Sunday, November 02, 2008

Senator Obama vs Senator McCain

With the Presidential election only days away, it is interesting to review what the candidates have said in regards to the environmental, occupational safety and health industry. The link above follows comments made by both candidates regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Below are highlights from Indoor Environment Connection's (http://www.ieconnections.com/) article regarding Indoor Air Quality "Obama and McCain - How Do They Differ on IAQ Issues?"

Senator Barack Obama has said he will conduct "a thorough overhaul" of the policies of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and direct the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to increase resources to the problems of mold and radon abatement.

  • establish a program to educate building owners & homeowners on indoor air treatment and source abatement options.
  • a central part of Obama's proposed environmental policy is his promise to "create millions of new green jobs."
  • ensure 10% of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, & 25% by 2025.
  • setting aggressive energy efficiency goal to reduce electricity demand 15% from projected levels by 2020.
  • a national commitment to weatherize at least one million low-income homes each year for the next decade.
  • implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce grenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.
  • national health tracking system that would enable the government to determine links between environmental conditions and health problems.

Senator John McCain has been quoted as saying "air quality standards need to be more stringent."

  • McCain has focused on dealing with climate changes.
  • will use a portion of environmental credit auction proceeds to reduce impacts on low-income families.
  • will incorporate measures to mitigate any economic cost of meeting emission targets, including trading emission permits to find the lowest-cost source of emission reductions.
  • McCain envisions permitting America to lead in innovation, capture the market on low-carbon energy production and export to developing countries.
  • McCain's plan "will address the full range of issues: infrastructure, ecosystems, resource planning and emergency preparation."
  • In addition, McCain wnats to continue the "Clear Skies" initiative that was begun under President Bush, which concentrates on reducing mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

Senator Obama has said he supports the "Green" building construction bill while Senator McCain supports the principles behind the bill but is "not convinced that a new federal spending program is the best way to achieve this goal." The "Green" building construction bill would spend more than $20 billion over the next 5 years to help states build and renovate schools to make them more energy-efficient and environment-friendly, including efforts to improve the school's indoor air quality. The measure is intended to save school districts billions in energy costs while reducing asthma and other environmentally linked health problems.

On Tuesday, November 4, 2008 the United States of America goes to the polls to vote in one of the most historic presidential races of our times. It has been said a number of times already but this is easily the most important election we have had in a long time. So I would encourage all of you to go and vote. If you don't you will only have yourself to blame!

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