Muckraker: Grist on Politics

John McCain gave another energy speech today (bringing the grand total in the past week to four), this one in Las Vegas. It seems like the big new thing in this speech is that he’s given a name to the various components of his energy plan that he’s rolled out slowly over the past week: “The Lexington Project.”

“In recent days I have set before the American people an energy plan, the Lexington Project — named for the town where Americans asserted their independence once before,” said McCain. “Let it begin today with this commitment: In a world of hostile and unstable suppliers of oil, this nation will achieve strategic independence by 2025.”

The plan includes initiatives he’s announced over the past weeks: Ending the moratorium on offshore drilling, offering cash incentives for innovations in electric cars, promoting energy efficiency, curbing energy speculation, and addressing climate change.

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Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama gave a speech in Nevada yesterday in which he accused McCain of “offering the same old gimmicks” when it comes to energy policy. His campaign announced today that they have created a new website to promote the differences between the candidates’ energy plans.

McCain also touted his plan to build 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030 and set a goal of building a total of 100 over time, which is pretty ballsy considering he was speaking in Las Vegas, which is a mere 100 miles from Yucca Mountain. He still hasn’t really addressed the problem of where all this waste from those new reactors would go, and most Nevadans oppose plans to dump it in their state.

McCain says that his plan is meant to rally Americans around domestic energy options and promote independence.

“This pledge is addressed to all concerned — to those abroad whose power flows from an accident of geology, and to you, my fellow Americans, whose strength proceeds from unity of purpose. Together, we will break the power of OPEC over the United States. And never again will we leave our vital interests at the mercy of any foreign power.”

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In recent speeches, McCain also taken to referring to Obama as “Dr. No” for his opposition to offshore drilling, the “gas-tax holiday,” and expanding nuclear power. The campaign put out a new ad today on this theme: