Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hillary Clinton Unveils Far Reaching Climate Change Plan

While the flat earth Republicans continue to deny that climate change is occurring much less that mankind is playing a role in creating the problem, Hillary Clinton has unveiled a proposed plan to address climate change that includes far reaching changes.  It goes without saying that the knuckle dragging, spittle flecked masses of the core GOP base will assail the plan, but one can hope that Democrats and independents will view the plan as proof that they need to embrace the future and Democrats rather than the failed policies of the past so loved by the GOP base.  Another piece in the New York Times looks at the policy announcement.  Here are excerpts:
Setting ambitious goals for producing energy from the sun, wind and other renewable sources, Hillary Rodham Clinton seized on an issue Monday that increasingly resonates with Democratic voters and sets up a stark contrast with the Republican presidential field.

With many Republican candidates saying they do not believe that climate change is a threat or requires government intervention, Mrs. Clinton assailed their logic, saying, “The reality of climate change is unforgiving no matter what the deniers say.”

She set a goal to produce 33 percent of the nation’s electricity from renewable sources by 2027, up from 7 percent today — a higher goal than the 20 percent that President Obama has called for by 2030.

Mrs. Clinton’s strategists see climate change as a winning issue for 2016. They believe it is a cause she can advance to win over deep-pocketed donors and liberal activists in the nominating campaign, where she is facing Democratic challengers to her left on the issue. It is also one that can be a weapon against Republicans in a general election. Polls show that a majority of voters support candidates who pledge policy action on the warming climate.

The Clinton campaign emphasized that her targets cleared a bar set last week by the billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, who spent $74 million on political races in 2014. He announced that for candidates to receive his support in 2016, they must offer policies that would lead the nation to generate half its electricity from clean sources by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. 

Just as liberal Democrats have tried to pull Mrs. Clinton to the left on economic issues, environmental groups have sought stronger statements from her opposing hydraulic fracturing, oil trains and drilling in the Arctic.

Anti-Keystone protesters have greeted Mrs. Clinton on the campaign trail in New Hampshire and even outside a May fund-raiser for her at Mr. Steyer’s home in San Francisco overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

“Hillary Clinton is just half the way there,” said Bill McKibben, head of the group 350.org, which has led the grass-roots movement calling for Mr. Obama to reject the Keystone pipeline. “This is a credible commitment to renewable energy, and a recognition that the economics of electricity are changing fast. Now, we need Clinton to show she understands the other half of the climate change equation — and prove she has the courage to stand up against fossil fuel projects like offshore and Arctic drilling, coal leasing in the Powder River basin, and the Keystone XL pipeline.”

Her campaign put the cost of her clean electricity initiatives at about $60 billion over 10 years, which it said would be offset by ending tax breaks for oil and gas producers.   “We’ll stop the giveaways to big oil companies and extend, instead, tax incentives for clean energy, while making them more cost-effective for both taxpayers and producers,” Mrs. Clinton said.

A January poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University and Resources for the Future found that two-thirds of Americans said they were more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change.

“This issue now polls better than any other issue for Democrats,” said Paul Bledsoe, a former top climate change official in the Clinton administration. “It’s in Clinton’s interest to talk about the issue, both for primary voters and to highlight Republican vulnerabilities in the general election.”

No comments: