Thursday, May 20, 2010

Illinois Congressional Candidate's positions on Climate Change and Energy Policy

This post it designed to give voters in Illinois information about candidates' positions on climate change and energy policies. For general information on the science of climatology see: Wikipedia on Global Warming, America’s Climate Choices, New Scientist, Pew Center, Real Climate or IPCC.

Illinois Candidates for U.S. Senate (no incumbent)

  • Mark Kirk (R) - Currently represents the 10th Congressional District. He claims to be the "greenest Republican." On global warming he "was a skeptic and spent hundreds of hours on the subject of 1990s climate science." He now recognizes that there is "a growing scientific consensus that the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide affects average temperatures." Read more here. He was one of a few Republicans to vote for HR 2454.

  • Alexi Giannoulias (D). "Alexi supports efforts to create a comprehensive, market-based system that puts a price on global warming pollution and spurs investment in renewable energy and new clean energy jobs. This transition can occur with minimal cost to consumers, and help make America more competitive in today's global economy. ... We must continue to harness the scientific power of America's innovators and find ways to produce energy from coal without the harmful emissions. The FutureGen project in Mattoon is a step in the right direction."
    He warns that "China invests 10 times more than the U.S. in clean power as a percentage of GDP and produces cars that are one-third more fuel efficient." Source.

  • Randy Stufflebeam (Constitution). "After reviewing the 'Climategate' emails in late 2009, Randy concluded that so called 'Global Warming' is an elaborate hoax foisted upon the global community to create artificial panic so that special interests can move in with their 'green' products to line their pockets with easy money. ... Agreements like the Copenhagen treaty on climate change will only damage economies around the world." Source.

  • LeAlan Jones (Green). No info.

  • Mike Labno (Libertarian). "Unnecessary government interference hinders the growth of nuclear power, domestic drilling for oil, coal production, wind- and hydro-power, and other alternative fuel sources. ... Freeing the nuclear industry from unnecessary government regulations will expand the role of this clean and efficient energy source in our domestic mix." Source.

  • John Blyth (Independent). "New National Power Grid. Support Gulf Oil Drilling. Like Windmills. Renewable solar power roofs." Source.

  • Will Boyd Jr. (Independent). "Support The President's plan to create new 'green' jobs. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions." Source.

  • Michael Dorsey (Independent). No info.

  • Stan Jagla (Independent). "With global warming already present and changing weather patterns, we need to increase our efforts as a part of the modern world to promote the necessary industrial and technological changes that can bring us better tomorrow." Source.

  • Eric Wallace (Independent). No info.

  • Bob Zadek (Independent). "To decrease our dependence on foreign oil, we need to invest heavily in alternative energy sources." Source.

There are 19 Congressional Districts in Illinois. Use this link to find your Congressional District. You can see all the votes on HR 2454, the House version of the cap and trade bill.

Illinois Candidates for U.S. House of Representatives

  • 1st Congressional District

    • Bobby Rush (D) Incumbent. "North American forests will suffer from a warming climate and increases in wildfires, insects infestations and diseases could cost wood and timber users up to $2 billion dollars by the end of the century." Source.

    • Jeff Adams (Green). No info.

  • 2nd Congressional District

    • Jesse Jackson Jr. (D) Incumbent. He called HR 2454 "landmark legislation ushering in a new age of American ingenuity, independence and leadership." He is a big believer in green jobs. Source.

    • Isaac Hayes (R). Hayes says on his blog that "the highly contested accusation that humans are creating changes in our weather harbinger on outright deception." And see this entry: "The Illinois chapter of the free-market grassroots group Americans for Prosperity (AFP-IL) today applauded U.S. House candidate Isaac Hayes ... for signing the group's 'No Climate Tax Pledge.'" Source.

  • 3rd Congressional District.

    • Dan Lipiniski (D) Incumbent. "America has lost roughly two million manufacturing jobs since the start of the recession. ... I'm not about to put more of our jobs at risk by making it harder for the industry to compete with China, India, and other countries. Manufacturing is too important to my district, the economy as a whole, and our national security. That's why it is essential that the final version of the American Clean Energy and Security Act include - at a minimum - the carefully crafted tariff provisions that are currently part of the Act. If no such measure is included in the final legislation, I won't be able to support the bill." Source.

