Jill Stein on Energy & Oil

Green Party presidential nominee; Former Challenger for MA Governor


Halt any investment in fossil fuel infrastructure

Q: On Climate Change: Is human activity causing climate change? Should government limit greenhouse gas emissions?

Clinton: Yes on both: "an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time." Supports EPA coal plant restrictions.

Trump: No on both. "Climate change is a hoax." "Cancel Paris climate agreement." Opposes EPA coal plant restrictions.

Johnson: Humans probably cause climate change, but not the role of government to regulate.

Stein: Yes on both. "Halt any investment in fossil fuel infrastructure."

Q: On Climate change: Support renewable energy subsidies?

Clinton: Yes.

Trump: No. Let market decide.

Johnson: Unclear. In 2012 endorsed a resolution for renewable tax credits, more recently said wouldn't subsidize wind energy.

Stein: Yes. Enact an emergency Green New Deal.

Source: CampusElect Voter Guide to 2016 Presidential race , Oct 9, 2018

Climate change is humanity's greatest existential threat

Climate change is the greatest existential threat that humanity has ever faced. Here is how we will address it:
Source: ScienceDebate.org: 20 questions for 2016 presidential race , Oct 9, 2016

Nuclear power plants risk proliferation and going Fukushima

HILLARY CLINTON: Donald Trump's cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons is so deeply troubling. That is the number one threat we face in the world. And it becomes particularly threatening if terrorists ever get their hands on any nuclear material.

DR. JILL STEIN: Yes, nuclear material in the hands of terrorists is a very dangerous thing. This is yet another reason why nuclear power and nuclear power plants and their proliferation around the world is an intolerable threat, not only because of the nuclear weapons that can be made from their materials once they have been used, but also because of the inherent dangers of nuclear power, particularly in the era of climate change. In our country, we have something like 16 nuclear power plants which are located at sea level. Right now, we could see as much as nine feet of sea level rise as soon as 2050, which means that our 16 or so nuclear power plants are all going Fukushima.

Source: DemocracyNow interview on First 2016 Presidential Debate , Sep 27, 2016

Declare a climate emergency & get to 100% renewables by 2030

Q: You've said that you would move the country to 100% renewables by 2030--most experts hope for 2050. How exactly would you accomplish that ambitious goal?

STEIN: 2030 is doable--it is a political problem. It cannot be done unless we have essentially declared a climate emergency. And I would cite, for example, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, where we converted our economy from essentially zero percent of GDP focused on wartime production to 25% of GDP within the course of six months. It was a massive national mobilization predicated on the understanding that this was a national emergency.

Q: So are you saying that we should be spending 25% of GDP on this energy transition?

STEIN: No, what I'm saying is that we have done remarkable things when we understand that we have a true national emergency. And I think Pearl Harbor and the Second World War was a national emergency. I think what we're facing right now is an equivalent national emergency.

Source: Wash. Post editorial board on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 25, 2016

Green New Deal to turn the tide on climate change

Source: Stein-Baraka platform on 2016 presidential campaign website , Aug 8, 2016

COP 21 is symbolic victory, but we need to go much further

Q: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton claim that the COP 21 conference in Paris last December ended with a landmark agreement. Your opinion?

STEIN: It was, perhaps, a symbolic victory to have all these countries signing on, but the time for symbolism is long gone. We have a world that is going up in flames right now, and we need real emergency action. COP 21 is voluntary and, even if completely fulfilled, would still lead to a temperature rise of well over 2 degrees Celsius [the point at which irreversible climate change will take place, say scientists], perhaps somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.5 to 4 degrees. Worse, there's no enforcement mechanism. We need to go far beyond COP 21, but we see our government's actions as just another example of how it has been hijacked in the interest of the fossil-fuel industry. So while the Democrats pay lip service to the climate crisis, what they actually do is something entirely different.

Source: SocialistWorker.org interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 9, 2016

Create 20 million jobs by investing in renewables

Stein came up with a "World War II-scale" program that is in large part due to the sheer necessity of it. What Stein is offering is something called the Green New Deal, a program that would not only bring the US towards 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030 but would "create 20 million jobs by investing in renewables such as wind, solar, tidal and geothermal, as well as public transit, sustainable agriculture, conservation and energy efficiency," she said, adding that this would make "wars for oil obsolete."

As Stein puts it: "The Green New Deal is not only a major step towards ending unemployment for good, but also a tool to fight the corporate takeover of our democracy and exploitation of the poor and people of color. Our transition to 100% clean energy will be based on community, worker and public ownership of our energy system, rather than maximizing profits for energy corporations, banks and hedge funds. We need to treat clean energy as a human right and a common good."

