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, 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.
Encourage conservation to reduce energy consumption
1. Enact national energy efficiency standards with a goal of reducing energy consumption at least 40% by 2020.
2. Support building codes for new construction that incorporate the best available energy conservation designs. Retrofit millions of existing buildings and homes for energy efficiency.
3. Support a carbon tax to increase energy conservation and efficiency.
Swiftly transition to safe and clean energy
1. Move decisively to solar, wind, geo-thermal, marine and other cleaner renewable energy sources.
2. Research and increased government support for new energy storage technologies, new cheaper and non-toxic photovoltaic materials and processes, and new geothermal and ocean power technologies.
3. Support financing policies to help homeowners generate renewable energy.
4. Support research into advanced fuels, such as non-fossil. nuclear-based hydrogen, when the purpose of the research is to develop a fuel that in its full cycle does not create more problems than it solves.
End the use of dirty and dangerous energy sources
1. Phase-out of all nuclear and coal power plants.
2. A moratorium on the construction of new nuclear power plants, the early retirement of existing nuclear power reactors, and the phase-out of technologies that use or produce nuclear waste, such as nuclear waste incinerators, food irradiators, and all commercial and military uses of depleted uranium.
3. Terminate corporate welfare, and other subsidies, bailouts and liability limitations for nuclear power.
4. Ban mountaintop removal coal mining.
5. Cease the development of fuels produced with polluting, energy-intensive processes or from unsustainable or toxic feedstocks, such as genetically-engineered crops, coal and waste streams contaminated with persistent toxics.
6. Support community-scale renewable and biofuels fuel production programs that recover otherwise wasted biomass or utilize clean primary energy sources such as wind and solar.
1. Plan for decentralized, bio-regional electricity generation and distribution.
2. Oppose deregulation of the electric industry and strongly support public power.
3. Set goals and standards and to provide public investment capital for decentralized municipal power systems.
4. Support incentives for small-scale, local, low-input producers.