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Ask Tim Dickinson: Standing Up to Big Carbon?

POSTED:

Sixinonehand asks: Is there a candidate on the horizon, in ANY party, that will have the balls to stand up to the oil/coal industry and actually subsidize some taxpayer money for the conversion to renewables (sun, wind, water)?

Dear SixIn: Of the top tier candidates, the only one who strikes me as truly understanding that global warming poses far more than a political problem — to their candidacies from eco-conscioius voters who need to be appeased — and, in fact, constitutes a planetary crisis of nearly biblical proportions is John Edwards.

Hillary seems to want technology to bail us out as we "begin to try" to reduce greenhouse emissions. Obama's flirtation with liquid coal shows he's got a lot to learn.

Edwards promises to stick it to polluters — those oil/coal producers you mentioned — with a carbon tax cleverly disguised as an auction. From his recent interview with Rolling Stone:

I have the most aggressive plan: It calls for an 80 percent reduction by 2050 in greenhouse gasses. You get there by capping carbon in America, and ratcheting down the cap every year. Beneath the cap, you auction off the right to emit any greenhouse gasses, using that money — $30-$40 billion — to transform the way we use energy, which means wind, solar, and cellulose based bio-fuels. You put at least a billion dollars into developing carbon sequestration technology, a billion into making sure we're building more fuel efficient vehicles — in addition to raising fuel efficiency standards, which the president has the authority to do. It also means decentralizing the way we provide electricity in this country....

Edwards sounds every bit as strong on this stuff as Al Gore. Nobody else is talking about power grid decentralization. It's wonky, but very important stuff. If you're looking for an integral, transformative energy- and climate- policy, Edwards looks to be your guy.

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