Jill Stein on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Jul 12, 2012

Summary

The Green Party's primary area of concern is a sustainable environment and energy policy. This viewpoint permeates all other areas of policy and is a central component of Dr Stein's economic policy. The central pillar of the Green Party and Dr Stein's platform is that the economy is in crisis from overuse of resources and man-made global warming. These actions have created a tipping point that the world is approaching beyond which no action can be taken to reverse climate change. To address this concern, the Green Party and Dr Stein advocate for a shift in US and global energy policy to renewable energy, local and sustainable agriculture, and population management to match those resources. 

The official Green Party platform states that it seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2020 and 95% by 2050, over 1990 levels. To accomplish this, the Green Party will move to Solar, Wind, Geo-Thermal, Marine, and other Cleaner Renewable Energy Sources. It opposes nuclear power, coal, industrial-scale biofuels, and low-grade fossil fuels such as oil shale and tar sands, stating that they create more problems than they solve.

Dr Stein has not specifically addressed or supported all of the issues in the Green Platform. However, in January of 2012, she stated in an interview that the environment was indeed at a tipping point, and she supported the move to local manufacturing to agriculture. She also stated that she supported a ban on fracking and that natural gas was not a clean and renewable fuel source, and that she opposed an expansion of nuclear power.

In a Presidential debate in 2012, Dr Stein criticized President Obama for walking away from international climate accords. She also stated that she opposed the Keystone pipeline, mountain top removal, offshore drilling, and cited a need to reduce drilling on land.

The Green Party platform does not address cap-and-trade and Dr Stein does not use those words to address control of carbon emissions. However, a facet of the global environmental accords that Dr Stein stated that she supports typically contains a cap-and-trade type system. Part of the Green Party platform also calls for the US and other industrialized countries to make amends to lesser developed countries for overuse of resources by helping them to establish clean energy systems. This, along with the money required to transition into a green economy would likely be implemented through a cap-and-trade system.

The Green Party platform does have a carbon-tax in the taxation section. While this is not a traditional cap-and-trade system as limits are not placed on carbon, but all resources are taxed at the point of extraction (well head, coal mine, etc). A similar tax is placed on items entering the US from countries that have no carbon tax or a lesser carbon tax.

 

Truth-Out Interview

In January of 2012, Dr Stein was interviewed by Truth-Out's Steve Horn. In that interview, she was asked a number of questions regarding climate change and energy policy. In her answers, she is skeptical of natural gas as a bridge fuel to cleaner alternatives and opposes nuclear energy expansion. She supports a ban on fracking and notes that the world may not have another four years to wait for action on climate change.

 

Victoria Theatre Debate

In May of 2012, Dr Stein debated fellow Green party candidate Roseanne Barr at the Victoria theatre in San Francisco. The issue of climate change was raised. Dr Stein discusses her opposition to the Keystone pipeline, the lack of action by the Obama administration, her oppositoin to nuclear power and to fracking. She states that the EPA needs to start actually protecting the environment and that the USDA needs to support local sustainable farms.

 

Green Party Platform

 

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