Source: Red Dirt Report, "Election Central", by Andrew W. Griffin , Apr 22, 2016

"All of the above" policy puts fossil fuels above all

Despite much hot air about climate change, Democrats' "all of the above" energy policy has actually put fossil fuels above all. While Obama's policies increased renewables to a scant 5% of the US energy supply, this small portion has been overwhelmed by Obama's massive expansion of fracking and oil and gas extraction, both offshore and on public lands. Even as Obama boasted about the toothless Paris agreement that would allow a catastrophic 3 degrees Celsius temperature rise, Democrats--as well as Republicans--were trashing the climate by lifting the ban on oil exports (equivalent to building 135 new coal power plants), and expediting permits for fracking. Without any help from the Republicans, Obama alone gave a secret executive thumbs up to the major new fracked gas Gulf Trace Pipeline.
Source: Green Party response to 2016 State of the Union speech , Jan 12, 2016

Climate change causes record storms, floods, and drought

Meanwhile, climate change is accelerating off the charts with record storms, heat, fires and floods across the country while California's drought threatens the fruit and vegetable supply for the nation. Lethal impacts have already been set in motion that require emergency action--the breakup of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, permafrost melt, mass extinctions, and marine food chain disruption.
Source: Green Party response to 2016 State of the Union speech , Jan 12, 2016

Immediate halt in all new fossil fuel exploration

You may hear a lot today about the back and forth of last night's Democratic Party debate, but let's talk about what you didn't hear--and won't hear--from the Democratic candidates: [like] 100% clean renewable energy by 2030.

Only our campaign is calling for an immediate halt in all new fossil fuel infrastructure and exploration, and an emergency transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030.

Source: Green Party response to 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate , Oct 14, 2015

Completely zero out climate emissions, as fast as possible

Q: Many climate scientists have pointed out that we are already "locked in" to a certain amount of climate change. So, why is a Green New Deal the answer?

A: I transitioned into doing climate work because from my knowledge of science and how you read the data, I certainly share the perspective that we can't take a single day for granted--that we have to work as fast as humanly possible to completely zero out climate emissions, but we have to do more than that as well. Restoring ecosystem resilience is part of the Green New Deal, which we don't often talk about because we're usually focused on the headlines: energy, transportation and food. Those are the big three for climate emissions, and they're critical for economic security, so that's kind of where the focus is.

Source: Interview with Candice Bernd of Truthout.org , Jun 25, 2015

Make wars for oil obsolete: 100% renewables by 2030

We will lift up the bold solutions the American people are calling for:
Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, Jill2016.com, "Announce" , Feb 6, 2015

Fight against climate change instead of fighting for oil

OBAMA: One of the challenges over the last decade is we've done experiments in nation building in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. And we've neglected, for example, developing our own economy, our own energy sectors. It's very hard for us to project leadership around the world when we're not doing what we need to do here.

STEIN: Instead of fighting wars for oil, America will be leading the fight to put an end to climate change. In Afghanistan and Iraq, we have spent about $5 trillion. We have seen thousands and thousands of American lives lost, hundreds of thousands of civilian lives lost, about a trillion dollars a year being spent on a massive, bloated military-industrial-security budget. Instead, we need to cut that military budget, rightsize it to year 2000 levels, and build true security here at home, bringing our war dollars home.

Source: Democracy Now! Expanded Third Obama-Romney 2012 debate , Oct 22, 2012

Weatherizing homes creates jobs & addresses climate change

One of the ways to put people to work very quickly is in an emergency program to weatherize and to insulate our homes, government buildings, schools and businesses. And doing this, we can put people to work, especially low-income and people who may not even have a high school degree. So we can directly create jobs and, at the same time, meet the climate emergency, which also needs really dramatic, prompt solutions.
Source: Democracy Now! Expanded Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate , Oct 16, 2012

We can't wait 4 more years to address climate change

Q: What about the recent debacle in Durban [the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference]?

A: This is another reason why we're running the campaign now--because if you follow the science, we don't have four years to wait. We really have to start tackling this now. It's really important for the climate and it's time that people put their politics where their values and science argue they ought to be. I think Obama supporters are really having a rude awakening right now. The US, as you know, is the largest per capita contributor to climate change and the direction the US pushes goes a long way toward determining what the rest of the world does, and from that perspective, dramatically downscaling carbon emissions goes a long way toward determining the global carbon budget and helps move global policy that way.

Source: Interview with Steve Horn of Truthout.org , Jan 29, 2012

National ban on fracking; natural gas is not clean

Q: Many liberals say natural gas is a "bridge fuel" toward a clean energy future. How do you feel about that?

A: The current science confirms the cynics here. When you do full life-cycle accounting of it, it is not a cleaner fuel, and is very carbon intensive. Add into that all the impacts on water and we do not want to be going there.

Q: Would you support a national ban on fracking?

