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McMahon on the stump, er, pump

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Congressional hopeful Mike McMahon is a little bit of Al Gore, a lot of Barack Obama and even a little bit of Richard Nixon on energy and the environment.

And, his Democratic opponent Steve Harrison says, he’s a bit like his Democratic opponent Steve Harrison!

McMahon (D–Staten Island), who is seeking to succeed disgraced Rep. Vito Fossella for the Bay Ridge seat, unveiled his energy blueprint last week — one that borrows from Nobel Laureate Gore’s plan to get America off its fossil fuel addiction in 10 years while also putting this country on the path to full energy independence, Nixon’s stated goal during the height of the 1973 oil embargo, but something that has elluded every president since.

“President Kennedy said we would put a man on the moon in 10 years, and through American ingenuity and hard work we accomplished that goal,” said McMahon. “We need to lay down a similar gauntlet now and commit to a 10-year action plan to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and develop renewable energy sources.”

McMahon also said it makes sense to slap a windfall tax on oil companies raking it big profits — though that’s likely to encourage them to recoup the money by charging more at the pump — and permit more offshore drilling if its done with strict environmental precautions, both ideas that put him firmly in Obama’s energy camp.

McMahon put out his policy statement in between pumping gas (and hands) at a Staten Island filling station last Tuesday.

McMahon’s primary opponent, Bay Ridge lawyer Harrison, said that his Democratic foe isn’t plucking ideas from presidents and candidates, but rather right off Harrison’s own stump — with the exception of offshore drilling, which Harrison completely opposes.

Harrison referred to his own 10-year energy independence model initially phrased during his 2006 losing campaign against Fossella.

“We need solution now — a 10-year national program energy of independence with the same moral imperative and commitment we gave JFK’s moonshot program,” Harrision said, quoting from the earlier position paper.

Meanwhile, the McMahon steamroller continued to crush Harrison’s “grassroots” campaign. Not only has the Staten Islander raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in short order, but last week, McMahon picked up endorsements from Sen. Hillary Clinton and Borough President Markowitz. For his part, Harrison is still touting endorsements from Gloria Steinem, Stonewall Democrats and New York Peace Action.

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