For Earth Day, the Green Party demands focus on global warming, clean energy, and a carbon-free, nuclear-free economy

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On Earth Day 2011, Green Party leaders called on the White House and Congress to provide strong leadership on fighting global climate change and converting the US to safe and clean energy.

It’s time to replace the ideology of unlimited growth with a set of principles based on sustainable use of land and resources.  We need to keep alive the ecosystems that support life on our planet.  We need to make access to fresh water a human right instead of a privatized commodity.  We need energy policies that address our dangerously high rates of consumption and the threat of a climate catastrophe before the end of the 21st century.  And we need democratic reforms that limit the power of major corporations, which have too often fought measures to protect the earth’s delicate ecological balance and provide for human needs.

Green Party Agenda on Energy

No nuclear power: The tsunami that devastated parts of Japan in March exposed the dangers of nuclear energy, which no private company will invest in without billions in publicly funded subsidies and loan guarantees.  President Obama’s plans to build new nuclear plants on the taxpayers’ dime are a concession to powerful corporate lobbies that want to reap high profits while forcing the public to assume the high cost and extreme liabilities of nuclear energy.  Existing nuclear plants must be phased out and the 20-year license extension granted for aging reactors must be rescinded, say Greens.

• An end to mountaintop removal mining: The detonation of mountaintops has wreaked untold destruction on the natural environment and posed a massive threat to public health, through contamination of water and other resources in several states.  Greens have called West Virginia “ground zero” for global warming in the US.

• An end to hydrofracking. Water supplies and landscapes are endangered when millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals are forced through shale formations to release natural gas.  • Creation of millions of new jobs in conservation, safe and clean energy cultivation, and retrofitting buildings: President Obama has not followed through on his promise of new jobs in these fields.

• Incentives, legislation, and reforms to provide renewable energy technologies (solar, wind, geo-thermal, marine, and other clean renewable sources) and encourage their use, combined with enactment of a progressive carbon tax and rebate in the form of a graduated refundable tax credit, with the goal of a carbon-free economy.

• Replacement of car traffic with energy-efficient mass transportation.

• Absolute limits on greenhouse gas emissions, under a strong international climate treaty under the auspices of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.  President Obama and Congress must do far better than the US offer, during the Copenhagen talks, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4% below 1990 levels.  Greens favor a minimum 40% reduction by 2020 and 95% reduction by 2050, over 1990 levels.

No more false solutions: Carbon emissions trading schemes (“cap and trade”), which allow polluting companies to trade licenses to pollute, are full of loopholes and ineffective at curbing global climate change.

No more subsidies and tax breaks for fossil-fuel industries; no more off-shore drilling contracts: The problem isn’t just dependence on foreign oil, it’s the addiction to fossil fuels regardless of their source, say Greens, who point to last year’s BP-Deepwater Horizon disaster as a warning of the risks of oil consumption.

No biofuels subsidies that promote the burning of crops and forests and support the expansion of genetically engineered plants and trees to feed large-scale biomass burners.  The corn-to-ethanol scam already consumes 2/5 of US corn production and has aggravated the global food crisis.  More: http://www.pfpi.net

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