    • Michael Bendas (R). On Energy: "Our county has an addiction, oil imports! We pay $400 billion per year for oil to nations that dislike us. This weakens our economy. We make foreign policy decisions and alliances that are not in our best long term interests." He supports "geothermal, solar and wind based technologies." He supports funding nuclear fusion research. Source.

    • Laurel Lambert Schmidt (Green). "Have the US commit to stronger international standards than those of the Kyoto Treaty to heal the effects of global warming." "Preserve Our Environment and Curb Global Warming by investing in clean, renewable energy and transportation." Source.

  • 4th Congressional District.

  • 5th Congressional District.

    • Mike Quigley (D) Incumbent. Watch his statement in this video.

    • David Ratowitz (R).
      "The Illinois chapter of the free-market grassroots group Americans for Prosperity
      (AFP-IL) today applauded U.S. House candidate David Ratowitz (5th District) for signing the group's 'No Climate Tax Pledge'." Source.

    • Matt Reichel (Green). "We must ... affirm our commitment to maintaining a full employment green economy, where we invest in our future with green works projects, such as public transportation and alternative forms of energy production." Source.

  • 6th Congressional District

    • Peter Roskam (R) Incumbent.
      "While Roskam has said that global warming is an 'issue worthy of the attention of policy makers,'he has argued that agreements like the Kyoto Protocol would put American businesses at a competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis their global competitors." Source.

    • Ben Lowe (D). He says the U.S. should "[l]ead the world in creating innovative solutions to climate change, prioritize the mitigation and eventual reversal of climate change, and adapt to the consequences that we as a global community already face" and that we should "[r]educe our nation's dependence on fossil fuels through vigorous investment in alternative, sustainable energy sources." Source.

  • 7th Congressional District.

    • Danny K. Davis (D) Incumbent. Supported the cap and trade bill and posted some interesting information on the projected costs.

    • Mark Weiman (R). No Info.

    • Kip Robbins (Green). No info.

  • 8th Congressional District

    • Melissa Bean (D) Incumbent. Supports energy alternatives mainly to gain independence from foreign oil. See more here.

    • Joe Walsh (R). "I am proud to stand with my friends at Americans for Prosperity and sign their No Climate Tax Pledge. The Administration's Cap-and-Trade scheme is nothing but a tax on families, a tax on businesses, and a tax on the energy needed to grow our economy." Source.

    • Bill Scheurer (Green). He sent me this statement by e-mail: "Bill Scheurer strongly opposes 'cap and trade' schemes that give away rights to our public commons - in this case, our global climate - to the private business interests who fund the campaigns of the politicians who give them a free pass to pollute and the right to make money out of thin air - literally, our air - by selling these pollution rights to each other. Any pollution abatement mechanism should be 'tax and trade' instead -
      where polluters have to pay their own way for the harm they impose on our shared environment, not give them a free pass to pollute it."

      "This being said, Scheurer believes that classifying carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses as 'pollutants' is not the right way to address climate change. Instead, he favors an ambitious '21st Century Energy' program - comparable to our successful space program - to convert our nation to alternative energy sources and smart grids to store and distribute them. This is what we should have invested in with the so-called 'stimulus' package, instead of a giveaway to politically favored projects that have no long-term strategic impact on our economy or quality of life. Scheurer also advocates redirecting our excessive military consumption to these '21st Century Energy' investments instead."

    • Bill Fraser (Independent). I received this statement from Bill Fraser by e-mail: "Thank you for your interest in the campaign. The reason that you have not found any statements with regard to climate change/energy policy is because we are trying a brand new approach to politics.

      We are of the opinion that the only way to clean up Washington is to strip the politicians of their decision making abilities. If you read the platform on our website, this is described in detail.

      We will be calling a referendum on every piece of legislation via the internet and giving the power of decision back to the people. With this approach, I am only one person in a congressional district, therefore, I get only one vote. Our district's vote in Congress will be the rule of majority of the voters.

      Since you ask, my one vote would be against a policy like "Cap and Trade" but that would not necessarily be how I vote in Congress because I will be voting however the majority of my district wants me to vote.

      Thanks again for your interest."

  • 9th Congressional District

    • Janice Schakowsky (D) Incumbent.
      "Climate change is the most serious threat to our environment, our health, and our way of life."

    • Joel Pollak (R). "I will sponsor incentives that will encourage American consumers and industries to invest in energy-efficient and clean technologies. I will also vote to fund research and development of renewable energy resources, while supporting exploration and development of fossil fuels where our technology makes it safe and clean to do so, including parts of northern Alaska and the outer continental shelf." He is against cap and trade. Source.

