DFL Sr Senator (MN); Democratic presidential contender
Fracking is ok as a transitional fuel
Q: You're not on the same page on a total ban of fracking. You call it a transitional fuel. But scientists are sounding this alarm now. Do you take these warnings that maybe fracking is a step backwards, not a transition?
KLOBUCHAR: I have made it
very clear that we have to review all of the permits that are out there right now for natural gas and then make decisions on each one of them and then not grant new ones until we make sure that it's safe. But it is a transitional fuel.
Source: MSNBC's 9th Democrat primary debate, in Las Vegas
, Feb 19, 2020
Money from energy savings should go back to working class
One, get back into that international climate change agreement. Two, clean power rules, bring those back. And the president can do this herself without Congress, as well as the gas mileage standard. But when it comes to
putting a price on carbon, we have to make sure that that money goes back directly as dividends to the people that are going to need help for paying their bills. Otherwise, we're not going to pass it.
Source: 9th Democrat 2020 primary debate, in Las Vegas Nevada
, Feb 19, 2020
Reverse Trump climate rollbacks and put a price on carbon
We need to get back into the International Climate Change Agreement. I will do that on day one. On day two, bring back the clean power rules, on day three, the gas mileage standards. I see the governor of California who has been working so hard to get
those done, defied every step of the way by the Trump administration. Then introduce legislation to put a price on carbon and build a bridge to the next century, which means we must upgrade buildings and building standards.
Source: Newshour/Politico/PBS December Democratic primary debate
, Dec 19, 2019
Show how investment in climate change will benefit Midwest
The way we take on climate change is by talking about what's happening in the Midwest. What we are seeing there is unprecedented flooding. We're seeing a 50% increase in home insurance. We have to make clear that money is going to come back to
those areas where jobs are going to change and to make them whole with their energy bills. When you make the case like that, you bring in the Midwestern votes, and the best way to do it is by putting someone from the Midwest at the top of the ticket.
Source: Newshour/Politico/PBS December Democratic primary debate
, Dec 19, 2019
Our mission: solve climate crisis, without harming economy
Q: In a recent interview on climate change and coal, you said it doesn't make sense to "get rid of all these industries or do this in a few years." Talk about the timing.
KLOBUCHAR: The timing is to make this our mission, like landing on the moon, or
the Civil Rights movement where our country came together and said we're going to solve something. And when do you that, you get the new technology and the new results. I was being honest, I don't think we can phase it out in a few years. To me that's
like 2 or 3 or 4 years. Right? You have to do it over a period of time, you have to be aware of where people are working and how are you going to do this in a way that keeps our economy going and keeps our economy strong. There is an old Ojibway saying
that "great leaders should make decisions not for this generation but for seven generations from now." [We should] put that money into R&D and work with the private sector, perfect the storage for energy, the sooner we can do this, the better.
Q: You have not joined some of your colleagues who are calling for an all out ban on fracking. Why?
KLOBUCHAR: Because I see natural gas as a transitional fuel. It is better than oil, but it's not nearly as good as wind and solar. However, you have
situations where you have dangerous fracking that shouldn't be happening. So as president in my first 100 days, I will review every fracking permit there is and decide which ones should be allowed to be continued and which ones are too dangerous.
Then you go from there. And as you put a price on carbon, you will see less of this going on--because once you put rules of the road in place, it's going to become less economically feasible for that kind of fuel. I remember only a few years ago we
were celebrating work of the Obama administration for natural gas-fueled buses. Why? It was better than the old kind of buses. So you have to see this as a transition as we move ahead to a better and cleaner environment.
Carbon neutral is goal; nuclear/coal during transition
Q: What defines safe nuclear power and clean coal? Don't they sound like oxymorons?
A: We have to go to carbon neutral by no later than 2050. With nuclear I would look at all the plants we have right now. It is about 20% of our energy and it doesn't
emit carbon. I would look at those plants and make sure they're safe and figure out what upgrades we have to make, but I wouldn't expand nuclear unless we can find safe storage. I wouldn't allow for building of new coal plants. What we're
as we phase out coal plants is how we can make them better for the environment.
