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Environmental Leaders Praise Kerry Plan on Climate Change, Energy Independence

by Pamela Leavey

In a speech at Boston’s Faneuil Hall today, John Kerry outlined a new Energy and Climate Change Plan. Glen Johnson, reports for AP News, that “Some of the themes reprised those the Massachusetts Democrat outlined” during his 2004 presidential campaign. “But the fresh ideas and pointed rhetoric” Johnson said, “highlighted how Kerry both believes they have come of age, and that he plans to pursue them as he considers another White House campaign in 2008.”

He labeled the energy bill he will file this week as “the most far-reaching proposal in our history.” In 43-minute speech before a cheering hometown crowd at historic Faneuil Hall, he added: “Nothing else will protect our security and our world, if you believe the science.”

Leading environmentalists have weighed in on John Kerry’s Energy and Climate Change Plan introduced today. Here a look at what they are saying:

Deb Callahan, environmental activist and former Executive Director for the League of Conservation Voters:

“In fighting for energy security, Senator Kerry refuses to accept the false choice between promoting our economy and protecting our environment – – something Washington could use a little more of. We need leaders like John Kerry who are willing to put themselves on the line with bold new ideas to tackle global warming and invest in America’s ingenuity to truly help our nation kick the oil habit.”

John Devillars, Founder and Partner of BlueWave Strategies, former New England administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

“There can be few greater challenges in the twenty-first century than addressing the threat of climate change. Left unmitigated, the impacts are expected to be devastating. Urgent action is needed. And Senator Kerry’s comprehensive proposal is the right response.”

David Hawkins, director of Natural Resources Defense Council’s climate center:

“Senator Kerry is proposing a response to global warming commensurate with the challenge. He is listening to the science, which tells us that we must start cutting heat-trapping pollution now and reduce it to a fraction of current levels by mid-century.”

Roger Ballentine, Founder and President of Green Strategies Inc., former Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force under the Clinton Administration:

“We must take action now to chart a sustainable, secure, and affordable energy future. Our first step must be to invest in alternative sources of energy that curb oil consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the near term, an investment in biofuels as Senator Kerry has proposed can provide a practical and potent way to promote a sustainable environment.”

Phil Warburg, President of Conservation Law Foundation:

“Global climate change is a threat of historic proportions. To address it, America urgently needs strong leadership in loosening our fossil fuel stranglehold. Senator Kerry’s proposals for capping greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and setting ambitious nationwide renewable energy goals are important steps in the right direction.”

UPDATE: John Holdren, President and Director, The Woods Hole Research Center:

“Senator Kerry clearly recognizes that oil dependence and climate change are the two big energy challenges faced by the United States and the world. The solutions he is proposing for addressing both challenges are sensible and timely.”

Glen Johnson reports on Kerry’s plan in his AP piece saying…

Kerry proposed three ideas, including a hard target of reducing U.S. oil consumption by 2.5 million barrels per day as of 2015. That amount equals the daily volume of Middle Eastern oil currently used in the country.

He also suggested achieving that goal by requiring oil companies to provide at least one ethanol pump at their stations by 2010. In addition he called for a series of tax credits so consumers and carmakers will ensure 20 percent of all passenger cars and trucks as hybrids as of 2020.

“Twenty-twenty: That’s not just a vision, that’s a real program to jump-start energy independence,” said Kerry…

“Real crises stare us in the face, screaming for solution,” the senator declared. “But nonexistent, contrived ones replace the real ones on the agenda of a Congress that wants to change the political climate instead of changing the climate. They remain bent on dividing the country with flag-burning and gay-bashing amendments to the Constitution, when we should be strengthening the country by living by our Constitution with a determined attack on global climate change.”

In the 18 months since Bush began his second term, Kerry and his staff have argued gasoline price spikes, unchecked increases in oil costs and ongoing terrorism and anti-American sentiment in the Middle East have broadened the audience for the senator’s proposals…

In addition to reducing oil use through expanded availability of ethanol and hybrid vehicles, as well as increasing automobile fuel-economy standards, Kerry pledged to lead an unprecedented focus on global warming.

The third element of Kerry’s plan calls for an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reverse greenhouse emissions growth by 2010, as well as a program aimed at lowering emissions by 2050 to 65 percent below what they were in the year 2000…

Johnson also noted that “Both in 2000 and 2004, Republican mocked Democratic energy ideas, in particular painting former Vice President Al Gore and Kerry’s wife, philanthropist Teresa Heinz Kerry, as out-of-touch environmentalists.” Typical of the Republicans who revel in turning the table on issues. It’s the Republicans who are out of touch on the environment.

Teresa Heinz Kerry was with John Kerry, sitting on the stage, today. The Kerry’s are working on a book together, about the environment.

11 Responses to “Environmental Leaders Praise Kerry Plan on Climate Change, Energy Independence”

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a carefully crafted graceful rise to power as John Kerry is in the midst of. I’m so proud. I’ve come to the conclusion that the rejection of him by the left and the media is the best thing possible as they would misinterpret the imporatnt work he’s doing and probably get in his way. By the time he’s ready, the country will be.
    The groundwork he’s laying now will be as solid as rock and just as immovable.

  2. Hi Teresa,

    This maybe a silly question I’m about to ask you. When I read your posts I often wonder what is your relationship with JK. Do you have a closer tie to JK than what we know? Your name is almost self explanatory. I could be just silly and wishful thinking is getting the better of me.

  3. lothario,

    It’s an interesting coincidence on the name. Our Dem Daily Teresa has a visionary long view of Kerry I completely share. She articultes it beautifully.

    It is always a challenge to cut through the chaff of publicity and media distortion to get a clearer picture of the real person. Some of us have developed our own ways of doing this, and when successful, the patterns become obvious enough to be predictable.

    And we are proud of this person that we consider our real president – no matter what the vote was, should have been, etc. He simply has more knowledge, experience, understanding and skills than many people see. Yet they make him uniquely qualified and deserving to be #44.

    We will not give up on getting him there.

  4. LOL, lothario.

    My only tie to JK is my intense admiration of his skills as a politician and his dignity as a person. I’m not young and Kerry is the very first politician in this country I have respected and liked. I like him very very much. I had long left the political arena after the civil rights movement but John Kerry has renewed my participation in a big way.
    He is so far above what I’ve seen in this country that I have confidence the people will ultimately recognize their good fortune. He’s a symbol of something good in this society and the people don’t even see it for constantly staring at the pain and picking at the wounds.

    Last night I saw some footage of Harry Truman’s Pres campaign against Dewey and this reminds me a little bit of that. The country was so sure of Dewey, but when Truman went out on the trail, the people couldn’t resist him. I think Kerry has the same popular appeal which will rise again in the next campaign.

    I even went so far as to think of a new stage name for myself so as not to be confused with Teresa H, who will undoubtedly be our next First Lady. There’s always the quirk of fate that can come in, but so far, it looks right.

  5. Ginny, you angel. I ring you up shortly.

  6. Teresa,

    Your response was very powerful and I can relate to your admiration of Kerry. JK has led a remarkable life and his potential for greatness is far beyond any particular candidate thinking about running in 08. I have love politics all my life and never had the admiration like I do for John Forbes Kerry. There are several personal traits that I share with Kerry which making the senator compelling. As far as 2008 is concern, I can see an evolution in Senator Kerry similar to Robert F. Kennedy between 1964-1968. The years of the Kerry evolution (04-08) even correlates with RFK. In 1964 when RFK ran for the US Senate many felt Bobby lack the cult of personality that his brother Jack had when he was living. He appeared to be stiff in his speeches and not “connecting” with audiences. He went on to win the US Senate race in New York. As a senator he voted for the resolution of Tonkin and was a major Vietnam war hawk. RFK was criticized for being an absentee senator (lol doesn’t that sound familiar). Later on Bobby Kennedy had an epihany on the Vietnam war and went to challenge the Democratic establishment. Eugene McCarthy the so called anti-war candidate in 68 was disingenious in his stance ( voted for the Tonkin resolution) yet criticized Kennedy on his war stance (another familiarity). As a 28 -year-old lifelong lover of history and politics its strange to see the parallel of the 60s to the 00s. I have a feeling 08 is going to be a lot like 68. Kerry is poised to be Bobby Kennedy, Feingold would like to be McCarthy, Hillary is looking like Humphrey. Kerry has the same broad set of issues RFK had in the 68 campaign and that will win out imo. Even pundits bring up 1968 in relating to 08. Its going to be interesting.

  7. One problem with these comparisons to 1968 candidates. Humphrey won th Democratic nomination, an then lost to Richard Nixon.

    Obviously we need a different outcome this time, both with the nomination and general election.

    Of course in some ways (not ideologically or in terms of personal ethics) Kerry is analogous to Nixon, ready for a come back after previoulsy losing as a Presidential candidate.

  8. That is a fantastic encapsulation lothario. I didn’t realize the close connection. Thank you so very much for this. It’s uncanny.
    I think RFK has emerged as the greatest Kennedy folk hero and I’ve heard many people say they felt terribly shortchanged that he would not be a part of American politics and hopefully President. This is like the fulfillment of those 60’s ideals.

    I’m really curious, lothario, about the personal traits you mentioned that you have in common with Kerry. If you have time, I’d like to hear some of them.

    You last comment added hope to my already filling bank.

  9. Teresa,

    Your words are exactly to my thoughts of JK. My last interest in politics was with Bobby Kennedy. Although I was only 13, and luckily I was in N.Y. and got to meet him as he ran for the Senate. He was such an inspiration to young people as Kerry is now.


    You can listen to the speech here:


  10. Ron,

    Thats the only thing in question is the outcome. Hopefully, if things work out Kerry will take on the Nixon banner and comeback with the general election. Actually, I see alot of Nixonian qualities in JK. JK receives the same biiter treatment from the media, he is considered aloof, stiff politician who lack the personality to be president by his detractors, accused of being a political opportunist. Kerry is intriguing political figure. JK is force to be reckon with anytime you mix Bobby Kennedy ‘s political evolution and Nixon’s bulldog tenacity. Can you say that about any other politician today.

  11. Teresa,

    RFK and Nixon are two of my favorite political figures in history. Kerry definitely has strong parallel with RFK and Nixon to a shorter stint. As far as my similarities to JK are concern it is quite interesting. I am quiet,reserved guy who is a hard nut to crack. Kerry and I share the same lone wolf personna of “either you get me or you don’t”. I have never been part of the in crowd the same with Kerry as far as the Washington establishment goes. I also been misunderstood by people for having certain disposition. Kerry also has the that columbo like way of appearing stiff, wooden and having his opponents underestimating him and consequently JK turns around beat them. Columbo played a slow witted, dishoveled cop who people didn’t take seriously but he always solved the crime in the end. Many people underestimate me due to my personal makeup but I’m always hip to the games they try to play.