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Who’s Your Enviro Match?
by Paul Bass | Sep 28, 2012 9:03 am
Posted to: Environment, Campaign 2012
She considers climate change man-made; he doesn’t. He wants the government to open up more land to drill for oil; she doesn’t. You get to cast your ballot for one of them.
Got two minutes for a voter speed date? It might help you figure out whom to vote for in November.
She’s Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat who has represented this area in Congress for 22 years.
He’s Wayne Winsley, a motivational speaker and former radio talk-show host who’s running as a Republican this fall to seek to unseat her in the Nov. 6 general election.
On the environment and foreign policy, the two candidates have some common ground, but still give voters a genuine choice between two different perspectives. More so on the environment than on foreign policy, in which both are reluctant to send troops to Syria and said they would stand behind Israel if it ever bombs Iran.
The candidates discussed their views on those subjects with the Independent recently—she in her Elm Street office, he a half-block away at the offices the Independent shares with the Spanish-language newspaper La Voz Hispana. This is one of several articles looking at where they stand on real issues they’d face next year if voters elect them. (Click here for a previous “speed date” on health care issues.)
Check out their answers below on environmental questions to see who stands where you stand.
1. Is Climate Change Real?
• DeLauro: “Real. ... We have to take the research and be able to use it to deal with droughts, the sloughing off of portions of the glaciers. There’s got to be a realism about this.”
“We ought to be seriously looking at how we deal with what is creating these problems in terms of the pesticides, the gases, all of these efforts, which come from man-made activity. ”
• Winsley: “I think it’s more natural than anything else. Not” man-made. He said he’d be open to considering “reasonable measures to ensure that our business that our industries operate as cleanly and efficiently as possible.” Would that include caps on carbon emissions? “That’s something that I would have to look very carefully at case by case.”
2. Should government invest in solar, geothermal, and wind-power companies?
• DeLauro said yes. She called the government’s failed investment in the Solyndra company “one project that went wrong,” signalling that “better protections” need to be put in place when government seeks to spur develop of alternative green technologies, but not a reasons to stop investing. (The Obama administration gave $527 million in loan guarantees to the now-bankrupt California manufacturer of solar panels.)
• Winsley: “The answer is no. When government attempts to do things that government doesn’t do, it messes it up.” However, in a follow-up question, WInsley said he does support “incentivizing” businesses. Solyndra points to a need to avoid major government investments and rely on the private market instead, he argued.
3. Approve the Keystone natural gas pipeline?
DeLauro: Maybe, if more environmental protections are put in place.
4. Open up more of Alaska and the outer Continental shelf to oil drilling?
Winsley: Yes. “In general I’m in favor of the United States having access to more of its natural resources. That way we can stop buying petroleum from countries that don’t really like us.”
DeLauro: No. “I’ve been opposed to opening up the reserves. I believe there have been more possibilities for drilling without going to these pristine parts of our nation where we want to preserve the environment. In addition to which, we have now become an exporter of oil. That is because of natural gas.”
5. Speaking of natural gas—do you support “fracking”?
DeLauro and Winsley basically agreed that they could support a more environmentally friendly version of the increasingly popular method of releasing natural gas from underground rock formations. They both spoke of supporting versions of fracking (which are more costly, thus opposed by industry) that avoid the use of chemicals that contaminate drinking water.
If you have time for a more detailed look at candidates and their positions, check out this tool from an outfit called ElectNext:
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Q: Why do you believe your feelings over the concensus of essentially all climate scientists worldwide?
Q: So should we stop subsidizing oil companies and farms as well?
Q: Why do you support the keystone pipeline when we would bear the brunt of the risk for a pittance of the payoff?
Q: Do you realize oil is a globally traded commodity, extracted by multi-national companies, so Americans would once again bear the brunt of the risk for a very small return if anything?
Still shows Rosa and Chris but at least this time I got obama instead of Mitt! Conn. voters are informed and more are not the fox news types. So this poll was kind of silly.
why drill? Why not make solar and wind more affordable and get US company to make and fix them?? why not make marijuana legal so that Hemp can become a rotation crop…ya know hemp the fuel that FORD used to run his cars?? Which would also create US Jobs would not effect the food crop! Just saying. Drill baby drill really?? That may make us more independent but would not create the jobs that green energy would!
List of products that can be made with hemp .
posted by: Christopher Schaefer on September 28, 2012 11:42am
DeLauro has repeatedly said she would balance the federal deficit by “ending subsidies to big oil”. REALITY: the U.S. oil and natural gas industry does not receive “subsidies” from the government to produce oil and gas. However, there are many provisions in the tax code that allow ALL companies—including the oil & gas industry—DEDUCTIONS to recover costs. In contrast, the U.S. squandered $90 billion in SUBSIDIES & LOANS to the wind and solar power industry via 2009’s American Recovery and Investment Act, aka “stimulus”. In the first year of this “green” stimulus, an estimated 79% went to foreign nations, including Babcock & Brown, which went bankrupt just 2 months after the stimulus. Add to this list of bankruptcies: Beacon Power which went bankrupt 1 year after a $43 Million federal loan, only two months after Solyndra went under with a $535 million loan. More “subsidized bankruptcies” listed here: http://environmentblog.ncpa.org/green-energys-bankruptcy-blackout/ proving Winsley’s statement: “When government attempts to do things that government doesn’t do, it messes it up.” Oil companies employ more people & pay higher taxes than wind and solar cos., & their profit margins are well below other industries. The wind industry SHED 10,000 jobs since 2009 at the same time the “potential” energy capacity of wind farms doubled. Meanwhile, the oil & gas industry ADDED 75,000 jobs. The 1992 Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit is worth $1.2 billion for wind production that actually INCREASES the electricity bill of consumers. Ironically, traditional energy suppliers using coal & gas must be maintained FULLTIME to provide electricity whenever wind & solar power falls below its promise to generate electricity—which happens much of the time. By contrast, oil & gas cos. pay $26 billion a year in fed & state corporate income & other taxes, ultimately making a profit of c. 1.5% of the retail price per gallon of gasoline. With a federal debt of c. $17 Trillion, it’s time to end ALL subsidies and loans based on borrowed money.
