Bill Richardson, a democratic candidate for president and the current governor of New Mexico, has made altering America’s energy usage and protecting our environment one of his top priorities. Richardson aspires to “make America a clean energy nation like [he] made New Mexico a clean energy state” (http://www.richardsonforpresident.com/issues/energy). Some of his specific proposed policy points include: cutting oil demand by 50% by 2020, requiring electrical companies to generate 50% of their power from renewable sources by 2050, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050, restoring the Clean Water Act, and providing incentives to encourage states with low recycling rates to improve their programs. Richardson supports increasing funding for the development of alternative energy sources including wind, solar, and nuclear, although he does not support nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain. To read quotes from Richardson on climate and energy as well as other issues, check out http://www.ontheissues.org/Bill_Richardson.htm. And to see footage of Richardson presenting his energy plan at “Primary Energy ’08” in Keene New Hampshire last month check out http://fora.tv/2007/10/21/Bill_Richardson_Primary_Energy__08.
It seems pretty clear that Bill Richardson has made a point of putting together a comprehensive, rigorous, and hopefully viable plan make Americas energy use more sustainable, and less harmful to our environment. In addition, Richardson’s record as governor of New Mexico would seem to indicate that these are not empty promises, as he has in fact worked hard to make New Mexico’s energy use more sustainable. On a standard letter grade scale, I would give Richardson’s climate and energy policy an A.Photo Credit: United States Department of Energy
-Win Wharton, Cornell University