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Candidates’ Science Stances

Energy

McCain is enthusiastic about increasing America’s nuclear energy sources, setting a goal to build 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030. In addition, McCain wants to lift the ban on off-shore drilling to increase America’s oil supply.

Obama favors funding for alternative energy; his goal is to have 25 percent of electricity come from renewable resources by 2025. Obama says he will consider off-shore drilling in Florida to give temporary fuel-relief while an alternative energy and fuel efficiency plan is being developed.

Stem Cell Research

Both McCain and Obama have acknowledged that stem cell research will continue under their administrations. Both have underlined the importance of having stringent government oversight of the ethical and scientific concerns that arise.

Space/ NASA

Both McCain and Obama are supportive of aeronautics research, which includes completing the International Space Station.

McCain has committed to funding NASA’s Constellation Program.

Obama’s education plan had temporarily threatened NASA funding by suggesting funds for the plan would be acquired by delaying the Constellation Program; however, Obama later retracted his plan to cut NASA funding and instead committed to funding an additional NASA shuttle mission.

Global warming

McCain’s cap-and-trade program allows companies to trade green-house gas emission credits. McCain wants to reduce green-house gas emissions to 60 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Obama wants to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050, also achieved by a cap-and-trade program, but proceeds of the emission permits will go to investments in clean energy, assistance to families, and habitat protection.

—Jingyun Fan