|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – November 2008
Backcountry enthusiasts deserve a president who cares about trails. So we asked John McCain and Barack Obama ten tough questions–then polled 989 BACKPACKER readers to find out what matters to you in this election.
The question over oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a hot-button issue, but drilling in the Lower 48 is already having a profound impact on the outdoors. Where do you stand on new oil and gas drilling on federal land?
McCain There is much we can do to increase our own oil production in ways that protect the environment using advanced technologies, including those that use and bury carbon dioxide, to recover the oil below the wells we have already drilled, and to tap oil, natural gas, and shale economically with minimal environmental impact. I believe in the multiple-use, sustained-yield approach to public land management, while ensuring that we fully protect the character of unique and sensitive areas.
Obama I oppose new offshore drilling, and I will work to ensure that we strike an appropriate balance between environmental concerns and oil and gas drilling on federal lands–a balance that takes into account sound science, not just commercial special interests. I also believe that taxpayers should expect fair compensation for this use of federal resources.
According to The New York Times, both candidates oppose drilling in ANWR. McCain opposed new offshore drilling until June 2008 (he's now in favor). Obama opposes offshore drilling, but has recently suggested that he would consider it and has proposed a "use it or lose it" approach to drilling permits, requiring oil companies to develop land they've already leased but have yet to drill on.
Mr.McCain, as a Westerner, what are your thoughts about delisting the Rocky Mountain gray wolf from federal protection?
McCain I welcome delisting the wolves where appropriate. While protection and recovery of endangered and threatened species is important, I feel there should be a reasonable and balanced approach to managing species in a manner that is conducive to the interests of private landowners and livestock growers. I believe the Fish and Wildlife Service should be doing more to engage in effective public consultation prior to and throughout the recovery process. One solution is to promote greater partnerships and boost incentives for landowners and state wildlife agencies. We must also ensure that livestock owners have the right to protect their stock as well as receive fair and equitable compensation for takings. Congress could do more to provide adequate oversight into recovery programs, and should reexamine the strengths, weaknesses, and overall effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act.