Debra L. Sachs, Director
Alliance for Climate Action
585 Pine Street
Burlington, VT 05401
802-658-8487 (Hm Office)
From: Eban Goodstein [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, October 22, 2004 12:58 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: GHN: Kerry says climate change would be his top enviro priority
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Kerry says climate change would be his top enviro priority
The United States should rejoin international discussions on climate
change, John Kerry (D) told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview
published this week.
"We're going to go back to the table on global warming," Kerry said,
calling climate change a "very serious" problem and his top
The Kyoto treaty, named after the Japanese city where the 1997
negotiations took place, had the support of the Clinton administration.
But early in his presidency, President Bush pulled out of Kyoto
ratification talks. At the time, the lack of U.S. participation
appeared to dampen world hopes that the treaty would ever be ratified.
In March 2001, National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice announced that
"Kyoto is dead" as far as the Bush administration was concerned. But
last month, Russian Cabinet ministers approved the treaty, making it
likely to be ratified by as soon as this fall.
Kerry has attacked President Bush's decision to pull out of Kyoto
Protocol ratification talks. Kerry himself does not support the treaty
but wanted to continue global negotiations. Kerry voted in 1997 for a
climate change resolution from Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) and Sen.
Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) that called on U.S. officials not to sign a
climate change treaty unless developing nations were also held
accountable for emissions. The measure passed the Senate by a 95-0
"Well, we can't meet the 1990 standards that we set, because we're too
far beyond it now," Kerry said. "So we're going to have to sit down
with our scientists and our businesses and see what's feasible. But I
intend to set America on the course of energy independence -- hopefully
within 10 years. And we're going to accelerate our research and
development into alternative and renewable fuels."
In the interview, Kerry repeated his claim that having strong national
security means reducing the nation's dependence on Mideast oil. He said
his energy plan would allow the United States to avoid relying on
countries in the Middle East that Kerry said Americans might not
otherwise consider allies.
"Let me tell you something," Kerry said, "As gas prices go up, and fuel
hits sixty bucks a barrel, I'm going to have a lot of allies. This does
not have to be combative and confrontational. I'm going to reach out to
the companies and offer them a very significant helping hand in the
retooling and transformational costs."
He added, "We're going to be drilling oil and natural gas for forty or
fifty years to come, at least. But I've laid out a very aggressive
energy policy. We're going to move rapidly to be independent of Mideast
oil and reduce our fossil fuel base as fast as we can. I'm going to
create the incentives that excite the research and development. We're
going to create a race for the new sources of energy -- whatever they
Kerry: "We're going to greatly encourage the use of more fuel-efficient
vehicles. We're not going to mandate them -- we're going to offer
people choices that make sense economically. So we're going to give a
big tax credit for people who purchase a fuel-efficient vehicle."
In August, Kerry unveiled a $20 billion plan to finance fuel-efficient
vehicles and renewable energy. Kerry called on spending $10 billion to
entice domestic automakers to build fuel-efficient vehicles. Under the
proposal, Kerry will call for government money to help automakers
renovate or build new assembly plants. In addition, Kerry would spend
$5 billion on a public-private partnership to conduct research on
various alternative fuels. Finally, the plan calls for $5 billion in
consumer tax breaks, including a $5,000 credit for buyers of
Under the proposal, Kerry called for generating 20 percent of
electricity from alternative sources such as wind, solar, ethanol and
biodiesel fuel. In addition, his plan sets a target of using renewable
sources for 20 percent of the nation's motor vehicle fuels. The Kerry
campaign said the nominee hopes to achieve both goals by 2020.
The Kerry campaign has said it would like to see corporate average fuel
economy (CAFE) standards raised from 24 miles per gallon to about 36
mpg by 2015. But the idea is not popular with Michigan automakers who
say the proposal would be difficult and expensive to meet. As a result,
talk of CAFE standards has all but disappeared from Kerry's platform.
Kerry proposed paying for the plan with several changes in economic
policy, including a reinstatement of the Superfund tax on oil and
chemical companies (Greenwire, Aug. 6).
"Every speech I make, wherever I go, I talk about energy independence.
I've talked about energy independence every single day of this
campaign," Kerry said (Jann S. Wenner, Nov. 11 issue.)
Kerry, who has reminded voters repeatedly during the campaign that he
is an avid sportsman and hunter, plans to go duck hunting today in
Mahoning County, Ohio. On Oct. 16, Kerry purchased an Ohio hunting
license for $140 (Alan Johnson, Columbus Dispatch [subscription
required], Oct. 19).
Democrats have been trying to tout Kerry's image as sportsman in an
attempt to gain traction in rural, socially conservative America.
Environmentalists have been hoping Kerry's display of passion for
sporting will help rally support from a "gun, rod and reel" community
that is increasingly disappointed by the Bush administration's policies
on wildlife conservation and wetlands protection. For months, some
environmentalists have argued that the largely conservative and
increasingly Republican hunting community may be upset enough with the
Bush administration's environmental policies to consider shifting
allegiances to Kerry.
A nationwide poll released in July by the National Wildlife Federation
found that hunters and anglers are at odds with the president's
environmental ideology and believe that the administration listens too
much to developers and the energy industry on matters of environmental
health and resource conservation (Greenwire, July 15). -- DIL
Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC
E&E DAILY -- GREENWIRE -- LAND LETTER
Copyright 2004 http://www.eenews.net
---------- End Forwarded Message ----------
+ + + + + + +
Professor of Economics and
Chair of Environmental Studies
Lewis and Clark College
Portland, OR 97219
v 503.768.7626 / f 503.768.7611
[log in to unmask]