Julian Castro on Environment
Democratic Presidential Challenger (withdrawn); former HUD Secretary
CASTRO: She's right. When I was mayor of San Antonio, I did believe that there were opportunities to be had in fracking that was going on in South Texas. Back then, almost a decade ago, we had been saying that natural gas was a bridge fuel. We're coming to the end of the bridge. And my plan calls for moving toward clean, renewable, zero emission energy in the years to come. That's what I would focus on.
Q: So just to clarify on fracking, if you were president, would you ban fracking?
CASTRO: Look, I support local communities and states that want to ban fracking. I have not called for an immediate ban on fracking. hat I am doing is moving us away from fracking and natural gas and investing in wind energy, solar energy, other renewables to get us to net zero by 2045.
CASTROI connect the dots to places like Flint, Michigan, and I know that too often it's people who are poor, and communities of color, who take the brunt. And so my plan actually calls for new civil rights legislation to be able to address environmental injustice, including making sure that there's a to make a claim. I want to vest that power back in the people so that when we can show a disparate impact of certain practices of companies, of polluters that everyday Americans are able to file suit to try and get some sort of recourse.
CASTRO: We actually need to undo the damage that this administration has done and then expand the lands that we're protecting in our country. We can do that. A few weeks ago, I put out something that we called PAW, Protecting Animals and Wildlife. And I have to be honest with y'all, some people when they heard that, were like, what? You're putting out a plan to protect animals and wildlife? It's not usually something that a lot of presidential candidates do. But again, we need to connect the dots. I've connected the dots of actually preserving more of our lands both for the benefit of wildlife and for our benefit to combat climate change. And so we would go back and reclassify places like Bear's Ear and other land that this administration has gone backward on, and then look for other land that we can also protect and preserve. And we need to do it. We need to do it and we can do it.
CASTRO: My plan calls for investing in national disaster resilience investment and also, very importantly, in pre-disaster mitigation. We don't want to wait until there's a natural disaster to actually make our communities more sustainable. I would invest in that. Most importantly, we have to tackle the issue of the climate crisis so that these storms are less likely to happen in the first place.
Q: Flood insurance rises in cost 18% every year. What about families who can't afford the insurance?
CASTRO: We need to make sure that more people are protected by our national flood insurance program. I would subsidize the cost for folks because I want to make sure that people are protected. And where, because of a natural disaster, they have to rebuild, that they're able to do that. Oftentimes the first folks to get flooded out are the poorest communities. They're often communities of color.
We're also going to set a clean energy standard and ensure that we're able to get to net zero because we have a strong clean energy standard across the United States. And we're going to crack down on corporations that violate our laws. I'm going to appoint an EPA administrator that actually believes in environmental protection and then goes and enforces those laws in the next administrati
CASTRO: Well, because people don't have to wonder what I would do; I've actually done it. I was secretary of housing and urban development when Flint had its water crisis. I went to Flint. We did what we could to help folks get water filters. And then we didn't stop there. We improved the standard of how we deal with elevated blood lead levels in children. A lot of Americans don't know that this is still a major problem out there. I was back in Flint about six weeks ago, and I released a plan to invest $50 billion so that we remove lead as a major public health threat. We need to do it. We can do it. And I will do it if I'm president.
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.
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]
|Other big-city mayors on Environment:||Julian Castro on other issues:|
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)