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McCain and Transportation Policy

John McCain looks to be the Republican nominee for President in 2008.

What are his transportation policies?

As with Obama, there is no explicit transportation policy tab on the candidate's web page. But we can ascertain a few things from his website and other sources: (quotes from website unless otherwise attributed)

(1) He is against earmarks. The good people of Arizona have been blessed by a Senator who refuses to bring home bacon on moral grounds.

"Ending Pork Barrel Spending: Year after year, powerful members of Congress divert taxpayer dollars to special interest pet projects with little or no national value. This practice is especially egregious during wartime, when any federal spending wasted on parochial programs to satisfy special interests represents a failure by the federal government to properly steward tax dollars. John McCain has steadfastly fought to reform this broken system and end the self-serving largesse that defines the current budget process.

As president, John McCain will oppose spending money on projects that siphon away tax dollars collected to fund these important commitments. Setting priorities, and keeping them, is a crucial step toward fiscal restraint and an important priority for a McCain presidency. Every dollar irresponsibly spent by Congress is a dollar diverted from pressing national priorities including lowering the tax burden on working Americans, supporting the men and women fighting the war on terror, making good on the nation's financial commitments at home, including to senior citizens, and paying down the national debt."

To wit: McCain voted against SAFETEA-LU, the last surface transportation bills on the grounds of pork. He does not however oppose in principle federal highway spending (McCain's statement) , rather the specifics of the particular legislation, which he argues was inequitable.

(2) John McCain is a conservationist who is for clean air and believes in the existence of global warming (for a Republican, this is progress) and who "has offered common sense approaches to limit carbon emissions by harnessing market forces that will bring advanced technologies, such as nuclear energy, to the market faster, reduce our dependence on foreign supplies of energy, and see to it that America leads in a way that ensures all nations do their rightful share."

(3) John McCain supports space exploration
"John McCain is a strong supporter of NASA and the space program. He is proud to have sponsored legislation authorizing funding consistent with the President's vision for the space program, which includes a return of astronauts to the Moon in preparation for a manned mission to Mars. He believes support for a continued US presence in space is of major importance to America's future innovation and security. He has also been a staunch advocate for ensuring that NASA funding is accompanied by proper management and oversight to ensure that the taxpayers receive the maximum return on their investment. John McCain believes curiosity and a drive to explore have always been quintessential American traits. This has been most evident in the space program, for which he will continue his strong support. "

(4) He seems to oppose Amtrak funding, which is not surprising given Arizona's lack of service, and its consistent money-losing nature, see here , and supports state flexibility on using federal funds.

(5) He has generally opposed federal subsidies for ethanol, though he supports it if the price of oil is high enough to make it economically efficient.

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