Pete Buttigieg on Energy & Oil
Democratic Presidential Challenger; IN Mayor
BUTTIGIEG: There is no question there will be a transition. I'm proposing that we invest over $200 billion in supporting workers through that transition. But we also estimate that we will create at least 3 million net new jobs by taking the action we must, to mobilize and fight climate change. We've got to break this idea that we're choosing between doing the right thing for our climate and doing the right thing for our economy.
We are going to have to use federal funds to make sure that we are supporting those whose lives will inevitably be impacted further by the increased severity and the increased frequency. And by the way, that is happening to farms, that is happening to factories, and that disproportionately happens to black and brown Americans, which is why equity and environmental justice have to be at the core of our climate plan going forward.
BUTTIGIEG: Farming should be one of the pillars of how we combat climate change. I believe the quest for the carbon negative farm could be as big a symbol as the electric car. It's an important part of how we make sure we recruit everybody to be part of the solution, including conservative communities where a lot of people have been made to feel that admitting climate science would mean acknowledging they're part of the problem.
BUTTIGIEG: We are under way on a climate action plan. We committed joining with cities around the world to live up to the Paris commitments, even if the national governments are failing to do it. And right now we have built the capacity to assess what's happening with greenhouse gases in our city and act on it. We have undertaken energy savings contracts to make our buildings more energy efficient, set up electric vehicle charging points. And we're doing it because we're living in a country where our national government has failed. Now, having said all that, the reality is, cities can't do it alone. This is going to require action at every level of government and beyond government. We are only going to be able to tackle the climate issue when this amounts to a major national project that enlists the abilities of the public sector, the private sector, the academic sector, and rural America.
BUTTIGIEG: Absolutely. It's one of the reasons why I've proposed that we assess a carbon tax. And I know you're not supposed to use the T word when you're in politics, but we might as well call this what it is. There is a harm being done, and in the same way that we have taxed cigarettes, we're going to have to tax carbon. Now, the difference with my plan is that I propose that we rebate all of the revenue we collect right back out to the American people on a progressive basis, so that low- and middle-income Americans are made more than whole. I'm proposing that the carbon tax is something whose incidence is on the polluters, not on the American people, especially lower-income people.
BUTTIGEIG: We've got to make sure we have the right kind of incentives for that. Expand the tax credits, set them up in the right way and make sure eventually that we are requiring that emissions fall to zero in American auto production. By the way, when we do that the companies can respond, the American auto industry is capable of great innovation but we've got to set up the left and right boundaries for that. Carbon taxing is part of that. Regulations are part of that.
Q: What about coal being removed from the economy in 10 years?
BUTTIGEIG: We envision that taking longer but I will say that we've got to do it as quickly as humanly possible because we see the consequences are upon us. Our vision includes de-carbonizing industry on a net basis completely by 2050, but intermediate steps from making sure our light vehicles and then our heavy vehicles and then our power grid are each in turn eventually turning into zero emissions.
BUTTIGIEG: Uncertainty is one of the biggest enemies that a farmer has, and we're adding an awful lot of it with what's happening with climate change. Rural Americans can be a huge part of the solution. To me, the quest for the net zero emissions cattle farm is one of the most exciting things we might undertake as a country. It can be done right now, scientifically, but it's completely unaffordable. We need to change the eco And, yes, that means federal investment.
Q: You support a carbon tax?
BUTTIGIEG: We need balance in all of our consumption patterns and part of what a carbon tax and dividend does is it resets the price signals in the market to help make that happen without ordering Americans to abandon something. Instead we change the economic signals. We bring it into balance, which is what we have lost when it comes to our relationship with creation, with the earth that sustains our ability to live
BUTTIGIEG: The exciting thing is that the military can be a huge part of the solution. The military's got an amazing capacity to rally to achieve what is being asked of them. By making sure, for example, fleet and future uses of fuel are relying on biofuels, by making sure the installed base of the American military footprint is carbon neutral or negative. The purchasing power of the U.S. military and the resolve of our service members to get stuff done could help lead the way for the rest of society.
The rise of fracking has enabled energy companies to produce vast amounts of oil and gas from shale rock formations, but the process remains controversial because of the use of chemicals to crack the rock.
Q: Do you support a federal carbon tax?
A: "We're going to have to contemplate a carbon tax. And there are ways to do it that most Americans would be better off fiscally, because we could return it right back to the American people, but in so doing would help capture the true cost of things that are happening right now, because it's in your and my lifetime that that cost is going to be paid one way or the other." At a rally in Iowa, he said definitively, "We're going to have to have a carbon tax."
Q: Would you restore Obama-era climate change regulations that the Trump administration has reversed, like the Clean Power Plan, methane limits and vehicle emissions standards?
Q: Do you support increasing federal funding for clean-energy research?
Statement from the Climate Mayors in Response to President Trump's Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement: As 407 US Mayors representing 70 million Americans, we will adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement. We will push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy.
We will continue to lead. We are increasing investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We will buy and create more demand for electric cars and trucks. We will increase our efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create a clean energy economy, and stand for environmental justice. And if the President wants to break the promises made to our allies enshrined in the historic Paris Agreement, we'll build and strengthen relationships around the world to protect the planet from devastating climate risks.
Opposing argument from the Heritage Foundation, 6/1/2017:
President Donald Trump has fulfilled a key campaign pledge. The Paris Agreement, which committed the U.S. to drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, was a truly bad deal. Here are four reasons Trump was right to withdraw.
Other candidates on Energy & Oil:
Pete Buttigieg on other issues:
Incoming 2021 Biden Administration:
Domestic Policy:Susan Rice
Public Liaison:Cedric Richmond
Former Trump Administration:
Former Obama Administration:
Former Bush Administration:
Pres.:George W. Bush
Former Clinton Administration:
Page last updated: Jul 13, 2021