About The Author

Kim Hiss, an associate editor at Field & Stream, has hunted ducks, antelope, turkeys, and deer throughout the country, enjoying a number of women's hunts along the way. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Click here to email Kim.

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October 01, 2008

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Energy Policy v.s. Energy Policy (plus, the Gear Giveaway Begins!)

     Interviews with Senators Barack Obama and John McCain are in the October issue of Field & Stream, with each candidate discussing issues such as guns, the Clean Water Act, and the CRP. Following those Q&A's, I figured I'd spend some time on both campaign's Websites to remind myself what they're saying to the general public about their energy and environmental visions for the country.
    What follows are extremely shortened versions of the positions posted on both Sen. McCain's Website and Sen. Obama's Website. But the quick hits below at least include some of the assertions both candidates make most often.

Sen. Obama says he will...
- Ensure that 10 percent of electricity comes from sustainable sources (solar, wind, and geo-thermal) by 2012.
- Provide incentives to accelerate private sector investment in zero-carbon coal facilities.
- Make safeguarding nuclear material a top anti-terrorism priority, and find safe disposal solutions based on scientific analysis.

Sen. McCain says he will...
- Commit $2 billion annually to advancing clean coal technologies.
- Construct 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030, with the eventual goal of ultimately constructing 100 new plants.
- "Encourage" the markets for alternative, low carbon fuels such as wind, hydro, and solar power.

Sen. McCain says he believes...
- It's time for the federal government to lift restrictions on drilling American reserves such as the Outer Continental Shelf.
- It's important to cooperate with the states and the Department of Defense in the decisions to develop these resources.

Sen. Obama says he will...
- Eliminate our current imports from Venezuela and the Middle East within 10 years.
- Require oil companies to develop the 68 million acres of land (over 40 million of which are offshore), which they have already leased and are not drilling.

Sen. Obama says he will...
- Get 1 million plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015. Such vehicles can get up to 150 miles per gallon and should be made in the USA.
- Create a new $7,000 tax credit for purchasing these "advanced vehicles."
- Provide $4 billion for domestic automakers to retool their American manufacturing facilities to produce vehicles with higher fuel economy standards.

Sen. McCain says he will...
- Commit a $5,000 tax credit for each customer who buys a zero carbon emission car to encourage automakers to get such vehicles on the market.
- Propose a $300 million prize to improve battery technology for the full commercial development of plug-in hybrid and fully electric cars.
- Call on automakers to make a more complete switch to Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFV's).

      How much do energy and conservation issues factor into your vote? Do you trust each candidate to enact their policies after taking office, or are these just talking points to win an election? And which of these candidates do you think will be a better steward-in-chief?
    By the way, you'll be noticing more discussion-friendly topics on the blog because the Gear Giveaway is officially open! Starting with this post, I'll be reading your weekly comments with an eye to choosing the best one, and every Friday, I'll announce a winner. This year we're happy to have the participation of our blog sponsor, Filson and its women's line of outdoor gear, who is excited to be providing some great prizes.
    So with energy and conservation policy in mind (don't worry, there will be plenty of posts not dealing with politics), let the Giveaway begin! -K.H.


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Hmmm, Obama's plans to make oil companies use 28 million acres that are on land. Wonder if the majority of that land is in prime hunting/fishing areas? People will only complain if they see the oil well or it's effects on the land... so I guess only hunters and hikers might see the new landscape courtesy of a new administration.

Lou Alexander

I guess Obama is trying to buy our votes with a higher rebate than McCain's, plus give 4 billion to the auto makers to pay for the retooling for something that they should have been investing in already. Plan on your taxes going up to pay for all of this.

I'm all for conservation, but I feel like we as country have been sitting with our thumbs up our butts since the 70's oil crisis. We have no one to blame but ourselves. We should all become better stewards with our resources and the goverment should become progressive with funding new technologies that actually work, which leaves ethonol out, and continue with wind, solar and nuclear.

If we can figure out how to send a man to the moon and back, I think we are up to the challenge of finding a better, cleaner fuel source.

I don't think either candidate can fulfill their promises, although McCain has more realistic plans than Obama does.

Laura Bell

I'm going to be glad when this years election is over. I for one don't really care for either canidate, mainly because I don't think they can stand behind all or even half of their promises, energy or whatever else.
One thing I have to hand to Obama is that he says he will change the pay difference between men and women. Women only make 77cents of the dollar a man makes, and that's not right.
But, a big bash to Obama is when one of his ads mentioned Palin "Slaughters" animals, since she hunts. That tells me where Obama stands on hunting.


I don't believe either candidate can follow thru with their campaign promises. I am so confused & worried about the state of this nation - 700 Billion Bail Out!!!! I do not trust anything I hear. The answer? I don't have one, I just believe neither candidate is going to be the one to solve our countries problems. So I guess it's up to us the American public to make sure they stick to their stories after elected. How do you do that?