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Candidate Positions on Energy

The following positions reflect those used for each candidate in the Select A Candidate survey. They come from the candidates; public statements, Web sites, and responses to Minnesota Public Radio questionnaires. In some cases, candidiates have failed to respond to inquiries, and their position is noted as "No known opinion."

Question: Do you support federal assistance for the production of ethanol and/or biofuel as an alternative to oil?
Bob BarrBob Barr ANSWER OPTION: No
CANDIDATE'S POSITION: Government intervention, whether through more regulations or more subsidies (or both), hurts consumers in the end. The free market, driven by consumer choice and reflecting the real cost of resources, should be the foundation of America's energy policy. The federal government should eliminate restrictions that inhibit energy production, as well as all special privileges for the production of politically-favored fuels, such as ethanol. (More Info)

John McCainJohn McCain ANSWER OPTION: Yes
CANDIDATE'S POSITION: On his campaign Web site, McCain says he supports ethanol for U.S. energy policy. On 5/12/07, he said he supports ethanol but opposes subsidies. Previously, he said that "ethanol is not worth it. It does not help the consumer." He voted against the Energy Policy Act of 2005, he voted no for the Environmental Effects Caused by Ethanol Amendment and he voted no for the Energy Omnibus Bill in 2003. In 2006, however, when giving a speech in Iowa, he said, "I support ethanol and I think it is vital, a vital alternative energy source not only because of our dependency on foreign oil but its greenhouse gas reduction effects." In 2000, McCain skipped the Iowa caucuses because of his opposition to ethanol.

Ralph NaderRalph Nader ANSWER OPTION: No
CANDIDATE'S POSITION: The Nader campaign opposes subsidies to oil, coal, biofuels and nuclear energy industries, and supports only sustainable, clean sources such as wind and solar. (More Info)

Barack ObamaBarack Obama ANSWER OPTION: Yes
CANDIDATE'S POSITION: On April 3, 2006, Illinois Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama delivered a speech in Chicago titled "Energy Independence and the Safety of Our Planet." In it he said, "Already, some cars on the road have the flexible-fuel tanks necessary for them to run on E85, a cheaper, cleaner blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. But millions upon millions of cars still don't have these tanks. It's time for them to install those tanks in every single car they make, and it's time for the government to cover this small cost, which currently runs at just $100 per car." (More Info)