The Green Party supports the adoption of an industrial policy/plan for a zero carbon US economy by 2025.
The Greens support creating an annual fund of $300 billion for climate action, including funding clean renewable energy, which would be created through a combination of taxes on the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies, major cuts in the military budget, a fee on carbon emissions, an end to subsidies on fossil fuels and nukes, and an energy retrofit program funded through on bill financing from utility companies. The fund would help with investments in clean renewable energy (wind, solar, geothermal, tidal), mass transit and organic agriculture. The Greens would transfer funds from roads to mass transit, bicycles and pedestrian access.
The Green Party would also shut down all coal, fossil fuels and nuclear plants by 2025, and opposes the construction of any new such plants (including garbage incineration.). Rather than exploring for new fossil fuels, it believes the 80% of the present supplies must not be converted to greenhouse gases. The industrial energy plan should seek public control or ownership of existing fossil fuel supplies.
The Greens support a ban on mountaintop removal coal mining. It opposes the hydrofracking of natural gas not only due to the water problems it creates but because it is just another fossil fuel that contributes to global warming. It opposes the constructions of Keystone and other tar sands and natural gas pipelines. The Green Party opposes oil drilling off shore, on public lands, under the Great Lakes or in the Arctic.
The Green Party would speed up the implementation of the new fuel mileage standards recently announced by EPA, and amend environmental review laws to focus on the impact on climate change.
It supports the adoption of a zero waste policy for garbage. Minimizing waste would reduce greenhouse gas emissions in sectors that together represent 36.7% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. (www.zerowarming.org). Greens would end fossil fuels for plastic bags, packaging and disposable products.
Chemical and industrial agriculture produces 35-50% of climate destabilizing greenhouse gases. Localized, organic food production and distribution reduce fossil fuel usage and enriches soil that sequesters more carbon dioxide. We should reduce methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases by rapidly phasing out confined animal feeding operations, and encouraging a reduction in meat consumption.
$300 Billion a Year for a Climate Action / Green Energy Transition Fund.
Estimates of the annual investments needed to move to a carbon-free economy range from several hundred billion to a trillion dollars annually – less than what Congress spent to bail out Wall Street in recent years. Much of this funding will come moving investment in the private sector from coal, oil, gas and nuclear plants to clean renewable energy sources that will greatly reduce our long term energy costs, helping to strengthen the economy.
To help facilitate this transition to a clean green carbon-free energy system, the Green Party supports the establishment of a Climate Action / Green Energy Transition Fund. The fund would be part of the New Green Deal effort to put Americans to work and improve quality of life (e.g., healthier foods, improved mass transit, lower energy costs over time, cleaner environment).
Listed below are several specific funding proposals for such a fund. Additional funds can also be raised through a progressive income tax surcharge on wealthy Americans (e.g., not extending the Bush tax cuts) and imposing a tiny anti-speculative financial transaction tax ($150 billion a year) on Wall Street.
1. $25 – 50 Billion from a Windfall Excess Profit Tax on Fossil Fuel Companies
The top five oil companies had $137 billion in profits in 2011 (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/02/08/421061/big-oil-higher-prices-record-profits-less-oil/)
2. $150 billion cut in military budget.
Our present "formal" military budget is $686 billion annually, closer to a trillion if include all true costs (nuclear weapons in the Energy Dept., annual interest payments for costs of prior wars, etc.). The Green Party supports far deeper cuts (e.g., $350 billion plus) but some of those funds should be invested in other domestic programs (e.g., education, housing). The growing impact of climate change is one of the greatest threats to our national security. The military is also one of the greatest contributors to the carbon footprint. Plus a carbon-free economy eliminates the need for war for oil. More than $100 billion can be raised through eliminating waste that has already been identified; tens of billions would be saved by closing some if not all of the 700 plus US military bases in more than 100 countries.
3. $15 – 20 billion from ending subsidies on fossil fuels, ethanol and nukes.
Estimates of annual fossil fuel subsidies range from $10 billion to $52 billion annually, (http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/). Estimated direct subsidies for nuclear power is $2.5 billion, with $6 billion for biofuels / ethanol (http://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/subsidy/). The Greens would also end other nuclear subsides such as Price-Anderson insurance caps, and federal loan guarantees for construction.
4. Carbon fee. $50 billion
A carbon tax could generate $1.5 trillion over a decade (MIT Global Change Institutehttp://bit.ly/NWEcxX.) A carbon tax is a direct tax on the carbon content of fossil fuels. The carbon fee would be applied as far upstream as possible. A carbon tax uses the market to shift investments away from fossil fuels. The cap-and-trade system in the House Markey-Waxman bill was too weak and ineffective. 50% of the $100 billion raised would be directly rebated to households with incomes less than $200,000. The other could be rebated in the form of a voucher to purchase energy saving investments; the voucher could be transferable.
5. $20 billion for energy retrofit program raised through on bill financing on utility bills
We should energy retrofit up to 30 million homes in the US over 5 years. Capital costs would be fronted by utility companies through on-bill financing, with it being paid off from the savings from lower energy bills (e.g., weatherization, solar hot water and thermal, boiler upgrades, etc.). The investment is recaptured in utility bills over time, reflecting the energy savings. Based on Green Jobs, Green Homes model in New York State. (http://www.cwfny.org/issues/green-jobs/).