John Edwards on Energy & Oil
2004 Democratic Nominee for Vice President; Former Jr Senator (NC)
Actually, Edwards had changed his position when he signed on as the 2004 running mate of John Kerry, who was opposed to the nuclear repository. That was long before the documents scandal erupted in March 2005.
In 2004 Edwards’ campaign said: “John Kerry opposes the storage of dangerous nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain and John Edwards is very comfortable with that policy.”
But it was not until 2005 that e-mails were made public that data had been falsified, based on major safety and environmental concerns on the issue of ground water in the desert.
A: I want to see the US lead the charge on dealing with this crisis in a really aggressive way. Because we have to. I mean, first of all, we have to get off our addiction to oil in America. I’ve laid out a specific set of ideas about how to do that, reducing greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050 and transforming the way we use and produce energy in this country. But I would add, with regards to SUVs, I do think we need a president who actually says to America, you have to be willing to sacrifice, who calls on Americans to sacrifice. The president needs to say I’m willing to drive a more fuel-efficient vehicle and I’m willing to conserve in my home and workplace, because all of us have to do this together. If we don’t want to be driven by the addiction to oil and we want to actually preserve the planet, we have to do it together.
Q: Would you be in favor of developing more nuclear power here in the United States?
A: No. So that was less than 30 seconds.
A: Wind, solar, cellulose-based biofuels are the way we need to go. I do not favor nuclear power. We haven’t built a nuclear power plant in decades in this country. There is a reason for that. The reason is it is extremely costly. It takes an enormous amount of time to get one planned, developed and built. And we still don’t have a safe way to dispose of the nuclear waste. It is a huge problem for America over the long term. I also don’t believe we should liquefy coal. The last thing we need is another carbon-based fuel in America. We need to find fuels that are in fact renewable, clean, and will allow us to address directly the question that has been raised, which is the issue of global warming, which I believe is a crisis.
I think we ought to cap greenhouse emissions in the US. We ought to ratchet that cap down every single year. We ought to reduce greenhouse emissions by at least 80% by the year 2050.
Below the cap, we ought to auction off the right to emit any greenhouse gases. The proceeds of that auction ought to be used to transform the way we produce energy in this country, a national investment in wind, solar, cellulose-based biofuels.
America needs to put at least a billion dollars into the development and implementation of carbon capture, carbon sequestration technology, and until we do, there should not be another coal-fired power plant built.
A: Well, for a lot of reasons. Number one, is extraordinary demand in America. We use 22 million barrels of oil a day, 12 million of those are imported. It’s the reason we have to make a bold transformation from what we are doing now.
Q: You said that, not me.
Q: But now you’re saying that maybe the nuclear waste should be stored locally where the waste was produced. Is that your position?
A: With Yucca Mountain there’ve been serious questions, including the possibility of lying and fraud in the scientific evidence that Yucca Mountain would work. I was always concerned, still am, about this nuclear waste being transported around the country. I think, at this point in time, it does not make sense to do Yucca Mountain. So the answer is we have nuclear plants, the waste has to be stored somewhere, so it has to be stored where the plants are.
Q: So in Seabrook, New Hampshire, the nuclear waste has to be stored in New Hampshire.
A: It has to be stored somewhere close by.
A: I support real increases in CAFE standards. As we implement those increases, we must also invest far more in fuel-efficiency technology
Modernize Environmental Policies
National environmental policies, mostly developed in the 1970s, have been remarkably successful in improving the quality of our air and water. But we face a new set of environmental challenges for which the old strategy of centralized, command-and-control regulation is no longer effective.
The old regime of prohibitions and fines levied on polluters is not well equipped to tackle problems such as climate change, contamination of water from such sources as farm and suburban runoff, loss of open lands, and sprawl. Without relaxing our determination to maintain and enforce mandatory national standards for environmental quality, it is time to create more effective, efficient, and flexible ways of achieving those standards.
For example, a system of tradable emissions permits would give factories, power plants, and other sources of air pollution and greenhouse gases a powerful incentive not only to meet but to exceed environmental standards. Decisions about solving local environmental problems should be shifted from Washington to communities, without weakening national standards. Finally, to empower citizens and communities to make sound decisions, government should invest in improving the quality and availability of information about environmental conditions.
Dear President Bush:
We are deeply disturbed to read reports this morning that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House have decided to omit data and language pertaining to climate change from the Agency's upcoming "State of the Environment" report. We would like to know if this is true. [Note: The section on climate change was indeed omitted–Ed.]
According to these reports, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) made decisions to delete from the "State of the Environment" report scientifically sound, consensus-based conclusions about the human contributions to global warming that have been confirmed by the National Research Council and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We would like to know why, and who within the Administration made this decision.
Perhaps most distressing are reports that Administration officials substituted into the report for the deleted language a reference to a study partially funded by the American Petroleum Institute that questions the National Research Council's conclusions. If true, this action brings into question the ability and authority of the EPA or any agency within this Administration to publish unbiased scientific reports. This would dramatically weaken both Congressional and public confidence in the Administration to allow credible, peer-reviewed study to prevail over political agenda. If these reports are accurate, your Administration has done a serious disservice not only to the hard-working professionals at the EPA, but also to the American people and our future.
We request all drafts of the report as well as comments prepared by the EPA, OMB, & CEQ. We request a list of all participants involved in review of the document, including all Administration officials and entities outside the Administration. Furthermore, we ask that appropriate actions be taken regarding those responsible for doctoring this report.
Mr. President: A recent federal court decision regarding energy efficient air conditioners is a significant victory for consumers, for the environment, and for our nation's energy future. We respectfully request that you do not appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second District (Natural Resources Defense Council et al v. Abraham, Docket 01-4102) affirmed that central air conditioners sold beginning in 2006 must be at least 30% more energy efficient than those available today.
Air conditioners are a necessary modern convenience but are also major users of electricity. On hot days, cooling homes and businesses is the largest category of electricity demand. Requiring air conditioners to be as energy efficient as possible will begin to reduce the stress on the electricity generation and transmission network and decrease the likelihood of blackouts that many regions of the country experience during warm weather conditions.
Air conditioners that meet the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating 13 standard will provide benefits for consumers, the environment, and the nation. The SEER 13 standard will alleviate the need for additional electricity production and transmission resulting in as many as 48 fewer power plants required by 2020. This standard will also result in less harmful air pollution being emitted into the atmosphere. Moreover, by 2020 power plant emissions of carbon dioxide will be 2.5 million tons lower as a result, and emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides will also be held down resulting in cleaner air and healthier citizens.
Finally, the higher standard can be expected to save businesses and residential consumers $1 billion per year in lower electricity bills. Lower electricity bills will recover the slightly higher purchase cost for the more efficient air conditioners in less than 18 months.
|Other candidates on Energy & Oil:
|John Edwards on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader