For this blog my assignment was to research presidential candidate Joe Biden and find out what his political views on the environment are. Was I amazed! It turns out he is extremely pro-environment, which really impresses me. He seems to have the beliefs and vindication of Al Gore but with more political boldness.
In case you don’t know who he is, Joe Biden is the Democratic Senator of Delaware and has been for 34 years. He is a serious advocate for the reducing of greenhouse gases and trying to reduce global warming. He has been the sponsor and co-sponsor of many important environmental bills such as the Clean Power Act and Boxer-Sanders Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act. The latter is currently the most restrictive climate bill in the senate right now and will reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and to 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.
Another legislation Senator Biden has sponsored is the American Automobile Industry Promotion Act of 2007. The exact initiative can be viewed at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s110-1055. Its basic agenda is to promote the research and distribution of hybrid and flex fuel cars. The Senator has also spoken about making all cars required to be flex-fuel by certain dates some not so far in the future. He also hopes to make legislation that would require fuel efficiency to increase by an average of 1mpg/year, which I find to be a slow but steady rate.
Reducing automobile emissions is not the only way that this candidate wants to help the global warming problem. He sponsored the FLIP to SAVE bill, which allocated government incentives to people and companies for changing to fluorescent light bulbs to save energy. He is also a strong supporter of biofuels as a new, renewable energy source. In an interview I watched he said that he believes that corn is a good starting point to get biofuels off the ground, but then we’ll have to move on to other crops and methods.
Senator Biden seems willing to put his money where his mouth is on this subject, and he believes we should repeal tax breaks for oil companies. He seems to be more aggressive and outspoken about the environment in his campaign than many other candidates have been in the past. He has an 84% lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters and claims that he makes energy security a “top priority.” He has said:
"If I could wave a wand, and the Lord said I could solve one problem, I would solve the energy crisis. That's the single most consequential problem we can solve. It's what you have to do to get greenhouse gases under control."
--March 3, 2007, at a rally in
If you’d like to know more about Senator Joe Biden’s environmental and energy platform you can check out some of the following sites. The last has actual video clips of interviews and questions.
http://joebiden.com/getinvolved/petitions/energy_security - his official site
http://www.grist.org/feature/2007/08/29/biden_factsheet/ -- live video feeds!Photo Source: Official Photograph from the United States Senate in Public Domain
-Michael Johnson, Cornell University Student