Green Party to Obama: Whether foreign or domestic, it’s time for America to cut oil and gas from our energy diet
WASHINGTON, DC — President Obama’s energy policy shows a dangerous disconnect from the real nature of the current energy crisis, said Green Party candidates and leaders, who promoted the “Green New Deal” as a way to alleviate impending climate change and create millions of new jobs.
Jill Stein, candidate for the Green Party’s 2012 presidential nomination: “With his State of the Union speech, President Obama has adopted the ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ platform of the Republican Party. He has embraced the energy industry position that our public lands and our environment should be sacrificed for the goal of increasing domestic production. This spin ignores the fact that our most pressing problem isn’t foreign oil — it’s what fossil fuels, both foreign and domestic, are doing to our planet. The President’s ‘all of the above’ approach is an alarming denial of the climate emergency we face and the urgent need to substantially reduce the amount of carbon we exhaust into the atmosphere. Our nation and human society around the world are already at serious risk for devastating climate disruption. Obama’s proposals make this risk even worse. With the President’s support of the oil company agenda, the Green Party now emerges as the one clear political voice for a sustainable energy policy that our planet and economy so badly need.”
Audrey Clement, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States: “The White House’s plan to expand natural gas extraction on US public lands, which President Obama talked about during this State of the Union, is a menace to public health and the environment. Hydrofracking contaminates groundwater, releases gases from combustion into the air with worse greenhouse gas emissions than coal or oil, and creates severe toxic waste disposal problems. According to seismologists, it’s likely to have caused small earthquakes in Ohio near sites where shale gas drilling has taken place. The Obama Administration has shown extremely poor judgement in its support for hydrofracking, ‘clean coal’, and offshore drilling in US coastal waters that would place major cities at risk for disasters similar to the BP oil spill in 2010, and its toleration of mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia and other states. We’re pleased that President Obama postponed approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which NASA scientist James Hansen warned would be ‘game over for the planet’. But we remain concerned that the project will get approved in 2013 by the next Obama Administration or by a new Republican president.”
(See also “Shale Gas A Bridge To More Global Warming” by Stephen Leahy, Inter Press Service, Jan. 24, 2012, and “Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations” (PDF) by Robert W. Howarth, Renee Santoro, and Anthony Ingraffea, Climatic Change. )
Kent Mesplay, candidate for the Green Party’s 2012 presidential nomination: “America can take one of two roads in the coming years. The first road involves denial of climate change or refusal to take it seriously, inadequate measures like emissions trading schemes that allow corporate polluters to keep polluting, and no real effort to reduce fossil fuel consumption. This road will lead to further melting of the polar icecaps and permafrost, release of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, growing climate instability, flooding and droughts, ‘peak oil’, dwindling access to food and fresh water, and the inevitable wars to gain control of resources. The second road means treating climate change in the same way that the US and its allies treated the Axis powers early in World War II — as an emergency requiring international unity against a threat to civilization. We still have the chance to curb the advance of global warming through democratically enacted means and to use it as an opportunity to put millions of people back to work, jumpstart the damaged economy, and create cooperation and good will among nations. Democratic and Republican leaders are stuck on the first road. The Green Party and its candidates and elected officials insist on the second road — which is why the Green Party is the imperative of the 21st century.”
Howie Hawkins, co-chair of the Green Party of New York State: “The Green Party remains the only party with a set of constructive solutions for the energy crises that we face. Many of these ideas are spelled out in the Green New Deal, which Green candidates have adopted as their agenda. Green solutions include the creation of millions of new jobs in energy conservation projects such as retrofitting homes and other buildings for energy efficiency, innovative technologies for safe and clean energy that don’t rely on nuclear or petroleum-based sources, planning and new construction for cities and towns that will free them from reliance on car traffic, and expanding public transportation. Unfortunately, Democrats lack the political will and Republicans are hostile to the idea that government can initiate public works projects to employ millions of Americans. President Roosevelt proved that such projects can be very successful. Greens are ready to prove it again, when we take public office.” (Mr. Hawkins introduced the Green New Deal during his campaign for Governor of New York in 2010.)