I’ve lived in Southern California for over 43 years, and never have I seen the proliferation of wildfires, droughts, mudslides and coastal erosion like we’ve seen over the past 10 years. Climate change is real, and it’s caused by man-kind. Climate change worsens extreme weather and is a catastrophic threat to our entire planet.
By investing in clean, renewable energy, we will not only reduce climate change, but we’ll also grow our economy. Green energy jobs, like those tied to the many Southern California firms focused on the green energy and clean technology sectors, will be the jobs of the future. We need to expand our support for these firms, and these jobs, by investing in subsidies and tax credits for the renewable energy industry. I believe the United States must transition to 100% renewable energy by 2045 at the latest, and I will work to pass this initiative. The time for bold action is now. Tomorrow will be too late for our children.
Our coastline and agriculture land in Southern California are national treasures, and a critical part of our economy. The Trump administration and Congressional Republicans want to expand offshore oil drilling right here, off our Southern California coast. This would pose a devastating danger to marine life, threaten our fragile beaches, and jeopardize the economies of our coastal communities. I will strongly oppose any attempt to drill for oil off our coast.
We must take away the special tax breaks given to Big Oil companies and replace those with subsidies to the clean-energy sector. Fear-mongering must give way to the indisputable facts of climate change. I support ending all subsidies for Big Oil, be they direct subsidies, exploration subsidies or the kinds of tax loopholes that allow these firms to accelerate depreciation. Conversely, I support the Clean Power Plan that would limit pollution from power generation plants. Unfortunately, President Trump is working to repeal this important plan; a plan that would move us away from old, dirty energy sources. I will work to get Congress to pass the Clean Power Plan and thereby ensure that the country aggressively transitions to clean, renewable energy.
The single, biggest, most immediate threat to our way of life in Southern California is undoubtedly the nuclear waste at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). An estimated 1.78 metric tons of waste are stored at SONGS. We are one moderate earthquake away from a cataclysmic event that would directly affect everyone in Southern California. I will work to get Congress to understand that this is a national crisis. We have over 90,000 metric tons of waste across the U. S. that currently poses a threat to life in communities around the country, identical to the life-threatening risk posed to us here in Southern California by the nuclear waste at SONGS. We must create a national repository for this material and address the fact that this is a truly a national disaster, waiting to happen.
The United States Department of Defense is the largest single user of energy in the world. In 2007, President Bush signed a law requiring the Pentagon to get 25% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025. In 2010, President Obama created the office of the “Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs.” I will work to support and grow these initiatives. Our nation’s military must be supported in its effort to drive energy efficiency, reduce its carbon emissions, and diversify its energy sources, while simultaneously ensuring mission safety and combat readiness.
President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency set fuel targets that would have every new car run at 44.7 mpg by 2021 and 54.5 mpg by 2025. Donald Trump is attempting to roll these goals back, and they are even planning on going after California for setting our own strict goals. These standards would allow people to save money on gas while reducing our country’s carbon footprint. Congress must do everything in its power to uphold these standards and allow states to set their own, stricter standards. I will oppose the roll-back of fuel targets and work to strengthen states’ rights.