2008 - [Sustainable Concepts] Presidential Candidates and Green
2008, vol. 59
Welcome to the February 2008 newsletter from Design
Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's
Quote of the Month: "The other day the oil companies
reported the highest profits in the history of the
world. I want to take those profits and I want to
put them into a strategic energy fund that will
begin to find alternative smart energy, alternatives
and technologies that will begin to actually move
us toward the direction of independence!"
Lisa A. Swan
Green are the 2008 Presidential Candidates?
With the field narrowing down to just a few
candidates for President, how do they stand
up on green and environmental issues?
According to a recent Environment News Service
(ENS) article, Democrats Hillary Clinton and
Barack Obama have addressed green issues including
carbon cap and trade systems, renewable energy,
and biofuels much more frequently. While, Republicans
John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee
have said comparatively little about climate
change or clean energy during their debates
or on the stump so far. Promoting clean energy
for them is often in the context of energy independence
and national security.
A scorecard by author Terry Tamminen, has given
Senator Clinton and Senator Obama both a "B",
while John McCain, along with the other Republicans,
all received a "F" for their views and voting
records. The League of Conservation Voters (LCV)
complies a National Environmental Scorecard,
the latest for the year 2006. Their report states
that Obama received a perfect score, Clinton
received a 71 percent, and McCain scored just
Despite Obama's stellar environmental voting
record, he supports clean coal and nuclear technologies
that are important to the economy of his home
state of Illinois, but that some environmentalists
In January of 2007, Obama co-sponsored the Coal-to-Liquid
Fuel Promotion Act of 2007, which would provide
funding to companies that convert coal to liquid
diesel fuel. After taking heat on the bill,
several months later Obama backtracked, saying
he would only support clean coal initiatives
that would reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent
as compared with conventional fuels.
He has also supported incentives for nuclear
energy. He voted for the Energy Policy Act of
2005, which, along with some funding for renewables,
gave tax breaks to companies for expanding nuclear
Clinton has not authored any significant legislation
concerning climate change or renewable energy.
She has voted against funding coal to liquids
technologies as well as the Energy Policy Act
of 2005 that provided incentives for the nuclear
industry. In 2007, she voted to expand offshore
McCain began sponsoring legislation to address
climate change in 2003, before it became a popular
subject in the Senate. The McCain-Lieberman
Climate Stewardship Act of 2003 was revised
and presented to the Senate again in 2005, but
failed to pass. It provides for a cap on U.S.
emissions of greenhouse gases and a trading
system for emissions permits.
Like Clinton, McCain voted to expand offshore
drilling, but unlike his two peers, he was not
present to vote for the landmark 2007 energy
bill that raised vehicle fuel economy standards.
A good rule of thumb to use if there is a gap
between what the candidates are saying during
the primary season and what their political
philosophy has traditionally been, believe their
Article Reference: Environment News Service
Candidates' Green Talk Lead to Presidential
Action? by John Gartner
bans free plastic bags
China is banning free plastic bags common
at shops and supermarkets and ordering customers
to be charged for any they use, the government
said Wednesday, January 9, 2008.
Shoppers in Beijing and other Chinese cities
will have to pay for using plastic bags, starting
The rules, which take effect June 1, come as
the country tries to tackle a significant source
of litter, a statement on the government's Web
The bags also are banned from all public transportation,
including buses, trains and planes and from
airports and scenic locations, the government
Companies caught breaking the new rules face
fines and possible forfeiture of goods, the
Shops have been instructed to mark the price
of the plastic bags clearly and not fold them
into the cost of other items.
Environmental organizations, including Greenpeace,
praised China's move, and Christopher Flavin,
president of Worldwatch Institute, an independent
research organization in Washington, said "China
is ahead of the U.S. with this policy," AP reported.
The Chinese use up to 3 billion plastic shopping
bags a day.
Article © CNN
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