Beto O`Rourke on Energy & Oil
Democratic candidate for President; Texas Senator nominee
O'ROURKE: Day one, re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement. On that same day, make sure that we lead the world in going well beyond the Paris Climate Agreement. Ensure that we regulate and enforce reduced greenhouse gas emissions from methane, and then get to net zero on public lands by ensuring we have no new oil and gas leases on federally protected lands and offshore areas that are now being drilled today. Those three steps are a great place to start and a good pace to set. And then we follow that up by making sure that we have legally enforceable standards every single year over which no polluter can emit. We make sure that we get to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, earlier if we can. And then we protect the most vulnerable communities, those who are on the front lines of climate change and pollution, making sure that we ensure that there's environmental justice in this country.
O'ROURKE: We should certainly price carbon. I think the best possible path to do that is through a cap-and-trade system. There would be allowances granted or sold to polluters, not just in the energy sector but in transportation as well as our industrial sector--cement, steel, the chemicals that we produce. There would be a set number of allowances that would decrease every single year. Because the clock is running, we have a little more than 10 years left. We don't have time to experiment. So I think that is the best possible path to ensure that there's a price for carbon and pollution in our economy.
Q: Just to be clear, do you support a carbon tax? Yes or no?
O'ROURKE: No. I think that cap-and-trade is the best possible path. I think that's the best way to send the pricing signal to ensure that there is a legally enforceable limit. And so that's the path that I'm going to choose.
My son Henry, who's 8 years old, when I was talking to him the other night, he asked me, "Dad, if you win and you become president, we get to live in El Paso right?" And I said, "No, if we win, the way this works we would live in Washington DC" But he knew because I had told him about the warming that we face, that our community will be uninhabitable, not sustain human life, along this current trajectory, unless something dramatically and fundamentally changes. So the people of El Paso-- and the desert Southwest and the lower 9th Ward in New Orleans--are counting on all of us right now to stand up and be counted and do the right thing to ensure that we do not warm a degree and a half Celsius over those pre-industrial revolution levels.
O'ROURKE: I was talking about cap and trade. That revenue is used to help Americans meet the costs of a transitioning economy by making sure that all of us can meet our obligations when it comes to climate change. So that's investment in those communities that are on the front lines, that's investment in making sure that you can afford solar panels or an electric vehicle. That's an investment in communities to make sure that we have housing that is closer to where people work.
Q: Would you bring back the Obama-era environmental regulations that Trump canceled?
O'ROURKE: Absolutely. Higher vehicle emissions standards, a clean power plan so that the electricity that we're generating is clean, and we completely electrify our transportation sector. So yes, let's not only reverse the damage that Donald Trump has done, and he's done a lot. Let's go much further than any administration before his has gone.
O'Rourke: Yes. We must reassert our international leadership on this issue before it's too late. We need to build on the Paris climate agreement to achieve even bolder action on climate. Going back to 2015 is not enough. There's a discount, economically and politically, on anything that's decades down the road. So let's not waste time in getting moving fast in the right direction again.
Q: Do you support a federal carbon tax?
O'Rourke: We should leverage carbon pricing and the market in service of our ability to meet this challenge. There are a number of ways you can support pricing carbon into the market: You can do that through standards, the tax code, research and reinvestment. We need transparent, science-based, science-driven carbon pricing to guide our decisions as a democracy, strengthen our communities, support our workers, and unleash a robust market response to climate change.
Ted Cruz (R): No. Doesn't believe it's real. Says data disproving it is being ignored as liberals want government power over economy, energy sector & all aspects of our lives.
Beto O'Rourke (D): Yes. "Crucial now more than ever that US & world leaders act urgently to address" it. Climate change increases droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, & other disasters.
Q: Climate Change: Limit or tax production of greenhouse gases? Support US participation in Paris Climate Accord despite President Trump's withdrawal?
Ted Cruz (R): Opposes regulating greenhouse gases. Paris Accord "would have destroyed $3 trillion in American GDP & killed 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040."
Beto O'Rourke (D): Limit greenhouse gases. "Need to take unprecedented action" in building clean energy economy. Opposes withdrawing from Paris Accord.
I will work with other members of the House of Representatives, the Senate and our President in helping our country put together a plan that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the point where they match levels that can be absorbed by Earth's ecosystems. Educating our fellow Americans about this threat to our quality of life is important to our success, and I will do all I can to make this issue a top priority in Congress.
Congressional Summary: House amendment to H.R. 5538, the Interior & Environment Agencies Appropriations bill for FY 2017. This amendment would prohibit funds to be used to research, investigate, or study offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Area of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
Heritage Foundation recommends voting NO: (7/13/2016): The Gulf of Mexico continues to be a very important asset for our energy future and it continues to produce significant amounts of oil and natural gas. Yet the Eastern Gulf of Mexico has not participated to this point despite its significant potential. A 2014 Heritage Foundation report said: "Excessive regulations and bureaucratic inefficiencies have stymied oil production and prevented the full effects of the energy boom." This amendment would block any potential progress that could take place by preventing the necessary work that would need to be prepared in the East Gulf for potential lease sales and eventual production.
Sierra Club recommends voting YES: (1/12/1974): The Sierra Club believes that no offshore petroleum exploration should occur unless and until the following conditions are met:
Legislative outcome: Failed House 185 to 243 (no Senate vote).
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2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)
2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-NY,R-MA)
External Links about Beto O`Rourke:
2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)