Cory Booker on Energy & Oil
Mayor of Newark; N.J. Senator; 2020 presidential contender (withdrawn)
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.
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.
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].
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.
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.
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."
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This resolution calls for the creation of a Green New Deal with the goals of:
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.
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Senate races 2021-22:
AK: Incumbent Lisa Murkowski(R)
vs.Challenger Kelly Tshibaka(R)
vs.2020 candidate Al Gross(D)
AL: Incumbent Richard Shelby(R) vs.U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks(R) vs.Ambassador Lynda Blanchard(R) vs.Katie Britt(R) vs.Judge Jessica Taylor(R) vs.Brandaun Dean(D) vs.
AR: Incumbent John Boozman(R)
vs.Candidate Dan Whitfield(D)
AZ: Incumbent Mark Kelly(D)
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vs.A.G. Mark Brnovich(R) vs.Mick McGuire(R)
CA: Incumbent Alex Padilla(D)
vs.2018 Senate candidate James Bradley(R)
vs.State Rep. Jerome Horton(D)
CO: Incumbent Michael Bennet(D)
CT: Incumbent Richard Blumenthal(D)
vs.Challenger Joe Visconti(R)
vs.2018 & 2020 House candidate John Flynn(R)
FL: Incumbent Marco Rubio(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Val Demings(D)
vs.U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson(D)
GA: Incumbent Raphael Warnock(D)
vs.Navy vet Latham Saddler(R)
HI: Incumbent Brian Schatz(D)
vs.Former State Rep. Cam Cavasso(R ?)
IA: Incumbent Chuck Grassley(R)
vs.State Sen. Jim Carlin(R)
vs.Former U.S. Rep IA-1 Abby Finkenauer(D)
ID: Incumbent Mike Crapo(R)
IL: Incumbent Tammy Duckworth(D)
vs.U.S.Rep. Adam Kinzinger(? R)
IN: Incumbent Todd Young(R)
vs.Challenger Haneefah Abdul-Khaaliq(D)
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KS: Incumbent Jerry Moran(R)
KY: Incumbent Rand Paul(R)
vs.State Rep Charles Booker(D)
LA: Incumbent John Kennedy(R)
MD: Incumbent Chris Van Hollen(D)
MO: Incumbent Roy Blunt(R)
vs.Eric Greitens(R) vs.Scott Sifton(D)
vs.Eric Schmitt(R) vs.Lucas Kunce(D)
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vs.Tim Shepard(D) vs.Billy Long(R)
NC: Incumbent Richard Burr(R,retiring)
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Bernie Moreno(R) vs.Tim Ryan(D)
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vs.Kathy Barnette(R) vs.Sharif Street(D)
vs.Conor Lamb(D) vs.Sean Parnell(R)
vs.Craig Snyder(R) vs.Mehmet Oz(R)
SC: Incumbent Tim Scott(R)
vs.State Rep. Krystle Matthews(D)
SD: Incumbent John Thune(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
UT: Incumbent Mike Lee(R) vs.Allen Glines(D)
vs.Austin Searle(D) vs.Evan McMullin(I)
VT: Incumbent Patrick Leahy(D)
vs.Scott Milne(? R)
WA: Incumbent Patty Murray(D)
vs.Challenger Tiffany Smiley(R)
WI: Incumbent Ron Johnson(R) vs.Tom Nelson(D)
vs.Sarah Godlewski(D) vs.Alex Lasry(D)
vs.Chris Larson(D) vs.Mandela Barnes(D)
Senate Votes (analysis)