Howard Dean on Energy & Oil

Former VT Governor; Former Democratic Candidate for President


Raise CAFE standard from 27.5 mpg to 37.5, including SUVs

Q: Would you increase the required automobile fleet average of 27.5 mpg; and SUVs and pickups averaging 20.7 mpg?

A: I support an across-the-board corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard of 37.5 mpg by 2015. This would apply to all passenger vehicles, and would require a closing of the SUV loophole.

Source: Associated Press policy Q&A, “Fuel Efficiency” , Jan 25, 2004

Global warming is most important enviro problem we face

Q: As Governor you signed a regional pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Should the nation adopt the same goals?

A: We should find a way to sign Kyoto. It is not perfect and we must include the developing nations, such as Brazil & China, and require them to reduce greenhouse gasses as well. But in the end global warming is the most important environmental problem we face. We can’t follow the head-in-the-sand view of the Bush administration on global warming. We have to deal with it.

Source: Concord Monitor / WashingtonPost.com on-line Q&A , Nov 6, 2003

No new nuclear plants until waste disposal is safe

Q: Should we build more nuclear power plants?

A: We can not build any new nuclear power plants until we have a satisfactory way of disposing of the waste. At present, significant questions have been raised about the safety of Yucca Mountain, the disposal site in Nevada. Unless those safety questions are resolved Yucca cannot be opened and new plants must not be built.

Source: Concord Monitor / WashingtonPost.com on-line Q&A , Nov 6, 2003

Wind energy reduces global warming & reduces Saudi imports

Howard Dean's Middle East policy, then, includes windmills. It is both a foreign and a domestic policy, based on making the US less dependent on foreign oil by increasing production of renewable (and non-polluting) energy, primarily wind, solar energy and ethanol. The intent here is to diminish both the clout of Saudi Arabia and the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

Dean appears to be right when he says that developing wind power would reduce both the amount of oil imported and climate change. What Dan does not mention is that while wind power may be popular in Denmark, it is controversial even in Vermont, where many of his former constituents fear the tall towers will ruin the mountaintop scenery. Dean finesses this point. The windmills, he suggests, should be concentrated on the Great Plains.

Source: Citizen's Guide to the Man Who Would be President, p.227 , Oct 1, 2003

10% ethanol in gasoline reduced oil imports by 5%

Like many politicians seeking support in Iowa, Dean also supports increased use of ethanol, the clean-burning but controversial fuel additive extracted from corn. "If you had 10% ethanol in everybody's gas tank in this country, you would reduce oil use by 5%," he says.

Requiring more ethanol in auto fuel is popular in the Farm Belt. It is unpopular with many economists and engineers who argue that it takes almost as many BTU's to produce a pound of ethanol as that pound provides and that the entire ethanol experiment is economically feasible only because of tax subsidies.

But it takes BTU's to produce coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy, too, and they also get tax preferences.

Source: Citizen's Guide to the Man Who Would be President, p.227 , Oct 1, 2003

Help developing countries reduce greenhouse gases

Instead of rejecting the Kyoto agreement, renegotiate it so China and other developing countries have more time to reduce greenhouse gases or enlist the G-8 countries to help with the costs of environmental cleanup.
Source: New America Foundation/Atlantic Monthly Public Policy Forum , Jan 14, 2003

Our energy policy is one of our biggest security threats

One of our biggest security threats is our energy policy. The money which helped finance Osama bin Laden’s attacks was our money. Because of our dependence on Middle East oil, the US sent money to Saudi Arabia, which was used in part to fund the fundamentalist Islamic schools in Pakistan and elsewhere which teach hatred of Christians, Jews and Americans. These schools have become fertile recruiting territory for Al Qaeda.

In Vermont, we have the highest rate of energy conservation in the US America needs an energy policy which stresses conservation and renewables, including wind, biomass, ethanol and solar. Not only is renewable energy good for the environment, it is a core pice of a smarter foreign policy.

Source: Campaign web site, DeanForAmerica.com, “On the Issues” , Nov 30, 2002

Voluntary partnerships reduce greenhouse gases economically.

Dean adopted the National Governors Association policy:

Source: NGA policy NR-11, Global Climate Change Domestic Policy 00-NGA3 on Aug 15, 2000

Kyoto Treaty must include reductions by all countries.

Dean adopted the National Governors Association policy:

If appropriate international commitments are established and are ratified by the US, the Governors believe implementation should be allowed to be achieved through cost-effective market-based activities, which account for scientifically verifiable and accountable reductions in greenhouse gas levels regardless of where the reductions are achieved. Any multinational emissions trading program must provide a flexible and workable framework that takes full advantage of market forces and maximizes international participation.
Source: NGA policy NR-11, Climate Change International Policy 00-NGA4 on Aug 15, 2000

Create Regional Emissions Registry for GHG trading.

Dean signed the New England Governors' Conference resolution:

  • NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that NEG/ECP accepts the Climate Change Action Plan and [commits to its] implementation; and
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that [NEG/ECP commits to] work together to address regional energy and environmental issues such as integrated approaches to energy reliability, fuel diversity, regional emission credit trading, energy conservation, and improved energy facility and transmission siting.
    Source: NEG/ECP Resolution 26-4: Energy & Environment 01-NEGC4 on Aug 28, 2001

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    Page last updated: Oct 27, 2021