McCain’s jab: presidential hopeful touts cap and trade in the fight against climate change

U.S. presidential candidate John McCain talked up energy and the environment in a campaign speech in Ottawa this afternoon. Climate climate figured prominently in his speech. McCain called for cap and trade as an effective way to reduce carbon emissions, underscoring the importance of the first punch in the decisive one-two combination that will jolt North American energy and environment policy and achieve the first truly meaningful carbon emission reductions.

Fittingly, the “two” in that one-two punch is nuclear power. A half-century of hard data proves the atom is by far the most effective, and least expensive, of the technological solutions to climate change. McCain has said he would use the proceeds from a cap-and-trade auction to finance new nuclear build. He is the only prominent politician north or south of the border to advocate this approach.

Hopefully someone in Canada will notice this. When it comes to policy, love him or hate him, McCain is a true heavyweight.

Otherwise though, ho hum. It’s mid-June, and we’re entering the deadest part of the U.S. presidential election cycle. McCain needs to keep busy and look presidential. He’ll take whatever media coverage comes his way, including Canadian, on the off-chance that one of the big U.S. media vehicles will pick it up. It’s tough to get coverage, even if you’re a presidential candidate. Few television networks south of the border bothered to broadcast any part of the Ottawa speech, even though McCain went out of his way to talk about NAFTA—a subject that has become a persistent source of embarrassment for his rival Barack Obama.

McCain’s speech lasted about fifteen minutes. During that time, Electric Power Statistics says Ontario power plants emitted around 1,300 tonnes of greenhouse gases.

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