Cory Booker on Energy & Oil



Support existing nuclear power by pricing carbon

Alarmed by the growing number of US nuclear power plants that have closed or might soon close because of cheap, abundant natural gas, industry officials are calling for speedy government action to [avoid] replacing all the shuttered plants with new natural-gas generation, which would wipe out about 1/4 of projected carbon emissions reductions.

"We've got to support the existing nuclear fleet," said Senator Booker. "We must make a goal of passing a law that establishes an economy-wide price on carbon to allow nuclear to compete on a level playing field."

Electricity markets have failed to give nuclear energy credit for being a clean, zero-carbon source that has provided around-the-clock, base-load power. To encourage the growth of wind and solar energy, Congress has subsidized them with 30% production tax credits. Nuclear's ongoing, seemingly intractable waste-disposal issue was not discussed, nor was the public's uneasiness with the technology.

Source: Physics Today, "Decline of US nuclear industry" , Jun 1, 2016

Climate change requires American leadership

When I was [in France for the Paris climate talks] over there, I was moved to see virtually all of the globe represented by leaders, NGOs, and major corporations. Everyone was there. There was an array of the planet coming together, focused on this issue of the impacts of climate change. Conversations ranged from focusing on us being innovative and how we are dealing with renewable technology, all the way to resiliency for poor populations who are disproportionately affected by climate change.

This is an issue that affects America that we cannot solve without joining with the rest of the globe. American leadership is incredibly needed. I am proud to send a strong message to the rest of the globe that we are here in the United States strongly supporting the ambitious commitments of President Obama, and that we will defend those communities that are facing this crisis. We will be leaders.

Source: Library of Congress transcript of Senate Floor Speech , Dec 10, 2015

Ice-melt is literally creating climate refugees

[At the Paris climate talks] I led a bilateral conversation with Bangladesh, talking to peer leaders--the U.S. sitting down with Ministry and Parliamentary members from Bangladesh. By many estimates, Bangladesh is the most vulnerable large country to climate change. Due to climate change [including rising sea levels and ice-pack] melting off the Himalayas, right now Bangladesh is losing 1% of its arable land each year, displacing millions of Bangladeshis, literally creating climate refugees.
Source: Library of Congress transcript of Senate Floor Speech , Dec 10, 2015

Rejoin Greenhouse Gas Initiative under Clean Power Plan

Today's EPA announcement [to curb carbon emissions] represents a major step forward in our national effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. We must be aggressive in our pursuit of reducing our carbon footprint. The [Clean Power Plan] is a common sense proposal that will empower states to do their part and contribute to the national goal of curbing emissions from power plants.

I am also encouraged by the flexibility the administration's plan provides for each state to decide exactly how they will achieve our national goal to reduce emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030. In light of today's announcement, New Jersey should consider rejoining the successful Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which would allow us to reduce and offset our carbon emissions by making investments in clean energy. I am confident that New Jersey will achieve the goals presented today and remain a national leader in clean energy production.

Source: 2014 Press Release from Senate office booker.senate.gov , Jun 3, 2014

Treat carbon pollution like mercury and particle pollution

Power plants account for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. While there are limits in place for the level of arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particle pollution that power plants can emit, there are currently no national limits on carbon pollution levels. By 2030, the Clean Power Plan proposal has set goals that will: The Clean Power Plan is a common sense proposal that will empower states to do their part and contribute to the national goal of curbing emissions from power plants
Source: 2014 Press Release from Senate office booker.senate.gov , Jun 3, 2014

Sustainability programs: slow growth of carbon footprint

As Mayor, I quickly worked to implement sustainability programs that created green jobs, slowed the growth of our carbon footprint, and saved millions of dollars by driving down energy costs.

In 2008, I created Newark's first Office of Sustainability and organized a "Green Future Summit" that brought additional structure to our efforts. In 2013, we released Newark's first ever Sustainability Action Plan, which provides a comprehensive roadmap for making Newark a greener, healthier and more vibrant city. More importantly, these programs have delivered concrete results that will continue to benefit Newarkers long after I leave office.

