DNC - McCain's Energy Plan: Fewer Jobs, More Waste for Nevada

Washington, DC - In the same week John McCain admitted that his new plan to end the moratorium on offshore oil drilling would have nothing more than a "psychological impact" on energy prices, McCain is bringing his out of touch campaign agenda to Nevada.  While recent polls show that three quarters of Nevadans oppose construction of a nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain, Senator McCain has repeatedly voted to approve it and now proposes the construction of at least 45 new nuclear power plants.  Presumably, Senator McCain's energy plan would require shipping the waste from those new plants to Nevada. 

One thing McCain won't bring to Nevada, however, is green jobs.  McCain has repeatedly voted against the kind of tax incentives that would promote investments in renewable energy and create green jobs.  Just last year, McCain opposed legislation that would have extended the renewable energy production tax credit, putting an estimated 116,000 American jobs at risk, including more than 76,000 in the wind industry and 40,000 in the solar industry.

"Senator McCain's plan for Nevada can by summed up in four words: fewer jobs, more waste," said Democratic National Committee Communications Director Karen Finney.  "Maybe Senator McCain thinks shipping more nuclear waste to Nevada will only have a 'psychological' impact on the state, but voters are right to be wonder why McCain has repeatedly said 'yes' to Yucca Mountain, but 'no' to incentives for renewable energy and green jobs.  Instead of joining President Bush and the oil industry in working to end the moratorium on offshore drilling, John McCain should join Democrats in offering real ideas for breaking America's dependence on foreign oil."


McCain Promised To Build 45 New Nuclear Reactors By 2030. At a campaign event in Missouri, McCain championed nuclear power as pivotal to reducing our dependence on foreign oil.  McCain said, "So, if I am elected president, I will set this nation on a course to building 45 new reactors by the year 2030, with the ultimate goal of 100 new plants to power the homes and factories and cities of America." [Speech, johnmccain.com, 6/18/08]

McCain's Proposal For 45 New Nuclear Reactors Is Almost A 50 Percent Increase Over Current Number Of Reactors In United States.  According to the Wall Street Journal, "…the U.S. has 104 nuclear reactors, which generate 20% of the nation's electricity." [Wall Street Journal, 6/19/2008]

McCain Has Consistently Voted to Approve Yucca Mountain As A Nuclear Waste Dump Site.  In 2002, John McCain voted to approve a site at Yucca Mountain as a repository for nuclear and radioactive waste.  After the vote, McCain said that storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain would answer "one of the most important environmental, health and public safety issues for the American people." In 2000, McCain voted to override the presidential veto of legislation that would establish a permanent nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.  In 1997, McCain similarly voted to establish a repository at the Mountain.  McCain voted yes on a similar bill in 1996.  [2002 Senate Vote #167, 7/9/2002; The Arizona Republic, 7/10/2002; 2000 Senate Vote #88, 5/2/2000; 1998 Senate Vote #148, 6/2/1998; 1997 Senate Vote #42, 4/15/1997; 1996 Senate Vote #259, 7/31/1996; 1996 Senate Vote #256, 7/31/1996]

McCain: "I Am For Yucca Mountain."  The Las Vegas Sun reported that in 2007 McCain told the Deseret News, "I am for Yucca Mountain. I'm for storage facilities. It's a lot better than sitting outside power plants all over America."  [Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, NV), 5/28/08]

McCain: "I Believe That Yucca Mountain Is A Suitable Place For Storage."  At a campaign event in Springfield, Pennsylvania, McCain said, "I believe that Yucca Mountain is a suitable place for storage and I know that there's controversy about it and lawsuits and all that.  But shouldn't America, a country as smart and as wise as we are, be able to find a place to store spent fuel?"  [CNN Live Feed (Springfield, PA), 3/14/08]

McCain Senior Adviser Holtz-Eakin Called Political Opposition To Yucca Mountain "Harmful To the U.S. Interests." "McCain criticized both Democrats for their opposition to Yucca Mountain. 'The political opposition to the Yucca Mountain storage facility is harmful to the U.S. interest and the facility should be completed, opened and utilized,' McCain adviser Holtz-Eakin said." [Reuters, 5/6/08]


2007: McCain Opposed Legislation Extending The Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit; Recent Study Concluded More than 116,000 Jobs Could be Lost  If the Tax Credit is Not Extended.  John McCain supported the filibuster of the 2007 energy bill that included an extension of the production tax credit to 2011.   While McCain missed the vote to on the bill, according to his staff he did, in fact, support the continuing the filibuster, which eventually killed the bill.  In its place, Congress passed another version of the legislation that did not include an extension of the tax credit.  A 2008 economic study by Navigant Consulting found that "over 116,000 U.S. jobs and nearly $19 billion in U.S. investment could be lost in just one year if renewable energy tax credits are not renewed by Congress… The study concluded that over 76,000 jobs are put at risk in the wind industry, and approximately 40,000 jobs in the solar industry." [HR 6, Vote 425, 12/13/07, Failed 59-40: R 9-39 D 48-1 I 2-0; Forbes, 12/13/07; U.S. News & World Report, 12/14/07; American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association press release, 2/4/08]

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Legislation McCain Opposed Included Investment Set To Expire Next Year For Generators Of Geothermal, Wind And Solar Power.  "Compromises that won passage for a major energy bill in the Senate this week left investors for geothermal, wind and solar resources out in the cold.  After a long struggle, the Senate passed the bill late Thursday. It increases vehicle fuel mileage standards and encourages energy efficiency in federal buildings and in electricity-guzzling appliances. The House is expected to take a final vote next week.  But passage was assured only after negotiators removed provisions that would set a requirement that 15 percent of electricity come from renewable sources by 2020. Also gone were extensions for investment and production tax credits set to expire next year for generators of geothermal, wind and solar power. 'From the standpoint of renewable energy, the compromises were certainly a missed opportunity, and they were out of step with much of the support we get from across the country,' said Gregory Wetsone, director of government affairs at the American Wind Energy Association." [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 12/15/07]

San Francisco Chronicle: Legislation McCain Opposed Also Sought Eliminate Tax Cuts for Oil Companies and Instead Fund Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the 2007 energy bill that McCain opposed "would have revoked $13.5 billion in tax breaks from the five largest oil companies. The money would have been redirected into tax incentives for solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, wave energy and other renewables. Consumers would have received a $3,000 tax credit for buying an electric plug-in hybrid and a tax credit of up to $4,000 for installing solar panels to power their homes.  But the measure failed on a 59-40 vote, falling one vote shy of the 60 votes needed to end debate and move the bill forward." [2007 Vote 425, 12/13/07; The San Francisco Chronicle, 12/14/07]

2006: McCain Voted Against Extending The Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit And Over $290 For Renewable Energy Research. McCain voted against an amendment to extend the renewable energy production tax credit and clean renewable energy bonds programs for four years including $290 million for renewable energy R&D on Solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydropower. [2006 Senate Vote #42, 3/14/2006]