Cory Booker on Energy & Oil

Mayor of Newark; N.J. Senator; 2020 presidential contender (withdrawn)


Zero carbon by 2030 requires nuclear as part of the blend

Q: You say nuclear energy is key to fighting climate change. The fact is there are currently no safe ways or permanent ways to dispose of the most dangerous radioactive waste.

BOOKER: So this is where study and science is really important. So let's deal with the facts and the data. When I was mayor of the city of Newark, I used to have strong people come in with strong opinions & strong emotions. I used to say, "in God we trust, but everybody else bring me data." And we need to look at the numbers right now. So my plan says that we need to be at a zero carbon electricity by 2030. That's 10 years from the time that I will win the presidency of the United States of America. And right now, nuclear is more than 50% of our non-carbon causing energy. So people who think that we can get there without nuclear being part of the blend just aren't looking at the facts.

Source: CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall marathon (10 Democrats) , Sep 4, 2019

GOP is only party on earth that denies climate change

Q: How will you communicate effectively to the skeptics on climate change?

BOOKER: Let's understand the reality we're in right now is young Republicans, millennial Republicans are really with us. I'm not one of these people that wants to vilify an entire party. The reality is the people that need to be vilified are Republicans in Congress who are the only major political party on the planet Earth whose leadership denies the science of climate change--remember in Europe, there are right wing parties, left wing parties [and all believe in climate change]. The battle we have right now is the obstruction that is going on by the Congressional Republican Party. And what is important, is that this is as much a cultural battle as it is a political battle, which is letting folks know who aren't with us.

Source: CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall marathon (10 Democrats) , Sep 4, 2019

Ban fracking, and no new oil leases, on public land

Q: Would you ban offshore drilling?

BOOKER: Absolutely yes. I will ban offshore drilling. Why? Because where have these leases, we know they drill, they spill. Ask Alaska. Ask California. Ask the Gulf Coast. Destroying the environment. If my goal is to get our electricity zero carbon emission, that means phasing off of fossil fuels. To get to net zero carbon emissions by 2045 for our whole nation, we have to get off of fossil fuels. So why would I allow new leases? But this is not just offshore drilling. This is things like fracking on public lands--

Q: That was my next question. Would you ban fracking?

BOOKER: Right away on public lands. Absolutely yes.

Q: Just on public lands?

BOOKER: No, no. Let me finish. We will transition off of fossil fuels, natural gas, coal, oil. We must transition off so that those things are something of the past and the innovations and the breakthroughs in technologies lead us into a future where we dealt with [methods like fracking].

Source: CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall marathon (10 Democrats) , Sep 4, 2019

Incentivize farmers that help them enrich environment

Q: What is your climate plan?

BOOKER: Climate is not a separate issue. It is an everyday mission. That means every one of my departments, every one of my agencies, every one of my cabinet members has to be coming up with an aggressive climate plan. Making sure that we're setting standards to put ourselves on a mission to have zero emission electricity by 2030 and a carbon neutral country by 2045. We can do these things.

Q: How will your plan support the domestic agriculture industr BOOKER: My plan is going to have farmers be incentivized through hundreds of billions of dollars. Whether that's cover crops that are going to pull carbon out of the air or ranching practices that help to preserve the soil and minimize the carbon footprint, we can do this and farmers don't get hurt by that. Family farmers will create new sources of revenue by doing practices that preserve our heritage, enrich our environment, and help deal with this larger crisis.

Source: Climate Crisis Town Hall (CNN 2019 Democratic primary) , Sep 4, 2019

Climate change is the lens through which we view every issue

[Like President Trump exiting the Paris Climate Accord], there was another president that would not join an international accord. Then it was the Kyoto accords [under President Bush]. I was mayor then. And I stood up in national leadership joining with other mayors to say climate change is not a separate issue. It must be the lens with which we view every issue. Nobody should get applause for rejoining the Paris climate accords. We have to make sure that everything from our trade deals, everything from the billions of dollars we spend to foreign aid, everything must be sublimated to dealing with the climate threat.

Yes, the majority of this problem is outside the United States, but the only way we're going to deal with this is if the United States leads.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) , Jul 31, 2019

Carbon tax should go to alleviating inequality

Booker, in his response to a survey question on whether he supports a carbon tax, said he would like to see the money from the tax go toward alleviating inequality.
Source: Mother Jones magazine on "2020 Dems on Climate Change" , Apr 20, 2019

Rejoin Paris Climate Agreement, plus domestic legislation

Q: Would you keep the US in the Paris Agreement?

Booker: "As president, I will immediately move to rejoin the Paris Agreement and to increase our emission reduction targets to align with the scientific consensus for the necessary speed and scale at which we must decarbonize in order to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees."

Q: Would you restore Obama-era climate change regulations that the Trump administration has reversed?

Booker: "The Trump EPA is taking actions to gut the Clean Power Plan, to weaken methane limits and to reverse vehicle emissions standards. All of these actions will make climate change worse. As president, I will restore these policies as part of a comprehensive approach to address climate change."

Q: Do you support new regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions?

Booker: "I will both work with Congress to pass comprehensive climate legislation and, when appropriate, use executive powers to address the existential threat posed by global warming."