Source: 2013-2014 New Jersey Senate campaign web CoryBooker.com , Nov 3, 2013

Eliminate unfair subsidies for oil and ga

As your Senator, I will work tirelessly to ensure that the United States is a world leader in the green economy, and that we address global warming before it is too late. My priorities will include:A healthy environment is in everyone's interest; Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all breathe the same air. As Mayor I brought people together--from business, government and the community--to address local and regional environmental concerns, and will carry the same approach with me to Washington to tackle our federal challenges.
Source: 2013-2014 New Jersey Senate campaign web CoryBooker.com , Nov 3, 2013

Has never taken a public position on a carbon tax

Holt launched his first TV ad and faulted Booker for not supporting a carbon tax or breaking up large banking institutions in the 31-second spot. "Cory Booker may be the frontrunner in this race, but he's not progressive," Holt said in the ad running until the election on broadcast in New York and cable in Philadelphia.

A Booker campaign spokesman questioned the ad's validity, saying the mayor has never taken a public position on a carbon tax or breaking up banks. "It's disappointing that Representative Holt would mislead voters about Mayor Booker's record," he said.

Booker launched his fourth ad Monday, with the mayor speaking about what he would bring to the Senate while ignoring the other primary candidates.

Source: Wall Street Journal coverage of 2013 N.J. Senate debate , Aug 5, 2013

Weatherize of 450 homes; free for seniors

Our partnerships with La Casa de Don Pedro and First Hopewell have led to the weatherization of over 450 homes--helping residents save money with lower utility bills and creating jobs for Newarkers. We've partnered with Local 55 to train residents for jobs in weatherization, resulting in free home weatherization for dozens of our seniors. And we are moving forward with the sale of city-owned, abandoned homes to small, local contractors who will work with Local 55 to rehabilitate and weatherize them.
Source: 2010 State of the City Address at Newark Symphony Hall , Feb 9, 2010

Create green economy with lower carbon output

I endorsed Senator Obama because he is committed to strengthening the federal commitment to our cities through several key initiatives, including creating a new green economy, which will not only lower carbon output, increase energy efficiency, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil but also create new businesses and tens of thousands of new jobs.
Source: Cory Booker column on Huffington Post , Nov 4, 2008

Federal collaboration for advanced nuclear technologies.

Booker signed collaborating for advanced nuclear technologies

Press Release from 5 Senators: The Senate today approved, 87-4, legislation that would facilitate advanced nuclear technologies, as part of the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA), S. 2461, which prioritizes partnering with private innovators on new reactor technologies and the testing and demonstration of reactor concepts.

Supporters arguments:

Opposing environmental argument: (Sierra Club FactSheet, "Why Nuclear Power Doesn't Make Sense"): As the disasters at Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima have shown, nuclear power can cause catastrophic damage to land & human health. We should pursue our cleanest, quickest, safest, and cheapest energy options first: Nuclear power comes out last in every one of those categories.

Opposing economic argument: (Cato Institute Commentary, "Risky Business"): Many free-market advocates support nuclear because it costs less to generate nuclear power than it does to generate electricity from any other source. However, someone has to first pay for--and build--these plants and the rub is that nuclear has very high, upfront construction costs ranging from $6-9 billion. By contrast, gas plants cost only a few hundred million dollars to build and coal a couple of billion. But the final nail in the coffin for the industry would be if the federal cap on the liability that nuclear power plant owners face in case of accidents (the Price-Anderson Act) were to be lifted.

Source: H.R.4084 & S.2461 16-S2461 on Jan 28, 2016

50% clean and carbon free electricity by 2030.

Booker co-sponsored H.Res.637/S.Res.386

Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should establish a national goal of more than 50 percent clean and carbon free electricity by 2030 for the purposes of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, growing our economy, increasing our shared prosperity, improving public health, and preserving our national security.

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should--
  1. Establish a national goal of more than 50 percent clean and carbon free electricity by 2030; and
  2. Enact legislation to accelerate the transition to clean energy to meet this goal.
Source: Resolution for 50% Carbon-Free Electricity by 2030 16-SRes386 on Mar 3, 2016

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Page last updated: Sep 12, 2018