    • Simon Ribeiro (Green). "I will fight to combat global pollution by replacing traditional dirty energies with clean renewable energies." Source.

  • 10th Congressional District (no incumbent)

    • Bob Dold (R). "America needs a common sense plan to achieve realistic energy independence. My plan includes increasing the use of nuclear power; utilizing America's resources including coal, natural gas and oil; investing in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar; and encouraging personal responsibility through the use of alternatives such as plug-in electric cars. We also need to develop more of our own natural resources such as oil and natural gas by permitting further exploration. Finally, we should encourage personal responsibility through conservation. I support offering tax incentives to encourage citizens to be more energy efficient." Source.

    • Dan Seals (D). "There is a broad consensus among climate scientists that human-generated climate change is occurring and is a significant problem. Research has shown that the greenhouse gas buildup in our atmosphere is adversely affecting our environment. ... Dan supports The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, which sets targets and requires the actions necessary to avoid irreversible warming of the planet." He has extensive information, including video clips

  • 11th Congressional District

    • Debbie Halvorson (D) Incumbent. She is a strong supporter of action to stop global climate change. Read her statement on HR 2454 here.

    • Adam Kinzinger (R). "Congress must more aggressively explore its vast energy resources, including wind, nuclear, coal, off-shore oil, natural gas, and oil shale. Those efforts will not only bring new jobs today, but save dollars and strengthen our national security for tomorrow." "I would have opposed the Cap and Trade legislation. I support taking measured, sensible steps to ensure that our environment is protected but not at the cost of our economic prosperity and especially not during uncertain economic times like we are experiencing now." Source.

  • 12th Congressional District.

  • 13th Congressional District

  • 14th Congressional District.

    • Bill Foster (D) Incumbent. He says "global warming is dangerous and real" and that "at least half of the observed global warming is man-made, so action is imperative." He says he supports a cap and trade process but he voted against the cap and trade bill. Read more here and here.

    • Randy Hultgren (R). No info.

    • Dan Kairis (Green). "We need to provide a long term solution to our ongoing reliance on foreign oil. ... A modification of the Picken's Plan would solve many of our economic, job, and environmental problems[.] We need to use our abundance of natural gas to reduce the flight of our workers' wealth. We have enough of our own NG to provide our energy needs for decades and keep our wealth here. We need to reduce our use of foreign oil by converting as many vehicles and electric generating plants to NG."

    • Doug Marks (Libertarian). He believe that a cap-and-trade system would be "just another form of economy killing taxation. ... This is bad legislation based on flawed science." He does not believe CO2 should be classified as a pollutant and that "[u]sing EPA policy to legislate in unconstitutional and should be banned." He would abolish the Department of Energy. He believes that clean coal technologies are a "ruse" and that "using ethanol as a replacement fuel does nothing more than increase food costs." He adds: "With all that being said we also need to put into place a timetable to sunset our combustion of fossil fuels. I firmly believe in alternative technologies because I know that the replacement technologies are viable and already commercially available ... The bottom line is we need to move in our energy technologies in a new direction but as long as the large energy companies have legislators in their pocket it is not going to happen."

  • 15th Congressional District

  • 16th Congressional District.

    • Don Manzullo (R) Incumbent. He opposed the Cap and Trade bill that passed the House. But, "Manzullo supports alternative legislation that promotes innovation, conservation, and responsible production of energy as a way to achieve America's energy independence and a cleaner, healthier planet." Read more here. I don't know his views on global warming per se.

    • George Gaulrapp (D). "In northern Illinois, we live in the renewable energy corridor. We live amongst nuclear power plants and the corn that provides ethanol for our gasoline. Wind power, ethanol, bio diesel and nuclear power are clean and they work." Source.

    • Terry Campbell (Green). No info.

  • 17th Congressional District.

    • Phil Hare (D) Incumbent. "I strongly believe that climate change is an urgent threat. I stand committed to putting measures in place to limit the emissions of greenhouse gases." Source.

    • Bobby Schilling (R). Opposes cap-and-trade. "The development of wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal energy, as well as the creation of more nuclear power plants is important for the overall needs of the country, but oil, natural gas, and coal are the lifeblood of the American economy." Source.

    • Roger Davis (Green). "We need to stop the pollution of our air, water and soil. We need to look at cleaner, cost effective, renewable energy sources." Source.

  • 18th Congressional District.

  • 19th Congressional District.