Crash Course on the Candidates: John McCain

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Editor’s note: As the presidential race hits a calm period, KickingTires is taking a look at how each of the top three remaining contenders stack up when it comes to automobile-related policy.

Unlike his rivals for the Republican nomination, John McCain talks about the future of cars and trucks in much the same way as his Democratic counterparts, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In fact, their policy differences in this area are almost nonexistent.

Like the two Democrats, McCain harbors a good deal of uneasiness about current U.S. energy policy. He wants to reduce climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions and cut down on our use of foreign oil. His solutions also mirror the Democrats. In a speech posted on his website, McCain describes an automotive future of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and increasing consumption of biofuels.

Although he doesn’t get specific, he says he wants healthy competition among ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas and a number of other alternative fuels. He also notes that most American commuters drive less than 25 miles per day, and therefore battery-powered vehicles could cut the nation’s oil imports in half.

A studied read of all three candidates’ policy positions via their websites reveals that while McCain shares the vision of the Democrats for moving the country away from oil dependence, he has yet to articulate any specific policy initiatives. In fact, his entire website doesn’t feature any specific initiatives regarding cars and fuel that he would take up as president.

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