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McCain’s Energy Policy Coins New Term: ‘Strategic Independence’

It’s a little unclear which might have been a better or worse venue for Sen. John McCain to tout his new energy policy, Santa Barbara–a city still seething over a horrific oil spill in 1969, whose well-heeled citizens didn’t necessarily embrace McCain’s new position on the matter–or Las Vegas, a place that relies on twenty-four hour air conditioning and neon lights, where, upon entering our hotel room in the MGM Grand last night we found every single lamp and overhead lighting on. Never mind that the citizens of the state are still leery about the federal government’s plans to store the country’s nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain.

We’ll leave that for y’all–we’re still recounting the $40 we lost playing blackjack late last night. But the fact of the matter is that the presumptive Republican nominee has chosen the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (which might have sported the best starting five in all of college basketball during the early 1990s), to end the Pacific time zone tour of his energy tour. By now certain tenets of the policy have become standard: the need for safe nuclear power which he deems "essential for America’s energy future." The need for clean coal technology, a problem he deemed of "practical problem solving." The ending of ethanol subsidies . And of course the there’s the $300 million prize for whatever automaker can develop the ultimate, clean-energy battery along with $5000 in the form of tax credits for people who buy zero-admission vehicles.

But this being Vegas, McCain brought along a little flair, both in his speech and props. While a couple of solar panels were on display off to McCain’s left like prizes on the "Price is Right," he chose to deem his grand effort "The Lexington Project" —named for the site of the first military battle of the Revolutionary War. Moreover, he brought a new term to the table "strategic independence," which McCain said we will achieve by the year 2025–by which time McCain will be 88-years-old and we will be celebrating the culmination of Reds rookie outfielder Jay Bruce’s sure-to-be Hall of Fame career when he breaks Major League Baseball’s all-time home run record.

The latter term had fine journalists scurrying for online dictionaries. The closest we could find was "the ability to protect America without extraneous multilateralist constraints imposed by others." And while we’re still a little unclear what that means, we do know that Bruce and fellow rookie Joey Votto will help deliver at least five championships to my beloved Cincinnati Reds, whom apparently I will see by driving an electric car to a nuclear-powered stadium on the banks of the Ohio River. We can always dream.

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