Thursday, October 15, 2015

Lincoln Chafee: Views on Climate Change in the First Democratic Presidential Debate

Lincoln Chafee is a contender for the Democratic nomination who supports climate action. As he said in the first Democratic Presidential debate:
"I want to address climate change, a real threat to our planet. And I believe in prosperity through peace."
Chafee is nowhere near as well known as Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or even Martin O'Malley. He is a supporter of clean energy and he wants to protect the Arctic from drilling. Although he has indicated that he wants to reduce fossil fuel use, he would not deny funding (subsidies and tax breaks) to the fossil fuel industry.

When he was the independent Governor of Rhode Island, Chafee supported climate action including Executive Order 14-01. He supported legislation that created the Rhode Island Executive Climate Change Council, which advises the state on how to address the challenges of climate change, as well as reduce the state’s carbon emissions. He also supported setting the goal of an 80 percent reduction of emissions produced in 1990 by 2020.

Some of his other climate actions included closing the SUV loophole and raising mileage standards, supporting federal tax credit for alternative fuel vehicles, seeking federal funds for the purchase of natural gas buses, voting to disallow an oil leasing program in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), voting to provide $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas, voting to reduce oil usage by 40 percent by 2025, voting to ban drilling in the ANWR, voting for Bush Administration Energy Policy, Voting for hydrogen-powered vehicles, voting against drilling ANWR on national security grounds, voting against terminating CAFE standards, voting against preserving the budget for ANWR oil drilling.

He also supported efficient air conditioner rule to conserve energy, he co-sponsored establishing greenhouse gas tradeable allowances, supported renewable energy tax credit and signed American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension, and supported an immediate reductions in greenhouse gases

When the debate moderator asked him about the enemies he has made in his political career, he said:
"I guess the coal lobby. I’ve worked hard for climate change and I want to work with the coal lobby. But in my time in the Senate, tried to bring them to the table so that we could address carbon dioxide. I’m proud to be at odds with the coal lobby."

See the climate positions of the other Democratic presidential candidates, Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Larry Lessig and Jim Webb.

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