Perhaps it’s because their conservative base is wary of the environmental issue, or maybe it’s because they don’t want to sound like tax-and-spend liberals, but the Republicans are quieter than the Democrats when it comes to exact figures for funding clean technologies.
However, the major Republican candidates have come out and made statements about where greener innovation stands on their priority lists, and what areas they are likely to bolster if elected. Here are the men that we are voting “most likely to fund cleantech”…
Yes, I know we said “major” candidates, but he’s at the top of the long-shot heap. Though he’s been polling around the 3 to 7 percent mark, Huckabee has big dreams for a greener future. He maintains that the first thing he’ll do as president is introduce a “comprehensive plan for energy independence” to Congress. He uses the strongest language of his fellow Republicans, such as lamenting how “pathetically behind the curve we are” with federal spending on energy R&D.
Huckabee vows to “remove red tape that slows innovation,” and to set aside a federal R&D budget matched by the private sector for research into alternative fuels, and then let the free market decide what is best. As for which alternatives he favors, Huckabee loves the whole laundry list: nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal and biodiesel (in that order).
Sen. John McCain has called global warming one of the three key issues in his campaign. And he’s not just jumping on the post-“Inconvenient Truth” bandwagon; in 2003 McCain partnered with Sen. Joe Lieberman and introduced the McCain-Lieberman Environmental Stewardship Act, which was the first such bill to propose mandatory greenhouse gas reductions. His approach is, not surprisingly, more free-market oriented than his Democratic counterparts. For example, McCain supports cap and trade policies for polluters, but opposes a carbon tax. He also opposes subsidies for ethanol and other “mature technologies,” but his energy plan includes hefty subsidies for nuclear and coal gasification technologies.
Much has been made about his law firm’s ties to big oil, but Giuliani counts achieving “energy independence” as one of his “Twelve Commitments to the American People.” On his agenda are major infrastructure projects, such as more nuclear reactors, transmission lines, organizing a digital Smart Grid and constructing more renewable energy facilities. The former New York mayor also wants to see bus and truck fleets switch over to natural gas.