Source: 2019 "Meet the Candidates" (NY Times.com) , Apr 18, 2019

Mixed score on "350 Action's 2020 Climate Test"

The environmental group 350 Action released a candidate scorecard known as the 2020 Climate Test to assess presidential hopefuls on three major metrics: support for a Green New Deal, opposition to new fossil fuel development and refusal to accept money from energy companies. [Candidates supporting all three issues]: Four candidates have supported two of 350 Action's three benchmarks.Three candidates have failed all three of 350 Action's tests, attacking the Green New Deal or making no firm pledges to work against fossil fuel companies.
Source: Mother Jones, "On Climate," on 2020 Presidential Hopefuls , Mar 27, 2019

Leadership in dealing with climate change, including nuclear

I support the Green New Deal. When I was mayor, I found out that we can environmentally retrofit buildings, lower our carbon footprint, create good union jobs and apprenticeship programs. Nuclear has to be part of this solution. Next-generation nuclear is so much safer, uses spent fuel rods. One of the first things I do, should I be president, will be rejoining the Paris Climate Accords.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Mar 27, 2019

Supports tax-funded carbon reduction, but not carbon tax

BROKEN PROMISE: : The Booker campaign claimed that Booker had never supported a carbon tax, but in fact he had supported "lower carbon output." Voters would infer from his support of "lower carbon output" that Booker would support some sort of economic incentive to achieve that. We call that a broken promise by "legalism."

ANALYSIS: Booker was TECHNICALLY not lying when he said he never supported a carbon TAX--he meant he supported OTHER forms of economic incentives (paid for with taxes, of course). Booker omitted that from his campaign explanation, even when given the chance to clarify (his Senate campaign opponent raised the issue in a TV ad). That omission misled voters into thinking he opposed incentives for reducing carbon output. And he DID support reducing carbon output in his actions in the Senate, in contradiction to his misleading omission.

Source: Cory Booker 'Promises Broken,' by Jesse Gordon, p. 58 , Apr 1, 2017

Support existing nuclear power by pricing carbon

Alarmed by the growing number of US nuclear power plants that have closed or might soon close because of cheap, abundant natural gas, industry officials are calling for speedy government action to [avoid] replacing all the shuttered plants with new natural-gas generation, which would wipe out about 1/4 of projected carbon emissions reductions.

"We've got to support the existing nuclear fleet," said Senator Booker. "We must make a goal of passing a law that establishes an economy-wide price on carbon to allow nuclear to compete on a level playing field."

Electricity markets have failed to give nuclear energy credit for being a clean, zero-carbon source that has provided around-the-clock, base-load power. To encourage the growth of wind and solar energy, Congress has subsidized them with 30% production tax credits. Nuclear's ongoing, seemingly intractable waste-disposal issue was not discussed, nor was the public's uneasiness with the technology.

Source: Physics Today, "Decline of US nuclear industry" , Jun 1, 2016

Climate change requires American leadership

When I was [in France for the Paris climate talks] over there, I was moved to see virtually all of the globe represented by leaders, NGOs, and major corporations. Everyone was there. There was an array of the planet coming together, focused on this issue of the impacts of climate change. Conversations ranged from focusing on us being innovative and how we are dealing with renewable technology, all the way to resiliency for poor populations who are disproportionately affected by climate change.

This is an issue that affects America that we cannot solve without joining with the rest of the globe. American leadership is incredibly needed. I am proud to send a strong message to the rest of the globe that we are here in the United States strongly supporting the ambitious commitments of President Obama, and that we will defend those communities that are facing this crisis. We will be leaders.

Source: Library of Congress transcript of Senate Floor Speech , Dec 10, 2015

Ice-melt is literally creating climate refugees

[At the Paris climate talks] I led a bilateral conversation with Bangladesh, talking to peer leaders--the U.S. sitting down with Ministry and Parliamentary members from Bangladesh. By many estimates, Bangladesh is the most vulnerable large country to climate change. Due to climate change [including rising sea levels and ice-pack] melting off the Himalayas, right now Bangladesh is losing 1% of its arable land each year, displacing millions of Bangladeshis, literally creating climate refugees.
Source: Library of Congress transcript of Senate Floor Speech , Dec 10, 2015

Rejoin Greenhouse Gas Initiative under Clean Power Plan

Today's EPA announcement [to curb carbon emissions] represents a major step forward in our national effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. We must be aggressive in our pursuit of reducing our carbon footprint. The [Clean Power Plan] is a common sense proposal that will empower states to do their part and contribute to the national goal of curbing emissions from power plants.

I am also encouraged by the flexibility the administration's plan provides for each state to decide exactly how they will achieve our national goal to reduce emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030. In light of today's announcement, New Jersey should consider rejoining the successful Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which would allow us to reduce and offset our carbon emissions by making investments in clean energy. I am confident that New Jersey will achieve the goals presented today and remain a national leader in clean energy production.

