Months after its early choice, John Edwards, dropped out of the race, the Friends of Earth Action has endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president this weekend.
The tipping point for the endorsement came, in part, because of the recent debate over a summer gas tax holiday. Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain both endorsed the idea of suspending federal gas taxes during the season when Americans typically drive most. Obama rejected it, as most if not all economists, nonpartisan policy groups and newspaper editorials have, as a bit of election-year pandering that would neither save U.S. residents significant money at the pump nor help in the larger goal of reducing dependence on oil.
We endorse Senator Obama because we believe he is the best candidate for the environment, said Friends of the Earth Action President Brent Blackwelder. The 'gas tax holiday' debate is a defining moment in the presidential race. The two other candidates responded with sham solutions that wont ease pain at the pump, but Senator Obama refused to play that typical Washington game. Instead, Obama called for real solutions that would make transportation more affordable and curb global warming. He showed the courage and candor we expect from a president.
In the gas tax holiday debate, Obama has focused on longer-term issues, like making cars more fuel-efficient and expanding public transportation by rail.
The gas tax holiday has been a rare point of divergence between Clinton and Obama on an energy or environmental issue. Both have iterated aggressive plans for global warming, energy conservation and alternative energy development, even though those issues have yet to gain traction at the top of the list of voters' concerns.
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