McCain vocalizes clean energy plan

By Kris Bevill | June 02, 2008
Web exclusive posted June 23, 2008 at 3:18 p.m. CST

U.S. republican presidential candidate John McCain announced today his plan to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil. At a town hall meeting in Fresno, Calif., McCain declared that, if elected, he will lead the effort to "develop advanced transportation technologies and alternative fuels" in order to make the United States more energy independent.

As part of his plan, McCain said he will call on automakers to more rapidly make the switch to producing flex-fuel vehicles. Automakers have already committed to make 50 percent of their vehicles flex-fuel compatible by 2012. McCain thinks they can do better than that.

Also, while McCain said today he believes corn ethanol and cellulosic ethanol hold great promise, he continues to be an advocate for eliminating the current ethanol tariff. "We need to level the playing field and eliminate mandates, subsidies, tariffs and price supports that focus exclusively on corn-based ethanol and prevent the development of market-based solutions," McCain said.

The most substantial announcement made by McCain today was the issuance of a "Clean Car Challenge." McCain offered to commit a $5,000 tax credit to automakers for every zero-emissions car produced and sold to consumers. He also proposed a $300 million prize to the company that develops a battery package to make plug-in hybrids or electric cars commercially available.