Source: 2014 Press Release from Senate office booker.senate.gov , Jun 3, 2014

Treat carbon pollution like mercury and particle pollution

Power plants account for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. While there are limits in place for the level of arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particle pollution that power plants can emit, there are currently no national limits on carbon pollution levels. By 2030, the Clean Power Plan proposal has set goals that will: The Clean Power Plan is a common sense proposal that will empower states to do their part and contribute to the national goal of curbing emissions from power plants
Source: 2014 Press Release from Senate office booker.senate.gov , Jun 3, 2014

Sustainability programs: slow growth of carbon footprint

As Mayor, I quickly worked to implement sustainability programs that created green jobs, slowed the growth of our carbon footprint, and saved millions of dollars by driving down energy costs.

In 2008, I created Newark's first Office of Sustainability and organized a "Green Future Summit" that brought additional structure to our efforts. In 2013, we released Newark's first ever Sustainability Action Plan, which provides a comprehensive roadmap for making Newark a greener, healthier and more vibrant city. More importantly, these programs have delivered concrete results that will continue to benefit Newarkers long after I leave office.

Source: 2013-2014 New Jersey Senate campaign web CoryBooker.com , Nov 3, 2013

Eliminate unfair subsidies for oil and ga

As your Senator, I will work tirelessly to ensure that the United States is a world leader in the green economy, and that we address global warming before it is too late. My priorities will include:A healthy environment is in everyone's interest; Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all breathe the same air. As Mayor I brought people together--from business, government and the community--to address local and regional environmental concerns, and will carry the same approach with me to Washington to tackle our federal challenges.
Source: 2013-2014 New Jersey Senate campaign web CoryBooker.com , Nov 3, 2013

Has never taken a public position on a carbon tax

Holt launched his first TV ad and faulted Booker for not supporting a carbon tax or breaking up large banking institutions in the 31-second spot. "Cory Booker may be the frontrunner in this race, but he's not progressive," Holt said in the ad running until the election on broadcast in New York and cable in Philadelphia.

A Booker campaign spokesman questioned the ad's validity, saying the mayor has never taken a public position on a carbon tax or breaking up banks. "It's disappointing that Representative Holt would mislead voters about Mayor Booker's record," he said.

Booker launched his fourth ad Monday, with the mayor speaking about what he would bring to the Senate while ignoring the other primary candidates.

Source: Wall Street Journal coverage of 2013 N.J. Senate debate , Aug 5, 2013

Weatherize of 450 homes; free for seniors

Our partnerships with La Casa de Don Pedro and First Hopewell have led to the weatherization of over 450 homes--helping residents save money with lower utility bills and creating jobs for Newarkers. We've partnered with Local 55 to train residents for jobs in weatherization, resulting in free home weatherization for dozens of our seniors. And we are moving forward with the sale of city-owned, abandoned homes to small, local contractors who will work with Local 55 to rehabilitate and weatherize them.
Source: 2010 State of the City Address at Newark Symphony Hall , Feb 9, 2010

Create green economy with lower carbon output

I endorsed Senator Obama because he is committed to strengthening the federal commitment to our cities through several key initiatives, including creating a new green economy, which will not only lower carbon output, increase energy efficiency, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil but also create new businesses and tens of thousands of new jobs.
Source: Cory Booker column on Huffington Post , Nov 4, 2008

Federal collaboration for advanced nuclear technologies.

Booker signed collaborating for advanced nuclear technologies

Press Release from 5 Senators: The Senate today approved, 87-4, legislation that would facilitate advanced nuclear technologies, as part of the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA), S. 2461, which prioritizes partnering with private innovators on new reactor technologies and the testing and demonstration of reactor concepts.

Supporters arguments:

Opposing environmental argument: (Sierra Club FactSheet, "Why Nuclear Power Doesn't Make Sense"): As the disasters at Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima have shown, nuclear power can cause catastrophic damage to land & human health. We should pursue our cleanest, quickest, safest, and cheapest energy options first: Nuclear power comes out last in every one of those categories.

Opposing economic argument: (Cato Institute Commentary, "Risky Business"): Many free-market advocates support nuclear because it costs less to generate nuclear power than it does to generate electricity from any other source. However, someone has to first pay for--and build--these plants and the rub is that nuclear has very high, upfront construction costs ranging from $6-9 billion. By contrast, gas plants cost only a few hundred million dollars to build and coal a couple of billion. But the final nail in the coffin for the industry would be if the federal cap on the liability that nuclear power plant owners face in case of accidents (the Price-Anderson Act) were to be lifted.

Source: H.R.4084 & S.2461 16-S2461 on Jan 28, 2016

50% clean and carbon free electricity by 2030.

Booker co-sponsored H.Res.637/S.Res.386

Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should establish a national goal of more than 50 percent clean and carbon free electricity by 2030 for the purposes of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, growing our economy, increasing our shared prosperity, improving public health, and preserving our national security.

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should--
  1. Establish a national goal of more than 50 percent clean and carbon free electricity by 2030; and
  2. Enact legislation to accelerate the transition to clean energy to meet this goal.
Source: Resolution for 50% Carbon-Free Electricity by 2030 16-SRes386 on Mar 3, 2016

Other candidates on Energy & Oil: Cory Booker on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-NY,R-MA)
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External Links about Cory Booker:

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

Page last updated: Feb 23, 2020