Sean Faircloth: Obama understands challenges facing Maine

Bangor Daily News
Posted July 26, 2008, at 12 a.m.

Over the past eight years, Mainers have fallen behind under the Bush-McCain economic agenda. The average family has been hit hard by a slowing economy and skyrocketing energy costs with no end in sight. We need meaningful change that will get us back on track and create opportunities for hardworking families. Barack Obama will deliver that change.

Obama is committed to jump-starting our economy and strengthening the middle class to help families not only get by, but get ahead. Obama understands the toll that out of control home heating oil costs and painful prices at the pump has taken on Mainers and is offering meaningful solutions. By putting the economic security of the American family at the center of his agenda, we know Obama’ s priority is that average Americans not be undermined — while Big Oil and special interests rip us off.

McCain has been part of the problem in Washington for 26 years. Compare McCain’ s talk about energy independence with this: McCain voted against making energy price gouging a federal crime, against home heating assistance for needy families five times in the past three years, against investing in alternative and renewable energy, and against raising fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks. McCain even voted against imposing a windfall profits tax on oil companies — even when the funds would have gone to help families cope with high energy prices.

McCain’ s actions impose a terrible cost on hardworking Maine families. McCain’ s plan would give an additional $4 billion in tax breaks to Big Oil and open our coasts to offshore drilling that would not produce any oil for at least seven years. We can’ t wait seven years. We need a solution that will help families this winter while taking a look ahead to the future. McCain’ s plan would be a giant step back. Let us move forward.

Energy is the Apollo challenge of the 21st century. President Kennedy challenged America to reach the moon in nine years. With the right leadership and vision, we can remake our energy future into one that delivers clean, affordable energy for all Americans and create millions of jobs in the process.

Obama understands the challenges Mainers face. In the Senate, Obama has worked to increase home heating assistance. As president, Obama will deliver immediate relief through a middle-class tax cut of $1,000 per family. At the same time, Obama will begin laying the foundation to build a secure energy future.

Obama will make energy independence a national priority. He proposes investing $150 billion over the next 10 years in alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar and advanced biofuels, which will create up to 5 million new jobs — including jobs in Maine. Obama will tax windfall profits of oil companies and use that money to help families with their energy costs. Obama will close the loophole that allows corporations to engage in unregulated speculation that artificially drives up oil prices.

This is the common sense planning we need for America to rise to the challenge of achieving energy independence by turning it into an opportunity to grow our economy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Obama has the vision to help our nation meet this challenge and build a future that’ s more prosperous. Obama means more opportunities for hardworking Mainers and our families.

http://bangordailynews.com/2008/07/26/sports/sean-faircloth-obama-understands-challenges-facing-maine/ printed on July 22, 2014