Q: How do we get to carbon neutrality?
A: Being part of the international climate change agreement again, to have some clout and leverage with our allies will make a
big difference. The thing which is really exciting is putting incentives out there for farmers to do things that will reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. That's things like planting winter cover crops. As president I would expand it greatly.
Q: Our least expensive, fastest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to simply use less energy in our daily lives. What plans do you have for getting U.S. citizens and businesses to change their behavior?
KLOBUCHAR: The former Energy Secretary
always referred to energy efficiency as a low-hanging fruit. Putting really strict building standards in place to make these buildings as energy efficient as possible to reduce our carbon. Moving to electric cars and trucks.
To do that of course, we need the grid and that's why my infrastructure plan is so focused on green infrastructure. There are numerous examples of what we can be doing to make energy efficiency, which I agree is this low-hanging fruit. You know why
it's popular with the public? Whether it's increasing the gas mileage standards and then eventually moving to electric cars, or the building standards, or the appliance standards--it's popular because if people save money they really like
Would rejoin climate pact & propose new legislation
Climate change isn't happening 100 years from now. It's happening right now, and that's why as your president on day one I would get us back into the international climate change agreement. That's day 1. On day 2 and day 3, I would bring back the clean
power rules that the Obama administration worked out that will make a big dent in this. I will bring back the gas mileage standards that they just left. I would propose sweeping legislations for green buildings and new ideas and we need to do this.
Source: CNN Town Hall 2020: 5 candidates back-to-back
, Apr 22, 2019
Open to carbon tax, but without increased prices
Q: As president, would you keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement and commit to more ambitious targets in 2020?
Her campaign didn't answer this question, but Ms. Klobuchar said at a CNN town hall-style event: "I will, as first day as the president,
sign us back into the international climate change agreement. That is on Day 1."
Q: Do you support a federal carbon tax? If so, at what price per ton, and how do you envision the proceeds being used?
Ms. Klobuchar's campaign said she was open to a
carbon tax but would not support one that increased prices for lower- and middle-income Americans. It did not provide an on-the-record quote.
Q: Would you restore Obama-era climate change regulations that the Trump administration has reversed, like
the Clean Power Plan, methane limits and vehicle emissions standards?
Ms. Klobuchar's campaign confirmed that she would restore the Clean Power Plan and gas mileage standards, but did not provide an on-the-record quote.
Green New Deal is aspirational; don't over-promise
Sen. Amy Klobuchar placed herself firmly in the center lane of the Democratic primary, calling popular progressive policy platforms "aspirational," and declining to fully commit to them. The Minnesota Democrat called the Green New Deal "aspirational" --
pitching herself as pragmatic Midwesterner who won't over-promise liberal policies to primary voters.
On climate change, Klobuchar said she believes that "we can get close" to the Green New Deal, but that she doesn't "think we're going to get rid of
entire industries in the U.S."
"We need to get this debate going, and this is put out there as an aspiration in that something we need to move toward," she said. "Do I think we can cross every 'T' and dot every 'I' in 10 years? Actually,
I think that would be very difficult to do."
She also looked ahead to the potential legislation, acknowledging that "there are going to be compromises" and "it's not going to look exactly like that," she said.
The Green New Deal is so important for our country [despite disagreements] on exactly how and when it will work. This is a discussion that we must have as a country.
I will, as first day as the president, sign us back into the international climate
change agreement. I will also bring back the clean power rules that the Trump administration left on the cutting room floor. I will also bring back the gas mileage standards and then propose sweeping legislation to upgrade our infrastructure.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls
, Feb 18, 2019
Rejoin Paris climate deal; meet UN goals
Climate change: Set goals for cutting greenhouse emissions and rejoin Paris climate deal.
Klobuchar wants to meet the goals of the
U.N. panel on climate change: cut greenhouse gases by 45 percent by 2030, and increase renewable energy by up to 47 percent by 2050.
She has not given specifics recently on how she would achieve those goals.
