/ Modified may 17, 2012 5:53 p.m.

CD8 Candidate Forum: Medicare, Health Care, Energy

Candidates Barber, Kelly, Manolakis square off on district issues


The three candidates running for Congressional District 8 squared off in a one-hour forum covering the primary issues in the race, including the future of Medicare and Social Security benefits, their proposals to change federal health care reform, and what to do about U.S. energy policy.

The three vary on what the country's future energy policy should be.

Democrat Ron Barber says he doesn't want to continue tax breaks for the oil industry, but they should be considered for renewable energy.

"We’re just beginning to learn about how to make solar more efficient and effective, we’re just beginning to learn how to make geothermal practical, we’re just beginning to learn how to make wind more practical. And those are things that we want to incentivize," Barber says.

Republican Jesse Kelly says no industry should be favored when it comes to tax breaks, subsidies or incentives.

"The Constitution of the United States does not allow the federal government to pick a winner and loser of industries. They shouldn’t have bailed out Wall Street, they shouldn’t have bailed out the auto industry, they shouldn’t have bailed out so many things," Kelly says. "The oil industries, the coal companies, they should get no breaks that the solar companies don’t get.”

Green Party candidate Charlie Manolakis says reducing speed limits would save fuel and reduce energy use.

"Just reduce the speed limit to such a capacity that it's going to save a lot of energy," Manolakis says. "Then, I don't think we're doing enough with our green energy capacities."

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