McCain: Less Foreign Oil For U.S.

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., center, with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, speaks with scientists and engineers from the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C., after talking about America's need for energy independence at the Center for Hydrogen Research, Monday, Dec. 10, 2008.
Republican White House candidate John McCain said in a speech Monday that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on other parts of the world for oil and encouraged more nuclear and hydrogen power.

"As president, I'll propose a national energy strategy that will amount to a declaration of independence from the fear bred by our reliance on oil sheiks and our vulnerability to the troubled politics of the lands they rule," McCain said in remarks prepared for delivery at the Center for Hydrogen Research in this early voting state. "The strategy I propose won't be another grab bag of handouts to this or that industry and a full employment act for lobbyists. It will rely on the genius and technological prowess of American industry and science."

The Arizona senator said in the remarks that more nuclear power had been stymied by politics.

"We've let the fears of 30 years ago, and an endless political squabble over the storage of nuclear spent fuel make it virtually impossible to build a single new plant that produces a form of energy that is safe and non-polluting," McCain said. "We can also find ways to use new sources of power like hydrogen. My energy policies will rely on setting good incentives for firms, entrepreneurs, and households."

At a North Augusta restaurant, McCain stressed his foreign policy credentials during an address to hundreds of people.

"If we fail in Iraq, they will follow us home," he said of radical Muslims.

McCain said Mike Huckabee's recent surge in the polls showed that debates matter, but did not elaborate.

"I think that my national security experience and background qualify me to be commander in chief," he said.

McCain also said that Sen. Joe Biden's call for a special counsel to investigate why CIA destroyed tapes of terror suspects under interrogation was "a partisan measure."

The Justice Department and the CIA's internal watchdog are conducting a joint inquiry to determine whether a full investigation is warranted.

McCain said the U.S. attorney general should investigate.