.]
  • offshore drilling should be “a small part” of a comprehensive energy package. Says oil drilling is “a dead end strategy for this nation” and calls for more clean energy.
  • America needs to take a leadership role in the world in clean energy technology and cutting carbon emissions.
  • Kaine’s glaring weakness, not surprisingly, came in the coal arena, with his embracing of the ‘clean coal‘ myth and the myth that we can’t get off coal. His statement that “we can’t go to a no-coal future” is simply not factually true. Hopefully, in this arena, Tim Kaine was accurately reflecting Tim Kaine’s views rather than a surrogate for Barack Obama.

    NOTE: For more, check out GreenMiles work at Raising Kaine.

    Tags: 2008 Presidential Election · 2008 presidential campaign · Energy · coal · energy efficiency · government energy policy · politics