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McCain speaks on fiscal crisis, calls for energy security

By Susan Carey Dempsey on September 25, 2008No Comment

Sen. John McCain was the opening speaker in the first session of CGI today, formally stating his suspension of his presidential campaign in the face of the financial crisis, and tying the themes of security, energy and climate change together.

McCain was introduced by President Clinton, who pointed out McCain’s early efforts to become educated on the issue of global warming, by taking a fact-finding trip with "the junior Senator from New York, with whom I have a passing acquaintance."  Before a crowded ballroom which included McCain’s wife, Cindy, and running mate Gov. Sarah Palin, Clinton described their travels to Alaska and the world’s northernmost town, in Norway, where signs warn of polar bears in the environs.

McCain called on both political parties to work together for the common good, to tackle the problems of climate change caused by fossil fuel.. 

He also called for, over time, switching entirely to sustainable sources of clean energy.  "For the future of our economy, nothing is more essential than a secure and affordable supply of energy. We must put the power of the markets on the side of environmental protection."

McCain laid out five conditions under which he would favor approval of the proposed Wall Street bailout package being considered in Washington:

first, greater accountability, by a bi-partisan board. " We won’t solve the problems cause by poor oversight by having no oversight.

second, a pathway for taxpayers to recover the funds that are laid out, not to have them disappear "down a black hole."

third, transparency in review of the legislation: "This can not be thrown together behind closed doors."

fourth, no earmarks, and

fifth, no Wall Street executives should profit from taxpayers/ money "I’d rather build a bridge to nowhere and plant it square in the middle of Sedona, Arizona than to line the pockets of the Wall Street crowd that got us here in the first place."

Moving from the current crisis on Wall Street to the themes that brought the Clinton Global Initiative into being, he spoke to global security. "Today too many around the world are excluded from the benefits of globalization. Disconnected from the prosperity that has lifted millions out of poverty, too many societies are plagued by violence, disease, and scarcity.

It need not be this way. And in places where scarcity can breed resentment, despair, and extremism — where problems cannot be contained by borders — it must not be this way. We can never guarantee our security through military means alone. True security requires a far broader approach, using non-military means to reduce threats before they gather strength."

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