John McCain, wind power, and hot air

McCain has ads showing windmills, but won’t vote to extend the tax credit that keeps the wind power industry in business.

Thomas Friedman adds a question to the long list of pointed questions mainstream reporters insist on not asking John McCain. (My phrasing, not Friedman’s.)

How can you run energy-policy campaign ads featuring windmills when you’ve missed eight straight chances to show up and vote for the tax credit that keeps the wind-power industry in business?

The background: The tax credit expires at the end of the year, and the Republicans are filibustering against extending it. McCain wouldn’t even show up to vote when he was actually sitting in his Senate office; since cloture takes sixty votes, not showing up is effectively voting “No.”

The conclusion: McCain’s support for wind power is just … well, wind. Talk is cheap.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com