Here's something you should know when you start to evaluate John McCain's energy policy: he doesn't believe a massive changeover to renewable, really clean power is possible. This is what McCain said at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H. last December 4:
"When you say wind, solar and tide, most every expert that I know says that, if you maximize that in every possible way, the contribution that that would make given the present state of technology is very small, is very small. It's not a large contribution. It's wonderful, it's great to have it, I encourage it everywhere. I hope everyone will, for Christmas, buy their family a solar panel… that would be exciting. But… I'd be glad to send you the figures that there's the amount of—even if we gave it the absolute maximum, uh, wind, solar and tide, uh, etc. The clean tech—the truly clean technologies don't work."
It's been clear all along that—perhaps because he's been coached by industry connections, though that's not clear—McCain falls back on nuclear power when it's time to talk about "alternative" energy. After that he pays lip service to wind and solar. But he obviously hasn't familiarized himself with, for example, Sweden's pledge to be oil-free by 2020, and the way its government plans to achieve that goal, which includes no new nuclear plants but, among other things, heavy use of geothermal energy.
On Capitol Hill, where Congress can mightily encourage our energy independence and our battle against climate change by renewing investment tax credits for wind and solar power and other such measures, McCain has hardly lived up to his campaign promises. A senator who has failed to vote for clean energy bills the last eight times they've come up hardly inspires confidence that his energy policy will be better than the current administration's, either in the matter of extricating us from dependence on foreign oil or of combating global warming.