Energy and the Environment

In the past, America has been stirred to action when faced with new threats to our national security, or new competitive conditions that undercut our economic leadership. The energy threat we face today may be less immediate than threats from dictators, but it is as real and as dangerous. The dangers are eclipsed only by the opportunities that would come with change.

We know that the jobs of the 21st century will be created in developing new energy solutions. The question is whether these jobs will be created in America, or abroad. We should use government procurement policies to incentivize domestic production of clean and renewable energy.

We must end the tyranny of oil in our time. This immediate danger is eclipsed only by the longer-term threat from climate change, which will lead to devastating weather patterns, terrible storms, drought, conflict, and famine. That means people competing for food and water in the next fifty years in the very places that have known horrific violence in the last fifty: Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. That could also mean destructive storms on our shores, and the disappearance of our coastline.

We understand that climate change is not just an economic issue or an environmental concern– this is a national security crisis.

For the sake of our security -- and for every American family that is paying the price at the pump -- we will break our addiction to foreign oil. We Democrats commit to fast-track investment of billions of dollars over the next ten years to establish a green energy sector that will create up to five million jobs. This transition to a clean-energy industry will also benefit low-income communities: we'll create an energy-focused youth job program to give disadvantaged youth job skills for this emerging industry.

We'll dramatically increase the fuel efficiency of automobiles, and we'll help auto manufacturers and parts suppliers convert to build the cars and trucks of the future and their 18 key components in the United States. And we will help workers learn the skills they need to compete in the green economy. We are committed to getting at least 25 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

To lower the price of gasoline, we will crack down on speculators who are driving up prices beyond the natural market rate. We will direct the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice to vigorously investigate and prosecute market manipulation in oil futures. And we will help those who are hit hardest by high energy prices by increasing funding for low-income heating assistance and weatherization programs, and by providing energy assistance to help middle-class families make ends meet in this time of inflated energy prices.