Bill Richardson, Climate Revolutionary


Here’s the Washington Post’s unfortunate choice of headline for one of their stories on Bill Richardson’s nomination as commerce secretary:

Richardson Pick Marks Departure For Commerce

Yes, that’s what we’re afraid of. Here’s an excerpt from Richardson presidential campaign site on his views on energy and the environment.

We must “Act Boldly and Act Now” in order to make America a Clean Energy Nation like I made New Mexico a Clean Energy State. Consider this a call to action, for Congress, the energy industry, and the public. I am calling for a New American Revolution — an energy and climate revolution.

Cut Oil Demand: 50% by 2020

That means reducing oil imports from around 65% to 10-15%. We can do this in part by getting the 100 mile per gallon (mpg) car into the marketplace. We must work to double the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, or CAFE, to 50 mpg by 2020. And we will set a life-cycle low-carbon fuel standard that reduces the carbon impact of our liquid fuels by 30% by 2020.

Create New Efficiencies And Energy Sources in the Electrical Sector: 50% by 2040

I am calling for a national renewable portfolio standard of 30% by 2020 that will rise to 50% by 2040. This is aggressive, but necessary as we start using more electricity for automobiles. I will push for an energy productivity law requiring a 20% improvement in energy productivity by 2020. We could save customers $21 billion a year by 2020.

Dramatically Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: 90% by 2050

20% by 2020, 80% by 2040 — ten years faster than scientists say is necessary because we must lead the world, and we can’t afford the possibility of backsliding and inaction. We will start with a market-based cap and trade system for greenhouse gas emissions to create incentives for the electric and industrial sectors to make significant reductions in their carbon emissions. Economists say the world can protect itself from drastic climate change at a cost of 1-3% of our economic activity. We can afford to protect the climate. Given the risks of catastrophic climate change, we can’t afford not to do it.

Lead By Example and Restore America as the World’s Leader

We must return to the international negotiating table and support mandatory world-wide limits on global warming pollution. We will work closely with fast-growing nations.  I will cooperate with the European Union, the World Bank, and other allies to help finance the incremental cost of “doing it right.” I will create a North American Energy Council with Mexico and Canada, which supply about 20% of our oil, and make sure our relations with these neighbors are firm and friendly. As we reduce our demand for foreign oil, we should work with the Persian Gulf nations, and our partners at the UN, to create a multilateral system for protecting the Persian Gulf so that within ten years, the U.S. presence there could be sharply and safely reduced.


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