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McCain's climate triangulation

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The Arizona Senator also took the opportunity to swipe at President Bush, who questioned the scientific basis of human-caused climate change through much of his first term, and has consistently opposed any emissions caps.

As president, I will have to deal with the same set of facts. I will not shirk the mantle of leadership that the United States bears. I will not permit eight long years to pass without serious action on serious challenges. I will not accept the same dead-end of failed diplomacy that claimed Kyoto. The United States will lead and will lead with a different approach – an approach that speaks to the interests and obligations of every nation.

Both Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama also propose cap-and-trade systems (as opposed to the carbon tax advocated by Al Gore and others). But McCain's proposal would cut emissions by only 60 percent below 1990 levels by 2025; whereas Clinton and Obama propose cutting emissions by 80 percent over the same period. Bush has called only for emissions to stabilize by 2025.

With this proposal, McCain is clearly attempting to stake out a middle ground. This goal is even clearer in a McCain ad about climate change that is currently airing in Oregon.

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