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Julian Castro on Environment

 

 


We still need to find a long-term solution for nuclear waste

Q: Do you think nuclear energy should be part of the U.S.'s decarbonizing toolbox?

Castro: Nuclear power has a number of challenges that have not yet been solved. For example, we still need to find a long-term solution for the safe disposal of nuclear waste. I support greater investment into technologies and techniques to address these issues. Approximately 20 percent of our nation's energy comes from nuclear power. We should work towards reducing our reliance on nuclear power with investments in renewable energy.

Q: Do you support increasing federal funding for clean-energy research?

Castro: Yes. I support expanding federal funding for clean-energy research through our public and private universities and through government institutions. We must expand the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E), including through funding from priced carbon.

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

Opposed golf course development to protect city's aquifer

My employer, Akin Gump [law firm], represented an Austin-based developer seeking to develop a 2,861-acre golf complex in San Antonio in partnership with the Professional Golf Association of America. The project, known as PGA Village, would sit atop some of the last remaining open acreage in the recharge zone San Antonio's drinking water supply. Battles over the aquifer preceded my time in office, and it remained a hot issue. Almost all hydrologists foresaw that fertilizers and recycled wastewater could leach into the aquifer below.

At the law firm, I explained that I felt an obligation to resign. [On the City Council], I said simply, "I'm voting no," becoming the first member of the city council to publicly announce opposition to the PGA Village. "Corporate subsidy; corporate welfare; are those reasons enough for giving away $60 million in taxes even if they establish superior safety." [The City Council voted in favor pf PGA Village but the project was killed later]

Source: An Unlikely Journey, by Julian Castro, p.171-6 , Oct 16, 2018

At HUD: $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition

When natural disasters struck, as with Superstorm Sandy in the Northeast, the historic flooding in Louisiana, and many other major disasters-- HUD helped the hardest-hit communities to rebuild, cumulatively investing more than $18 billion in those areas, and making it possible for folks to get back in their homes and back to work. And when we invested those dollars, we encouraged communities not just to rebuild, but to rebuild in more resilient ways. The $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition demonstrated our commitment to encourage communities to build infrastructure that can better withstand the next storm and reduce the costs to the American taxpayer.
Source: HUD.gov Cabinet Exit Memo for Obama Cabinet biographies , Jan 5, 2017

More funding for lead-safe regulations in low-income housing

With HUD's "Lead-Free Homes, Lead-Free Kids" toolkit, we have laid out a path for strengthening protections against lead poisoning. The centerpiece of these actions will be our efforts to immediately help young children with dangerous blood lead levels. Looking ahead at how we can end childhood lead poisoning, we strongly recommend that Congress greatly increase funding for the lead hazard grant program--the largest effort toward remediating lead paint hazards in low-income homes in our nation--at a level that would eliminate this public health problem. In order to achieve this goal, Congress must give HUD the authority, along with the necessary funding, to require landlords of housing receiving tenant-based rental assistance to follow the same strict lead-safe regulations as landlords of housing receiving project-based rental assistance.
Source: HUD.gov Cabinet Exit Memo for Obama Cabinet biographies , Jan 5, 2017

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Page last updated: Jun 24, 2019