Energy Industry Lobbying and Political Corruption
The fact that we are continuously relying on fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – is holding us back from a new, clean energy revolution that would GREATLY benefit our economy, environment and collective public health. Fossil fuel companies have polluted our air and water, damaged our health, accelerated global warming, and polluted our political system for far too long. And this must all stop, including the energy industry’s lobbying and contributions to political campaigns, both concerning the government and its elected officials; otherwise, the federal government will continue supporting the use of fossil fuels, handing out massive tax breaks and subsidies to multinational corporations that are already among the most profitable in the world.
U.S. fossil fuel producing companies rake in hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue every year, with huge profit margins, yet the U.S. ranks the worst of all G7 countries by subsidizing fossil fuels the most — to the tune of over $26 billion a year.
Corruption, both legalized and unvarnished, makes it extremely difficult to take on the power of the energy-producing giants. And until we deal with the issue of money’s powerful influence on our political system, none of this will truly change. This is why campaign finance reform is something SO CRUCIALLY NEEDED and ESSENTIAL for a rebirth, and reshaping, of a more free, democratic and inclusive America, where human beings are more valued than short-term profits and corporate interests. Additionally, radically addressing climate change is a potential path towards a more equitable economy with increased employment and widespread financial security for all, as there is most definitely a relationship between economic stability and environmental sustainability. For these reasons, it’s important that we shift course and implement a Green New Deal – a transformation that implements structural changes to our political and financial systems, in order to help alter the trajectory of our environment.
A Green New Deal would provide an overall strategy for how clean energy, sustainable infrastructure and transportation as well as a national green jobs program could revitalize our economy, utilizing our innovative human capacity to benefit all our people. While it doesn’t cover everything that we must undertake to reverse global warming, it is the first important step we must take in getting closer to seriously tackling this existential threat before it is "too late”.
- I will fight for expanding investments in clean, green energy
- I will fight to reduce CO2 emissions to net zero by 2030-2050 at the latest
- I will fight to mirror the ambitious, but realistic efforts in the State of California, which will then send a similar message to the U.S. market and the world that we need to transition to cleaner energy as quickly as possible
- I will fight to reinstate and expand energy and mileage efficiency investments
- I will fight to extend federal incentives and rebates for renewable energy
- I will fight to transition away from fossil fuel energy and halt all new fossil fuel projects
- I will fight to restart the Clean Power Plan to protect our health and clean air, while moving away from coal — which is costly, harmful to the air we breathe as well as to the land and water, where it is mined and burned
- I will fight to de-carbonize the electric power sector by 2040, as I believe that each state should be required to adopt a renewable portfolio standard which would start at the level of renewable electricity supplies in that state in 2020, then increase up to 100% by 2040
- I will fight to de-carbonize buildings by 2040
- I will fight to reduce carbon by putting a price on carbon that will help pay for the external damage done by these fuels
- I will fight to put a ban on all fracking operations (oil and gas) while we study the best way to transition away from and phase out these hazardous, extreme extraction techniques
- I will fight to end all new oil and gas leases in federal lands and waters
- I will fight to end our reliance on oil because it perpetuates our dependence on energy supplies from other countries, particularly in the Middle East; it also prevents us from utilizing renewable energy sources, which will save, potentially, trillions of dollars from being wasted on foreign wars
- I will fight to transition away from the domestic use of nuclear energy
- I will fight to address emissions caused by huge agribusinesses, the largest producer of the most dangerous greenhouse gasses -- methane and nitrous oxide -- which will also return farming to families and not factories
- I will fight to ensure that each industrial corporation will have to commit to a series of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets, phasing down to 0% emissions by 2050, at the latest, or otherwise be subject to fines via income tax laws if such annual targets are not met
- I will fight for more research and development in the long run, so that we can move to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and reverse global warming with even more full force
- I will fight to allow workers currently employed in the fossil fuel industries to be accepted first in new job training programs for renewable energy industries and the building renovation industry, while also working with universities, community colleges and trade schools to develop education programs to help bring in people for the new industries and jobs
- I will fight to phase out the sales of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2035 and advocate for the removal of fossil fuel burning vehicles from our roads by 2050, with the exception for historical vehicles, schools and museums for educational purposes
- I will fight to accelerate the production of electric vehicles, invest in charging infrastructure, and continue efforts to maximize fuel efficiency until we can move away from internal combustion engines, while championing the need for more access to electric charging stations by 2035
- I will fight to require electrification of all railways by 2030, both passenger and freight
- I will fight to deploy federal transportation funds to fully empower our cities’ public mass transit systems and walkable and bikeable communities
- I will fight to require that all new airplanes use either hydrogen or bio-fuels by 2035
- I will fight to restore our forests and oceans while promoting sustainable agricultural and ranching practices, among other critical measures
- I will fight to fully integrate climate preparedness into our country’s emergency preparedness, health plans, infrastructure plans and homeland security plans
- I will fight to enact policies to create high-quality, high-wage jobs, protect the rights of workers to unionize and ensure strong labor standards, workplace health and safety, training and advancement opportunities, guaranteed wages and benefits, an anti-discrimination work environment and positive working conditions, in conjunction with a mobilization for the Green New Deal