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.