07 February 2008 10:13 [Source: ICIS news]
By Joe Kamalick
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--Now that the number of US presidential contenders has narrowed to three short-listed candidates - Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and Republican John McCain - it’s appropriate to see where each stands on issues crucial to chemicals producers and business in general.
First, some might reasonably argue that while Senator John McCain of ?xml:namespace>
That is to some extent true, but unless McCain gets struck by lightning it is extremely unlikely that either of the other two Republican contenders, former governors Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, can overtake McCain to seize the nomination.
As a result of this week’s Republican primary elections in 21 states, McCain has expanded his total of dedicated delegates to the Republican convention to 613, Romney has raised his delegates count to 269 and Huckabee has jumped to 190.
However, with 613 delegates already in his pocket, McCain has 51.5% of the 1,191 convention votes needed to win the party’s nomination as its presidential candidate.
Conceivably, in the remaining Democrat primaries, either senator could take the lead - but just now their contest is too close to call.
So, one of these three - Clinton, McCain or Obama - will be the next
Below, each candidate’s position on key issues is outlined, based on campaign policies and speeches available on their official websites along with analysis provided by the US Chamber of Commerce and the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA).
ENERGY: This issue is crucial to US chemical producers, which are heavily dependent on natural gas as a feedstock, and a broad array of other manufacturers who use gas as an energy source.
Obama similarly is opposed to more drilling in the ANWR and wants electric power to be 25% renewable by 2025. Also like
McCain also is opposed to drilling in the ANWR but he supports exploration and development of vast
Obama here too has policy goals very similar to Clinton’s, supporting a cap and trade mandate with permits auctions and GHG reductions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. He would raise automobile fuel efficiency to 50 mpg by 2025 and wants the
McCain has sponsored legislation for a mandatory cap and trade system and says that while global warming cannot be ignored it should be approached with common sense policies to limit GHG emissions by harnessing market forces and, as in his energy policy, increasing use of nuclear power. He would bring the
CHEMICAL SECURITY: The US Department of Homeland Security has begun implementation of the nation’s first federal mandate for controlling anti-terrorism security at high-risk chemical facilities, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). However, new legislation pending in Congress would expand that mandate, and the next president could have broad impact on how that legislation is completed.
Obama also sponsored chemical site security legislation and shares
McCain voted against several chemical site security legislative proposals, according to SOCMA. McCain’s security policies focus more on maintaining strong
On broader issues, such as taxes, trade and healthcare, Clinton and Obama again have much in common.
Both Clinton and Obama want to let the Bush administration’s 2001 and 2003 personal and business tax reductions expire in 2010 and use that increased revenue to support an unspecified healthcare programme. Obama would raise capital gains taxes and retain the so-called death tax. McCain would make the Bush tax cuts permanent, would exempt most estates from the death tax and opposes any increase in capital gains or other taxes.
On trade, Clinton and Obama both voted against the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and opposed extending the president’s trade promotion authority (formerly known as fast-track trade authority).
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