But in 2008, Klobuchar pushed for a bill to cut emissions 70 percent by the year 2050 via a cap-and-trade market system.
Klobuchar would also rejoin the Paris accord and push to set national guidelines to boost renewable fuel use.
It's important to acknowledge that sometimes government functions exactly as it should. I can think of several times during my years in the Senate when we worked successfully on important, long-term issues. They took a lot of work and victory was
never certain. In 2007, for example, we increased the gas-mileage standards for the first time since 1984. I was part of the bipartisan group that worked to change those standards, and it was a great moment when we succeeded.
Source: The Senator Next Door, by Amy Klobuchar, p.263
, Aug 24, 2015
Invest in homegrown, renewable energy sources
I will fight to expand incentives for investment in homegrown, renewable energy sources and technology. While the recently passed energy bill includes a number of provisions that will help promote homegrown Minnesota energy,
I believe we need to do more. Here in Minnesota, we have the ability to produce a wide variety of homegrown energy, including ethanol, biodiesel, wind, solar and biomass. This will be a huge source of jobs in Minnesota for decades to come.
I will fight to stop price gouging by oil companies. In early Sept., I called for a “gas gouging penalty” against oil companies that were gouging American consumers at the gas pump even before Hurricane Katrina. Oil companies were already enjoying record
profits, with double-digit increases each quarter. It violates our basic principle of fair play when major oil companies can gouge consumers?not only hurting ordinary families, but also harming other businesses that see their own costs go up dramatically
I will fight for a national strategy to address global warming and reduce greenhouse gases by developing renewable sources of fuel and by setting energy efficiency and emission standards that protect our environment and reduce our dependence
on foreign oil. I will fight to expand incentives to encourage greater investment in renewable energy resources and technology. This is good for the nation and it’s good for Minnesota.
Sign on to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Klobuchar co-sponsored signing on to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
Whereas there is a scientific consensus that the continued buildup of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere threatens the stability of the global climate;
Whereas there are significant long-term risks to the economy and the environment of the US from the temperature increases and climatic disruptions that are projected to result from increased greenhouse gas concentrations;
Whereas the US has the largest economy in the world and is also the largest emitter of greenhouse gases;
Whereas reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the levels necessary to avoid serious climatic disruption requires the introduction of new energy technologies and other climate-friendly technologies;
Whereas the development and sale of climate-friendly technologies in the US and internationally present economic opportunities for workers and businesses in the United States;
Whereas President Bush, in the State of the Union Address given in
January 2006, called on the US to reduce its `addiction` to oil and focus its attention on developing cleaner, renewable, and sustainable energy sources;
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that the United States should act to reduce the health, environmental, economic, and national security risks posed by global climate change and foster sustained economic growth through a new generation of technologies
by participating in negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and leading efforts in other international fora,
with the objective of securing United States participation in binding agreements that establish mitigation commitments by all countries that are major emitters of greenhouse gases;
establish flexible international mechanisms to minimize the cost of efforts by participating countries; and
achieve a significant long-term reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.
Source: S.RES.30/H.CON.RES.104 07-SR30 on Jan 16, 2007
50% clean and carbon free electricity by 2030.
Klobuchar 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.
Whereas failing to act on climate change will have a devastating impact on our Nation`s economy, costing us billions of dollars in lost GDP;
Whereas extreme weather, intensified by climate change, has already cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year in recovery efforts, and this will only continue if climate change is left unaddressed;
Whereas climate change will have devastating public health implications, including increased asthma attacks and exacerbation of other respiratory diseases, especially in vulnerable populations;
Whereas inaction on climate change will disproportionately impact communities of color and exacerbate existing economic inequalities;
Whereas the transition to a clean energy economy is feasible with existing technology;
Whereas the transition to clean energy will create millions of jobs and will increase our country`s GDP and increase disposable household income;
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should--
Establish a national goal of more than 50 percent clean and carbon free electricity by 2030; and
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
Green New Deal: 10-year national mobilization.
Klobuchar signed the Resolution on Green New Deal
This resolution calls for the creation of a Green New Deal with the goals of:
achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions;
establishing millions of high-wage jobs and ensuring economic security for all;
investing in infrastructure and industry;
securing clean air and water, climate and community resiliency, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment for all; and
promoting justice and equality.
The resolution calls for accomplishment of these goals through a 10-year national mobilization effort. The resolution also enumerates the goals and projects of the mobilization effort, including:
building smart power grids (i.e., power grids that enable customers to reduce their power use during peak demand periods);
upgrading all existing buildings and constructing new buildings to achieve maximum energy and water efficiency;
removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and agricultural sectors;
cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites;
ensuring businesspersons are free from unfair competition; and
providing higher education, high-quality health care, and affordable, safe, and adequate housing to all.
Opposing argument from the Cato Institute, 2/24/2019: While reasonable people can disagree on some aspects of the Green New Deal`s proposals, one fact is uncontroversial: the US cannot afford them. The Green New Deal would likely cost upwards of $6.6 trillion per year. The federal government should look for cheaper ways to address problems like climate change. Instead of the Green New Deal, the federal government could adopt a revenue??neutral carbon tax to decrease emissions without exacerbating the fiscal imbalance. Economists from across the political spectrum support carbon taxation as the most cost??effective way to address climate change. And a carbon tax would be most effective if uniformly adopted by other countries, too.
Source: H.Res.109/S.Res.59 19-HR0109 on Feb 7, 2019
Designate sensitive ANWR area as protected wilderness.
Klobuchar co-sponsored designating sensitive ANWR area as protected wilderness
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, DESIGNATION OF PORTION OF ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE AS WILDERNESS.
The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 is amended by adding at the end the following:
Designation of Certain Land as Wilderness- Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, a portion of the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska comprising approximately 1,559,538 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled `Arctic National Wildlife Refuge--1002 Area. Alternative E--Wilderness Designation, October 28, 1991` and available for inspection in the offices of the Secretary, is designated as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System under the Wilderness Act`.
Source: ANWR Wilderness Act (S.2316 ) 2007-S2316 on Nov 7, 2007
Let states define stricter-than-federal emission standards.
Klobuchar co-sponsored allowing states to define stricter emission standards
A bill to permit California and other States to effectively control greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, and for other purposes. Amends the Clean Air Act to approve the application of the state of California for a waiver of federal preemption of its motor vehicle emission standards.
Source: Reducing Global Warming from Vehicles Act (S.2555&H.R.5560) 2008-S2555 on Jan 24, 2008
Sponsored bill to assist rural electric renewable energy.
Klobuchar sponsored Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act
Congressional Summary:This bill requires the Department of Energy to award grants to assist rural electric cooperatives with identifying, evaluating, and designing energy storage and microgrid projects that rely on renewable energy. (A microgrid is a group of interconnected energy resources that acts as a single controllable entity and that can disconnect from the grid to operate in island mode.)
SciPol statement in support: HR4447 would establish a microgrid grant and technical assistance program for rural electric cooperatives. Rural electric cooperatives are non-profit consumer-owned electric cooperatives that came into being in the 1930s to serve the needs of rural areas otherwise ignored by investor-owned (for-profit) utilities. Most rural electric power is still provided by rural electric co-ops.
Trump`s Statement of Administration Policy (against): HR 4447 would implement a top-down approach that undermines the
Administration`s deregulatory agenda. HR 4447 would lead to higher energy costs and discourage innovation. It would create a `green bank` that would subsidize projects similar to wellknown failures like Solyndra. Finally, HR 4447 would interfere with our own energy destiny free from the reins of the Paris Climate Accord and international organizations that ignore the clear lessons that have led to American energy independence.
Common Dreams (against): Over 100 groups--including major environmental, climate and progressive organizations--oppose HR 4447. The heaviest burdens of the climate crisis fall on low-income communities and communities of color. `We applaud the environmental justice measures in this bill, but cannot support legislation that extends our country`s reliance upon fossil fuels,` said the Executive Director of the Progressive Democrats of America.
Legislative outcome: Passed House 220-185-24, Roll #206 on Sep. 24, 2020.