Americans want their kids to breathe clean air and drink clean water. They want to leave a healthy planet for their children. Residential and commercial energy consumption accounts for somewhere around 50% of emissions. We can’t move to a sustainable economy without getting our energy from renewable sources.
Tackling our energy supply is the biggest move we need to make in order to create a sustainable economy. It is impossible to know right now which renewable energy technologies are going to be the most efficient options in 10 or 20 years. The goal of having a renewable energy plan is to have a starting point of where we will invest our time and research. First and foremost, it is important for our government to be able to adjust its plans as technology and more efficient solutions develop.
The government needs to dedicate itself to a massive investment in new technologies and a promise to purchase American-made efficiency and renewable energy technologies. We must plan all infrastructure projects to include environmentally friendly materials and be powered by renewable energy, and we should incentivize corporations to do the same with their businesses.
Under the EPA’s mandate to regulate carbon, we need to increase our Clean Power Plan targets to make our electricity sector sustainable, and force all power plants to meet these standards.
Many communities - especially rural electric cooperatives - are currently using power from coal plants on which they owe billions of dollars. These communities want to shift their energy sources to renewables, but they can’t afford to pay off their current debt - which is estimated to be at least $8.4 billion - on the old plants and build new ones, especially as the relative cost of coal increases (and will continue to as we end subsidies). The US government can forgive the debt for those co-ops that are looking to make a transition to renewable energy, and provide different financing options to these cooperatives to get them to move over to renewable sources.
Since these technologies are advanced but still developing, it’ll be important for the government to also work with the companies innovating in these areas to create certain standards that will allow for interchangeability and upgrading. No one wants their electric vehicle to only be able to charge at certain stations because it uses a different standard.
Problems to be Solved
- checkOur current energy consumption is unsustainable for future generations.
- checkMany communities cannot afford to shift to renewable energy.
- checkThe federal government alone is responsible for a huge amount of the country’s energy consumption.
- By leaving all options on the table, heavily investing in research, and activating the patriotism, entrepreneurial spirit, leadership and community that American is known for, we can make sure that the planet is livable for our children and our children’s children.
- checkConvert to 100% renewable energy by 2049 to ensure our energy consumption is sustainable for future generations
- checkAssist communities and sectors that are financially unable to shift to renewable energy
- checkDirect federal action to promote renewable energy
As President I will...
- Create more aggressive Clean Power Plan targets, and end the grandfathering-in of old plants that haven’t been sufficiently upgraded to trigger NSR.
- Provide a $10 billion debt forgiveness fund for all rural co-ops that are relying on non-renewable sources who want to replace their plants with renewables, and provide public financing/securitization options for rebuilding with sustainable energy.
- Work to create standards allowing common elements of systems (e.g., batteries) to be easily replaced as the technologies develop.