A: Absolutely. We should not be opening up new lines of carbon right now, like shale gas and shale oil, as well as tar sands oil, and we just cannot go there right now if we do not want to go over the climate cliff. We're looking at 5-6 degrees Celsius increases of warming by the end of century and that's just not survivable. People need to hear the truth about that. Already, the US has been pulled back in their climate understanding by intense propaganda campaign, but even so, they're seeing it right now, with the droughts and the floods and the hurricanes and all that.

Source: Interview with Steve Horn of Truthout.org , Jan 29, 2012

No evidence that carbon sequestration solves climate crisis

Q: Many in the Green Movement support things like cap and trade, & carbon sequestration

A: Our job is to do the right thing in both the climate emergency and not let the public relations campaigns of the various fossil fuel interests confuse our thinking--because they're hyped up. Take, for example, carbon sequestration: there's really no evidence for it whatsoever that it's going to do the job, and it just so happens that it puts billions of dollars into the pockets of coal companies. This is just an exercise in influence peddling.

Q: They're not based on science, is what you're saying?

A: Exactly. They're not based on science or even sound economics, because the economics behind the carbon trade and carbon markets looks to be as problematic as hedge funds.

Q: So, what is the alternative?

A: It's not carbon and not nuclear. It needs to be clean. A lot of it has to do with redirecting our economy to less carbon intensive, relocalized versions of the economy.

Source: Interview with Steve Horn of Truthout.org , Jan 29, 2012

Let states prevent nuclear power plants

Just last week, a federal court told the people of Vermont that they could not prevent a dangerous nuclear power plant from operating in their state. The court did this on the basis of a doctrine known as "field preemption." Basically, the State of Vermont is barred--or "preempted"--from regulating the nuclear power industry because a federal judge says that the industry is the concern of the federal government only. Over the past 30 years, we have seen other reforms "preempted" in the same way.
Source: Green Party 2012 People's State of the Union speech , Jan 25, 2012

World War II-scale mobilization to reduce carbon burden

At the recent UN climate conference in South Africa, the Obama administration worked to delay international agreements on carbon emissions until 2020. This delay will allow critical climate tipping points to be passed that will accelerate warming to the point it cannot be controlled. As renowned NASA scientist James Hanson puts it, delaying action to aggressively lower carbon would mean game over for the climate and therefore for civilization as we know it.

For that reason the Green New Deal will address these problems with a World War II-scale mobilization to transform the way we produce and use energy. We will provide leadership along the way to binding international agreements that will return the carbon burden in our atmosphere to safe levels. We will proceed with utmost urgency, and put the United States 30 years ahead of the global curve. Let the rest of the world catch up with us!

Source: Green Party 2012 People's State of the Union speech , Jan 25, 2012

Renewable energy is win-win for economy & national security

Q: Should America's energy needs be met by renewables or domestic production or both?

A: We're pretty clearly on record here for renewables--this is a win-win, not only for our economy and the environment, but also for national security. This makes expensive wars for oil obsolete - this has a double yield for our economy.

We want to look at public transportation options as well as the means of a sustainable food supply AND the sources of energy. Put those together with physical exercise integrated into our community life and you drastically undercut Homeland Security costs.

For every job that exists in the fossil fuel sector you can create three jobs in the renewable sector. This is a bonanza for job creation as well.

Source: 2011 AmericansElect interview questionnaire with Jill Stein , Dec 21, 2011

Nuclear energy is dirty, dangerous and expensive

Q: Should the US replace oil & coal with alternatives?

A: Yes, but those alternatives should be renewable clean energy, not nuclear. Nuclear energy is dirty, dangerous and expensive, and should be precluded on all of those counts. The Fukushima [nuclear disaster] is the ongoing example. There is no safe nuclear energy. You can put in in someone else's backyard or even on the other side of the world--but we're all endangered by it. And we don't need it: Renewables are less expensive. Nuclear power would never survive on a free open market. It can only survive with tens of billions $of taxpayer loan guarantees.

Source: 2011 OnTheIssues interview with Jill Stein , Dec 21, 2011

Logging wood for electricity is neither clean nor green

Logging Wood for Electricity Is Neither Clean Nor Green: At first glance biomass energy seems like an attractive option for producing renewable energy in a carbon neutral way. But the realities that emerge with a closer look paint quite a different picture. Wood burning biomass power plants emit more carbon dioxide (CO2) per unit of energy output than coal, and comparable amounts of many other air pollutants.

Biomass energy is not carbon neutral. To supply the proposed biomass plants, logging would need to dramatically increase. And this would provide only a tiny fraction of our current energy use, since wood is a low energy-content fuel, and combustion for electricity generation is an inefficient technology. Any logging on a scale sufficient to make a significant dent in our energy problem would be detrimental to forest and soil health, producing soil compaction and soil erosion. This makes it doubtful that logged forests would achieve the 'regrowth' needed for the carbon neutrality claim.

Source: 2010 Gubernatorial Campaign website jillstein.org, "Issues" , Sep 29, 2010

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Page last updated: Oct 29, 2016