In the third of three major policy addresses, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) talked about America’s dependence on oil, the national security problem it causes, and climate change to an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. McCain said, “Oil is a vital resource and we will always need it. But we account for 25% of global demand and possess less than 3% of proven reserves. Most of the world’s known reserves are in the Persian Gulf, in the hands of dictators or nationalized oil companies. Its availability and price are manipulated by a cartel of countries where our values aren’t typically shared and our interests aren’t their first priority.”

He went on to describe the American dependence on oil as a national security threat, “We’re one successful attack away from an economic crisis. The flow of oil has many chokepoints – pipelines, refineries, transit routes, and terminals; most of them outside our jurisdiction and control. Our enemies understand the effects on America of a significant disruption in supply, a crippled transportation system, gasoline too expensive for many Americans to purchase, businesses closed. ”

“Al Qaeda must revel in the irony that America is effectively helping to fund both sides of the war they caused. As we sacrifice blood and treasure, some of our gas dollars flow to the fanatics who build the bombs, hatch the plots, and carry out attacks on our soldiers and citizens. Iran made over $45 billion from oil sales in 2005, and it is the number one state sponsor of terrorism.” By the way, Iran while a large sponsor of terrorism isn’t the largest, Syria is, but it all depends on what criteria are used to measure,” McCain said.

McCain’s energy policy would the use of technology and energy conservation. He would encourage an increase in flex fuel cars, alternative fuels, and the development of more plug in electric cars. McCain also advocates the development of more nuclear power. When it comes to global warming, McCain promotes a market based emissions trading carbon cap. The good about McCain’s speech is that he is one of the few candidates to talk about energy conservation. The bad news is the McCain is advocating the same emissions trading system that all the other major candidates are pushing. This was a solid speech, but nothing spectacular, and it is doubtful this will change his position in the polls.

Full text of McCain’s speech

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at blog radio  


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