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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Convention Wrap Up

Air Date: Week of August 29, 2008

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Host Steve Curwood and Jeff Young look ahead to the Republican Convention in Minneapolis, where the GOP platform promises a different approach than the Democrats to issues of powering America and tackling global warming.

Transcript

Let’s go now to Jeff Young in Denver for a wrap up on the Democratic National Convention. Jeff, at the end of all of this, what’s the take-away?

YOUNG: Steve, I think there were two green headlines, if you will. One is these interwoven issues we’ve been talking about of climate change, energy, security, and the economy, all together that’s come fully ripe as an electoral issue. it is no longer on the backburner in American politics, that’s for sure. And headline number two has got to be Senator Obama’s embrace of nuclear power in his acceptance speech. That’s a pretty big deal.

CURWOOD: Now, he said, what, we should safely harness nuclear power?

YOUNG: That was the line, and I think that will be a challenge to a lot of folks in the environmental community who have opposed nuclear power for a long time and think the very notion of it being safe is impossible. It shouldn’t be that big of a surprise, Senator Obama has several times in the course of this campaign indicated that he thought nuclear power might be feasible. And if you look at his home state of Illinois, they get a lot of their electricity from nuclear power and the major provider of that nuclear-generated electricity, the Exelon Corporation, a lot of the executives from that company are major Obama supporters.

CURWOOD: So now it’s on to Minnesota and the Republican convention, what can we expect there, Jeff?

YOUNG: Well, I think we'll hear a lot of attacks on Democrats by Republicans, pinning the blame for high gas prices on the donkey, if you will. They want to say, “Hey this is Democrats fault because they had obstructed more offshore drilling.” However, Senator McCain has long championed action on climate change and capping carbon emissions. So I’m very curious to see how they’re going to try to balance those two things.

CURWOOD: Now, what does the Republican platform say this year about climate change? Last time around they didn’t think that it was necessarily scientifically proven.

YOUNG: Well, its different this time around and it’s um, much more of a mixed bag. They do acknowledge the reality of climate change and that humans are contributing to it, however the platform stops short of recommending a cap on carbon emissions. They propose more oil drilling, but they do not propose, in the platform, drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. So, it’s a real mix and I thinkit’s the Republicans trying to find the right balance that they think will appeal to people—much the same way that the Democrats have been.

CURWOOD: Sound like both are moving closer to the middle?

YOUNG: Well, that’s certainly the stage of the electoral dance that we are in right now. Uh, they are trying to move to the center to appeal to those very important moderate and independent voters who may very well determine the outcome of this election.

CURWOOD: Living on Earth’s Jeff Young in Denver. Thanks so much.

 

Links

Republican National Convention website

 

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