Where do the candidates stand?
Energy and Environment
∫ Issue a $5,000 tax credit for Americans who buy a zero carbon emission car. For other vehicles, a graduated tax credit will apply so that the lower the carbon emissions, the higher the tax credit.
∫ Offer a $300 million prize to improve battery technology for plug-in hybrids and fully electric automobiles.
∫ Commit $2 billion annually to advancing clean coal technologies.
∫ Construct 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030, with the ultimate goal of eventually constructing 100 new plants.
∫ Lower the Corporate Tax Rate to 25 percent to retain investment in U.S. technologies.
∫ Pursue high-speed Internet access for all Americans. Work to identify un-served or under-served areas where the market is not working and provide companies willing to build the infrastructure to serve these areas with high-speed Internet access incentives to do so. Also, supports private/public partnerships to help rural areas and towns and cities to increase broadband access through government-backed loans or low-interest bonds.
∫ Establish a “People Connect Program” that rewards companies that offer high-speed Internet access services to low income customers by allowing these companies offset their tax liability for the cost of this service.
∫ Enhance online education opportunities by allocate $250 million through a competitive grant program to support states that commit to expanding online education opportunities. Target $500 million in current federal funds to build new virtual schools and support the development of online course offerings for students. These courses may be for regular coursework, for enhancement, or for dual enrollment into college.
∫ Devote 60 percent of Title II funding for incentive bonuses for high performing teachers to locate in the most challenging educational settings, for teachers to teach subjects like math and science, and for teachers who demonstrate student improvement.
∫ Won’t withdraw American troops until the Iraqi government is capable of governing itself and safeguarding its people. Believes to do so would destabilize the Middle East, make Iraq a safe haven for terrorists and a pawn for Iran.
∫ Establish a stable, prosperous and democratic state in Iraq that poses no threat to its neighbors and contributes to the defeat of the terrorists.
∫ Support the counterinsurgency strategy carried out by General David Petraeus from June 2007 through March 2008.
∫ Call for international pressure on Syria and Iran, not unconditional dialogues. The U.S. must bolster its regional military posture to make clear to Iran its determination to protect its forces and deter Iranian intervention.
Energy and Environment
∫ Create a tax on excessive oil company profits to provide a $1,000 emergency energy rebate to American families.
∫ Increase fuel economy standards by 4 percent per year while providing $4 billion for domestic automakers to retool their manufacturing facilities in America to produce these vehicles.
∫ Create a new $7,000 tax credit for purchasing advanced vehicles.
∫ Enter into public private partnerships to develop five “first-of-a-kind” commercial scale coal-fired plants with clean carbon capture and sequestration technology.
∫ Ensure that every American has access to broadband Internet through a combination of reform of the Universal Service Fund, better use of the nation’s wireless spectrum, promotion of next-generation facilities, technologies and applications and new tax and loan incentives.
∫ Invest $150 billion over the next 10 years to enable American engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial-scale renewable energy and begin the transition to a new digital electricity grid. This is expected to create 5 million new jobs.
∫ Encourage diversity in media ownership, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints and clarify the public interest obligations of national broadcasters.
∫ Create a tax credit that will make the first $4,000 of a college education free for most Americans and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students. Recipients of the credit will be required to conduct 100 hours of community service.
∫ Simplify the application process for financial aid eliminating the current federal financial aid application and enabling families to apply simply by checking a box on their tax form, authorizing their tax information to be used, and eliminating the need for a separate application.
∫ Combat bridges will be redeployed from Iraq at a pace of one to two brigades a month, for a total removal by the summer of 2010.
∫ At least $2 billion will be provided to expand services to Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries and ensure that Iraqis inside their own country can find sanctuary.
∫ Keep a residual force in Iraq and in the region to conduct targeted counter-terrorism missions against al Qaeda in Iraq and to protect American diplomatic and civilian personnel. No permanent bases in Iraq will be built, but efforts will continue to train and support Iraqi security forces as long as Iraqi leaders move toward political reconciliation and away from sectarianism.
∫ Launch an aggressive diplomatic effort with Iran and Syria to stabilize the region, secure Iraq’s borders, isolate al Qaeda, provide financial support for Iraq’s reconstruction and development and support reconciliation among Iraq’s sectarian groups.