Jill Stein on Energy & Oil
Green Party presidential nominee; Former Challenger for MA Governor
STEIN: Instead of fighting wars for oil, America will be leading the fight to put an end to climate change. In Afghanistan and Iraq, we have spent about $5 trillion. We have seen thousands and thousands of American lives lost, hundreds of thousands of civilian lives lost, about a trillion dollars a year being spent on a massive, bloated military-industrial-security budget. Instead, we need to cut that military budget, rightsize it to year 2000 levels, and build true security here at home, bringing our war dollars home.
A: This is another reason why we're running the campaign now--because if you follow the science, we don't have four years to wait. We really have to start tackling this now. It's really important for the climate and it's time that people put their politics where their values and science argue they ought to be. I think Obama supporters are really having a rude awakening right now. The US, as you know, is the largest per capita contributor to climate change and the direction the US pushes goes a long way toward determining what the rest of the world does, and from that perspective, dramatically downscaling carbon emissions goes a long way toward determining the global carbon budget and helps move global policy that way.
A: The current science confirms the cynics here. When you do full life-cycle accounting of it, it is not a cleaner fuel, and is very carbon intensive. Add into that all the impacts on water and we do not want to be going there.
Q: Would you support a national ban on fracking?
A: Absolutely. We should not be opening up new lines of carbon right now, like shale gas and shale oil, as well as tar sands oil, and we just cannot go there right now if we do not want to go over the climate cliff. We're looking at 5-6 degrees Celsius increases of warming by the end of century and that's just not survivable. People need to hear the truth about that. Already, the US has been pulled back in their climate understanding by intense propaganda campaign, but even so, they're seeing it right now, with the droughts and the floods and the hurricanes and all that.
A: Our job is to do the right thing in both the climate emergency and not let the public relations campaigns of the various fossil fuel interests confuse our thinking--because they're hyped up. Take, for example, carbon sequestration: there's really no evidence for it whatsoever that it's going to do the job, and it just so happens that it puts billions of dollars into the pockets of coal companies. This is just an exercise in influence peddling.
Q: They're not based on science, is what you're saying?
A: Exactly. They're not based on science or even sound economics, because the economics behind the carbon trade and carbon markets looks to be as problematic as hedge funds.
Q: So, what is the alternative?
A: It's not carbon and not nuclear. It needs to be clean. A lot of it has to do with redirecting our economy to less carbon intensive, relocalized versions of the economy.
For that reason the Green New Deal will address these problems with a World War II-scale mobilization to transform the way we produce and use energy. We will provide leadership along the way to binding international agreements that will return the carbon burden in our atmosphere to safe levels. We will proceed with utmost urgency, and put the United States 30 years ahead of the global curve. Let the rest of the world catch up with us!
A: We're pretty clearly on record here for renewables--this is a win-win, not only for our economy and the environment, but also for national security. This makes expensive wars for oil obsolete - this has a double yield for our economy.
We want to look at public transportation options as well as the means of a sustainable food supply AND the sources of energy. Put those together with physical exercise integrated into our community life and you drastically undercut Homeland Security costs.
For every job that exists in the fossil fuel sector you can create three jobs in the renewable sector. This is a bonanza for job creation as well.
A: Yes, but those alternatives should be renewable clean energy, not nuclear. Nuclear energy is dirty, dangerous and expensive, and should be precluded on all of those counts. The Fukushima [nuclear disaster] is the ongoing example. There is no safe nuclear energy. You can put in in someone else's backyard or even on the other side of the world--but we're all endangered by it. And we don't need it: Renewables are less expensive. Nuclear power would never survive on a free open market. It can only survive with tens of billions $of taxpayer loan guarantees.
Biomass energy is not carbon neutral. To supply the proposed biomass plants, logging would need to dramatically increase. And this would provide only a tiny fraction of our current energy use, since wood is a low energy-content fuel, and combustion for electricity generation is an inefficient technology. Any logging on a scale sufficient to make a significant dent in our energy problem would be detrimental to forest and soil health, producing soil compaction and soil erosion. This makes it doubtful that logged forests would achieve the 'regrowth' needed for the carbon neutrality claim.
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Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Rocky Anderson(J)