Building A New Energy, Economic, Environmental, Educational Future
For Our Country and Our Planet
I am Democratic candidate for California's 24th Congressional District, Marta Jorgensen, and I have formulated a bold new campaign platform called E-Revolution. I believe this platform, so named for its focus on the strong and productive reform of federal energy, economic, environmental, and educational policies as well as on citizen engagement, is necessary for the United States to compete and survive in the new millennium.
The first pillar of E-Revolution is energy reform. As our older energy sources continue to pollute our environment, make us dependent on foreign governments, and slowly get used up, we must adopt clean, independent, and renewable forms of alternative energy like solar power, wind power, tidal power, geothermal power, and biofuels.
Countries like Denmark, which already gets 25% of its energy from wind power, and Germany, which expects to get 45% of its power from renewable energy sources by 2030, have already recognized the dangers of an addiction to oil and coal. But I believe that the United States can meet this challenge head on; we can take back the mantle of energy pioneer we once held by supporting these new technologies with tax breaks and federal mandates.
The second pillar of this platform, economic reform, seeks to return the American economy to the robust strength it once had and to create new Green and higher paying jobs for American workers. This can be done by steering our economy toward alternative energy sources, by making our economy more efficient, by working to overcome global warming, and by creating more favorable trade agreements.
While the American oil and coal industries will be losing jobs, renewable alternative energies can create and support millions of new jobs. According to studies, wind power can account for nearly 350,000 jobs, solar power for over 260,000 jobs and $45 billion in economic investment, tidal power for thousands of jobs per plant, geothermal energy for over 20,000 jobs; and biofuel for over 200,000 jobs. California is the natural home for many of these industries, and with them our state's economy, already one of the largest in the world, will surely grow even larger.
We can also make our economy more efficient. For example, one study found that an increase in fuel efficiency standards starting in 2001 could have saved drivers in upstate New York more than $2.4 billion in gas by 2012; the savings for California, with its much bigger economy and many more residents, could have been astronomical. Calling for stricter fuel efficiency standards and supporting the creation of new cars with alternative forms of power like electricity, hydrogen, or fuel cells can make our economy more efficient and each of us better off.
Switching to alternative energies and making our economy more efficient as well as working to reduce pollution and instituting a carbon tax will have the additional and very important effect of helping to ward off the effects of climate change. The costs of untreated global warming is an increase in wildfires, water conservation, public health, agriculture, and flooding could be incalculable; if we take steps now to mitigate those effects, we will be able to sustain and grow our economy far into the future.
In addition, we can take steps to keep our thriving international trade alive and growing while fixing bad trade agreements so that our only exports are American products, not American jobs. We can also address the issue of our crumbling dollar by reducing the federal deficit and paying down the federal debt. These policies form an important part of this platform.
Such sweeping economic reform may sound difficult, but it is nowhere near as hard as keeping our economy beholden to the old energy sources, old technologies, and bad trade agreements that have made our economy so weak. But America is no weakling, and I believe that we are strong enough and motivated enough to do what we must to secure success for our economy.
The third pillar of change in E-Revolution, environmental reform, is closely related to the call for both energy and economic reform. We face serious peril from the effects of global warming, including a catastrophic rise in sea level, widespread drought, and myriad extinctions in plant and animal species all over the planet, effects that will change our world for the worse. I think we can change the world for the better.
First, freeze carbon emissions and institute a carbon tax, which will go a long way to reduce any further impact we might have on the atmosphere. But we also need to further reduce our creation of greenhouse gases by instituting a moratorium on coal plants not outfitted with carbon capture features, not build nuclear power plants, keep our moratorium on off-shore drilling and build a more efficient electrical grid. In concert, these changes will drastically reduce our negative impact on the environment.
Of course, while we in the United States bear well more than our fair share of responsibility for global warming, we cannot address this problem alone. That is why I will support a new and stronger global treaty, more effective than the Kyoto Protocol and with a closer compliance date, and will do all I can to make sure that this time, we sign on and we stay on.
The fourth pillar of E-Revolution, educational reform, centers on the need to teach our children how to succeed in an E-Revolution world. We need programs to teach them how to work on a wind farm, how to design a better solar panel, and how to build a more efficient energy grid. We need to make sure that they know how important our environment is what they can do as individuals to make sure we maintain it. In short, we need comprehensive environmental education, and we need to do it on the national level.