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Candidates Strive to Address Voters’ Climate Concerns

Environmental issues such as climate change and energy use have been frequent topics on the 2008 presidential campaign trail with both GOP and Democratic hopefuls offering policy plans. Two analysts examine the candidates' differing proposals to address climate issues.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Now, the presidential candidates and climate change. Ray Suarez begins with some background.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Senator Hillary Clinton is the latest Democratic candidate to unveil a plan for combating climate change. In a speech in Iowa yesterday, Clinton said she wants to require all U.S. vehicles to average 55 miles per gallon by 2030.

    It's a move that puts her on a similar track with other Democratic candidates' plans for more efficient cars. Virtually all the Democratic contenders support a reduction by at least 80 percent from 1990 levels in carbon emissions by 2050 and research and development on alternative fuel sources.

    But there are differences on how to reduce energy consumption and regulation. Former Senator John Edwards, for example, supports a ban on new coal-burning plants unless they capture and store new emissions.

  • ADVERTISING NARRATOR:

    All the Earth's creatures are threatened by global warming. One candidate for president is doing something to stop it: Chris Dodd. He's the only one with an energy plan that has a courageous corporate carbon tax.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Some candidates have started advertising on the issue. Senator Christopher Dodd released this ad about his proposal for a carbon tax on corporations that emit greenhouse gases.

    SEN. CHRIS DODD (D), Connecticut: Because stopping global warming is in our hands.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    And Governor Bill Richardson wants the nation to generate 50 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2040.

    GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), New Mexico: The planet is getting hotter. This is a fact, not a forecast.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Among the Republican candidates who broach the topic less often, there are fewer specifics across the board. Most want to develop alternative energy sources. Here's former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

    RUDY GIULIANI (R), Former Mayor of New York: I think we have to accept the view that scientists have that there is global warming and that human operation, human condition contributes to that.

    We should be supporting all the alternatives. We need a project similar to putting a man on the moon.

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