I know, I know first I was bitching about Hillary’s being too short and Richardson/Obama/Edwards being fairly complete – I still personally like Richardson’s the best…still Dennis does everything here but announce his pick for Energy Secretary …now there is an idea. I still think John Edwards would make a great Energy Secretary!!
|As the world population soars towards eight billion, critical issues of survival face all of us. Living on a planet of finite resources means that human life can not be sustained indefinitely without careful thought and compassion coupled with political courage.As the world population soars towards eight billion, critical issues of survival face all of us. Living on a planet of finite resources means that human life can not be sustained indefinitely without careful thought and compassion coupled with political courage.While the catastrophic impact of global warming is well documented, the U.S. has yet to rejoin the Kyoto Treaty. A Kucinich administration would immediately put the United States in the forefront of solving the global warming crisis by rejoining the Kyoto accord and implementing its recommendations. On the domestic front, I am an original co-sponsor in the House of Representatives of HR 1950, the Safe Climate Act of 2007. This is an act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the climate introduced by Rep. Henry Waxman of California. As President I will continue to support the goals and targets of this important piece of legislation. Oil is also an immense sustainability issue. With the peak of U.S. oil production some decades in the past and the world facing inevitable shortages in the near future, a continuation of our present energy policies is a prescription for unending conflicts. No candidate understands the precarious environmental perch man sits on more than Dennis Kucinich who has promised:
As President, I will lead the way in protecting our oceans, rivers and rural environments. I will also lead in fighting for clean, affordable and accessible drinking water. I have worked hand-in-hand with the environmental movement on many battles, from thwarting a nuclear waste dump to boosting organics to demanding labels on genetically-engineered products. A clean environment, a sustainable economy, and an intact ozone layer are not luxuries, but necessities for our planet’s future.
Fighting corporate powers that do not operate in the public interest has been a focus of his public life from the beginning. Nearly 40-years ago he helped draft the first air pollution law as a member of Cleveland City Council.
More recently, Dennis attended the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, advocating a plan with Mikhail Gorbachev for a Global Green Deal that would enable the introduction of $50 billion of new solar projects around the world. It will be a major initiative to use our country’s leadership in sustainable energy production to provide jobs to Americans, to reduce energy use here at home, and to partner with developing nations to provide their people with inexpensive, local renewable-energy technologies.
This is at the heart of his proposed Works Green Administration (WGA) which would couple a new WPA program to the EPA and NASA in restoring America’s infrastructure and providing sustainable energy at the same time. No longer will the Environmental Protection Agency be known as Every Polluter’s Ally.
Dennis’ eloquent, factual challenges to the nuclear industry’s attempts to develop a waste site at Yucca Mountain in Utah are well-documented. Here is just a bit of his statement made on April 25, 2002:
“The transportation of this waste would require over 96,000 truck shipments over four decades. Almost every major east-west interstate highway and mainline railroad in the country would experience high-level waste shipments as waste is moved from reactors and other sites in 39 states.
The Department of Energy proposes to directly impact 44 states and many of the major metropolitan areas in the nation, at least 109 cities with populations exceeding 100,000. Highway shipments alone will impact at least 703 counties with a combined population of 123 million people. Nationally, 11 million people reside within one- half mile of a truck or rail route.
This never-before-attempted radioactive materials transportation effort would bring with it a constellation of hazards and risks, including potentially serious economic damage and property value losses in cities and communities along shipping routes. A major concern will be the increased security risk since these shipments represent, in effect, nuclear mobile targets which will travel through some of our most populous and vulnerable metropolitan areas. This committee must understand that high-level nuclear waste will remain deadly for a million years.
If sending nuclear waste down our roads and rails with limited safeguards doesn’t bother you, then maybe placing this deadly waste on barges in our rivers, lakes, and oceans will. Due to a lack of rail facilities near several reactors, the Department of Energy will use barge shipments to move this waste to a port capable of transferring the 120-ton cask to a train.
Some of these shipments will traverse the Great Lakes; the world’s largest source of fresh water. Over 35 million people living in the Great Lakes basin get their drinking water from the Great Lakes, and I venture to guess they will not appreciate the fact that nuclear waste is being shipped across their drinking water. I cannot support any plan that even contemplates shipping highly radioactive waste in the Great Lakes.”
Dennis Kucinich has demonstrated that the greatest nuclear threat most Americans face is from the nuclear industry – not terrorists. According to the Nuclear Control Institute more “bomb material [plutonium] enters civilian commerce than exists in all of the world’s nuclear weapons.” Those who place profits over public safety are a greater danger than any external threats. Of course, the fact that we offer nuclear plants and radioactive shipments as a productive target for those who wish us ill should not be ignored in planning America’s energy needs nor the inherent dangers of the plants and waste produced.
Consider the ongoing battles Dennis has had with the nuclear industry in Ohio where the Davis-Bessie nuclear plant near Toledo, Ohio was, according to the NRC, perhaps as close as 60 days to breaching the container vessel. Six and a half inches the size of a football of the metal container core had been eaten away far more rapidly than previously thought. Only two-tenths of an inch of an unrelated shield already distorted from pressure, heat and radiation prevented the breach.
The United States under a Kucinich presidency would reverse the unsustainable actions in the following areas:
After global warming, water use and availability may be the most important sustainability issue of all. In Dennis’ words:
“All water shall be considered to be forever in the public domain. It shall be the duty of each nation to provide accessible, affordable drinking water to its peoples. There shall be public ownership of drinking water systems, subject to municipal control Wealthy nations shall provide poor nations with the means to obtain water for survival. Water shall be protected from commodification and exempted from all trade agreements. Water privatization shall not be a condition of debt restructuring, loan renewal or loan forgiveness. Governments shall use their powers to prevent private aggregation of water rights. Water shall be conserved through sustainable agriculture and encouraging plant-based diets. Water resources shall be protected from pollution. Our children should be educated about the essential nature of water for maintaining life. [I would] recommend a series of declarative sentences which can serve as the basis for a course of action. We shall call these ten principles “Water Marks.”
1. All water shall be considered to be forever in the public domain.