Yet when prices at the pump were so high that people were making environmentally good decisions like combing trips and choose cars with better mpg, Ms. Delauro decried the high prices of gas. What to do something for the environment? Make petrol $5.00 a gal.
Haven’t we seen enough of the Rosa D show yet? After how many terms in office, our state has no population growth, no job growth, crumbling infrastructure, failing schools, job killing regulations, crippling energy costs….
I had the chance to hear Mr Winsley speak a couple of weeks ago and he has a number of great ideas that would get government out of our way and give the people a chance to get ahead. We should give this guy a chance. He certainly can’t be worse than Rosa.
posted by: Christopher Schaefer on September 29, 2012 7:18am
To HhE: Your comment actually underscores the only way that “green” products ever will begin to dominate the market. Wind and solar generation and electric cars will become competitive—NOT due to failed government intervention—which simply does not work—but because market forces will make them competitive. Without being propped up by the government subsidies which DeLauro supports, solar panel manufacturers and automobile battery manufacturers will be forced develop products that regular folks actually can afford to buy. Does anyone remember the appliances produced in the former Soviet Union? They looked like retro products from the 1940s. Why? Because both supply and demand were controlled by the government—a perfect way to stifle innovation.
Good god we can’t wait for when the market decides it’s time to finally do something about the environment. Actually no, we can, because any American basically lives in the top 6% of the global population, and climate change to use will be an inconvenience, while to poor nations it will result in people actually dying. The free market isn’t going to do the morally right thing, it’s going to do the thing that generates the most profit, which is currently at odds with trying to save the planet.
Soviet design and the command economy that controlled it produced one of the greatest designs of the 20th century; the AK series rifles.
Their poor consumer design was driven by a dogma that input costs of labor and materials necessarily equalled product value. In other words, fit the market to the product, not the product to the market.
The idea that free market forces are a solve all is just as flawed. Government does have a role in promoting research and development, as well as enlightened regulations to protect people and natural resources.
The electric car is a bad idea not matter what. Unless fusion were to ever work, it just burns fossil fuels at a remote location to provide a “clean” car with 1%.
Pray head what TheMapcap has said.
posted by: Christopher Schaefer on September 30, 2012 11:33am
MadCap: “The free market isn’t going to do the morally right thing.” But here likes the crux of the matter—there is no universally agreed-upon definition of “morally right” and such issues as “ethical & moral proportionality” are rarely raised. So, for example, is it morally right to substitute ethanol for gasoline, which reduces fossil fuel usage but causes food shortages where corn is a food staple? Is it morally right to subsidize & offer tax credits for solar panels when their manufacturing process emits significant greenhouse & chemical gases and creates toxic chemical byproducts (in places like China where the chemicals are simply dumped in rivers, etc.) while still requiring that fossil fuel power plants be running to make up for solar panel downtime? Is it morally right to have all US taxpayers shoulder the tax credits and subsidies taken by those few who purchase solar panels? Is it morally right for China, the US, and Europe to consume most of the world’s energy and resources, often at great environmental and economic cost to the rest of the world? Conversely, is it morally right to have the government impose restrictions on Americans’ purchases of consumer goods, which would reduce environmental hazards in developing countries, but also would put many people world-wide out of work and stifle individual freedom? And here I’ve simply raised moral questions having to do with the environment! Of course, “the morally right thing” can be debated on innumerable other issues. There was a time when all college students (and sometimes even high school students) were required to study introductory ethics, examining moral thinking from various religious and secular philosophical traditions. The goal was that adults could make decisions in life—and the voting booth—after carefully weighing all factors to be considered on each topic and, when voting, then considering the proportionality of each topic before casting one’s vote. Unfortunately today I fear voters rarely take the time to make such a detailed study, preferring instead to gasp at the latest political ad or see which candidate has made the most mis-statements or “campaign strategy errors”. The daily news headlines provide abundant proof of this.
posted by: Christopher Schaefer on September 30, 2012 2:36pm
Sorry for the typo. My last comment should read “But here lies the crux of the matter…
1. Climate change has NOT been proven. Listen to Lord Monckton on youtube and get informed. Just google Lord Monckton and climate change. The only reason for climate change is for more government control over our lives. Look at the price of gas. Do you think this will go down if we follow any of DeLauro’s beliefs? The government will indirectly cause oil, gas and electricity to all rise. Get it?
2. The Keystone Pipeline is one of the most promising ways to lessen the U.S. dependency on the Middle East oil. No. DeLauro is not for this. She won’t say this outright. She calls for more “more environmental protections.” So she would rather have China buy this oil than us.
3. The fracking study was financed by Middle East oil money. Get it? Why? Because if we develop fracking we will buy less Middle East oil. Again, just google it. So Middle East oil finances our energy policy? Who finances DeLauro’s campaign? Just asking.
So, regardless of her energy policy, she is against every energy policy that helps the U.S. Is she for the U.S.? I have my doubts and you should too.
AgentRose, are you being silly, ironic, absurd, or do you really mean what you said? Does everyone know who Lord Monckton is?
Christopher Schaefer, your argument appears to be that ethical reasoning is hard, therefore we ought not attempt it. I rather doubt that American conspicuous consumption is driven by the desire to help people living in the third world. (Whenever I consider where something is made, my desire is to support manufacturing in the English speaking world.)