Draft GPUS Platform Amendment Energy
Section Title: Energy
Section Subtitle: Energy for a safe climate and a cleaner world
Our position: Greens support a rapid shift to an energy system based on wind, solar and geo-thermal power.
Cheap fossil fuels have led our nation to build an energy infrastructure that is designed for, and utterly dependent on, the illusion of plentiful oil, coal, and natural gas. We have built cars and trucks and an extensive network of highways. We have built passenger aircraft that are swift and safe, and airports in practically all our cities. Our shopping malls have become filled with products imported from around the world.
We have configured our food system to take advantage of fossil fuels by mechanizing production, by using petrochemicals to fertilize crops and kill weeds and pests – and then by transporting food ever further distances to giant supermarkets accessed by private automobile.
We heat most of our homes with fossil fuels, and we have designed our homes around automobiles, setting aside a large portion of interior space for garages. We have built countless neighborhoods through which and to which no one is expected to travel by any mode other than by car. We define the functionality of our cities by the highways that connect their neighborhoods and suburbs. We have built an electric grid system to supply power that depends on fossil fuels for two-thirds of its energy.
In short, we have become systemically dependent on cheap fossil fuels.
However, burning fossil fuel releases enormous quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that are changing the global climate. If we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, we must begin reducing fossil carbon dioxide emissions immediately, and bring them virtually to zero before mid-century.
We must reduce our overall energy consumption, and restructure our economy to run primarily on renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, and advanced geothermal. Renewables can power our society indefinitely. They are the only long-term answer to our nation’s and the world’s energy problems.
Increase conservation, reduce energy consumption by at least 40% from 1990 levels by 2020
1. Increase national energy efficiency standards for products and services, including the average fuel efficiency of automobiles.
2. Establish and strengthen green building codes and guidelines for new construction.
3. Retrofit existing buildings for increased energy efficiency.
4. Enact a carbon tax to increase energy conservation and efficiency and to internalize the true environmental cost of burning carbon-based fules
Swiftly transition to safe and clean energy
1. Move decisively to solar, wind, geo-thermal, marine and other cleaner renewable energy sources.
2. Increase funding for research and development of new energy storage technologies, cheaper and non-toxic photovoltaic materials and processes, and geothermal and ocean power technologies.
3. Retrofit existing buildings to become distributed generation sources of renewable energy.
End the use of dirty and dangerous energy sources
1. Phase out all nuclear power plants. Enact a moratorium on the construction of new nuclear power plants. Terminate corporate welfare and other subsidies, bailouts and liability limitations for nuclear power.
2. Phase out non-medical technologies that use or produce nuclear waste, such as nuclear waste incinerators, food irradiators, and all commercial and military uses of depleted uranium.
3. Phase out all coal power plants. Ban mountaintop removal coal mining.
4. Oppose the development of fuels produced by polluting, energy-intensive processes or from unsustainable or toxic feedstocks, such as genetically-engineered crops, or coal or waste streams contaminated with persistent toxins.
1. Implement community-scale, distributed generation of renewable energy. Support incentives for small-scale, local, low-input producers.
2. Support public power. Provide public investment capital for decentralized municipal power systems.
3. Oppose deregulation of the electric industry.