John McCain has made energy his primary issue in recent weeks. It seems to be a strange choice for a U.S. Senator that has skipped every major energy vote in the last two years. That means that McCain was AWOL on 15 important votes on things like renewable energies, energy efficiency, biofuels, and even offshore drilling. Over the last two years McCain has shown no interest in our energy crisis or in the many solutions offered by his colleagues in Congress. Now suddenly, when he is in the midst of a presidential campaign, McCain has made energy issue number one. Someone should tell him that his actions speak much louder than his words.
Perhaps it is McCain’s extended lack of interest in energy that has caused him to ridicule his opponent for talking about energy efficiency moves like inflating tires properly and getting regular tune-ups. McCain used only a portion of that commentary to mock his opponent without looking at the actual data about how much the simple acts would save. The Bush Administration estimates that expanded offshore drilling (McCain’s newfound passion) would meet 1 percent of our demand some two decades from now. Compare that to the instant 3 percent improvement in gas mileage by keeping tires inflated and the 4 percent improvement by doing regular maintenance. Even Republican Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA) and Charlie Crist (FL) have made the same common sense point that McCain and the right wing are now mocking. It looks like the only joke here is McCain’s plan to continue selling out to Big Oil in a losing effort to drill our way out of an energy crisis. Perhaps McCain would do less damage if he just went back to ignoring these important energy issues.
Update: Now McCain has decided to sumbit to common knowledge and has said that now he doesn’t disagree with Obama on the importance of tire pressure. McCain reportedly said, “I don’t disagree with that. The American Automobile Association strongly recommends it.” Naturally his campaign continues to mock the idea.