“We’re sitting on the world’s largest coal reserves,” he said. “We are dependent of foreign oil to the point where it is an economic, environmental and international security issue, so we must make use of coal, and I believe we can through the use of clean coal technologies.”
On other energy issues, McCain is more in line with his Republican colleagues. He has called for an end to a federal ban on offshore oil drilling and promotes expansion of domestic oil and natural gas drilling. He has proposed building 45 new nuclear plants by 2030, calling them a clean alternative that doesn’t emit greenhouse gases. McCain also is proposing a federal fuel tax holiday to help motorists cope with rising gas prices.
Another area where McCain is sticking close with his party is in tax policy.
The candidate has pledged to extend several tax cuts made by the Bush administration that are set to expire in 2011. McCain had at one time opposed the cuts, but later switched his position. Democrats argue the tax cuts largely favor the well-to-do rather than middle-class families.
“To raise taxes during a time of economic difficulties will make the situation far worse,” McCain said, explaining his reasoning.
McCain also is proposing a handful of his own tax cuts. He wants to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, saying the current rate is the second highest in the world and discourages business investment.
For families, he is proposing doubling the exemption for dependents from $3,500 to $7,000 per dependent. McCain said he also would push to eliminate the alternative minimum tax, a potential tax on the middle class Congress has been working to cut off but has so far failed to do so.
“If you want to raise taxes, I’m not your candidate,” he said. “Sen. Obama is. He is the one who wants to raise taxes.”