Sen. Chris Dodd
Dodd has a $50 billion alternative energy research and development program he says would make the country independent from Middle East oil by 2015 while slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.
How He'd Pay For It:
A tax on carbon and an auction of carbon credits allotted for a cap-and-trade regulation on greenhouse gas pollution.
What Sets Him Apart:
The tax on carbon, which no other candidate but Mike Gravel has embraced.
By Dan Shapley
"America can accomplish anything, when we put our minds to it. Our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels is one of our biggest problems a problem that impacts our health, our environment, our national security, our competitiveness. But breaking that dependence is our single greatest opportunity for a brighter, greener, healthier, more prosperous and secure future."
-- Chris Dodd, April 2007
Chris Dodd is one of only two candidates to endorse a carbon tax as part of his comprehensive energy plan, which also includes binding limits on greenhouse gas pollution.
During his time holding national office, Dodd has a 77 lifetime score on the League of Conservation Voters Scorecard. The Scorecard rates national office holders on a scale of 0 to 100 based on their votes on environmental issues on which LCV has taken a position. He scored between 84 and 100 between 2001 and 2006.
The 2008 Dodd campaign has taken $38,550 from the oil and gas industry, ranking him 8th of 15 candidates and 4th of seven Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Chris Dodd's Energy and Environmental Platform at a Glance
Chris Dodd has published a detailed energy plan that includes a tax on carbon emissions as a strategy for reducing the threat of global warming.
- Cut carbon dioxide emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Employ a cap-and-trade system whereby companies would have to restrict pollution to within a national cap, and those that pollute less could sell credits to those who pollute more. Auction credits.
- Enact a corporate carbon tax to generate $50 billion annually into a trust fund that would pay for "fast-track research, development and deployment of renewable energy and fuels and to expedite bringing new products to the market." The fund would also include proceeds from the cap-and-trade program's pollution credit auction.
- Participate in international talks and agreements related to climate change, and look for ways to share American energy technology with developing countries.
- Adopt the strictest possible energy efficiency standards for appliances, light bulbs and other electricity powered consumer products, and freeze electricity usage from 2010 onward through efficiency.
- Require all new coal plants to capture carbon, and refuse to invest in liquid coal.
- Require a 20% renewable energy portfolio by 2020, meaning local utilities will have to generate 20% of their power from renewable sources, like wind, solar and hydro power.
- Make Production Tax Credit permanent as an incentive for energy companies to use renewable technologies.
- Build new and retrofit old federal buildings with the greenest technologies.
- Create a technical education curriculum that trains a new generation of automobile mechanics, electricians, plumbers, and construction workers to install, repair and maintain energy efficient goods across the spectrum, from cars to lamps.
- Export renewable energy technologies through unspecified strategy.
- Oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and oppose off-shore drilling.
Review existing nuclear power subsidies.
- Has supported taxing "windfall" oil company profits.
- Raise fuel economy standards to 50 mph by 2017.
- Increase use of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel to 36 billion gallons annually by 2022. By 2016, increase use of cellulosic ethanol that can be made from marginal and waste crops, rather than corn.
- Require government use of hybrid, plug-in or other fuel-efficient vehicles, and reduce cost of hybrids through unspecified means.
- Enact new incentives and tax breaks for individuals who buy fuel-efficient vehicles.
Increase access to public transit.
Include environmental provisions in foreign trade agreements.
Reverse many Bush Administration executive orders and regulations related to the environment.
Renew industry tax that had paid for toxic waste site cleanups when the polluter can not be identified or cannot afford the cleanup.
Increase funding for National Parks and Wildlife Refuges.
Update mining laws so companies pay more royalties for mining public lands and do more to restore the land after completing projects.
Strengthen Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act in unspecified ways.
Supports ratification of the International Convention on the Law of the Sea, which governs territorial claims in the ocean.
- Enact a Renewable Energy Trust that will provide family farmers and ranchers with interest-free loans of up to $100,000 to develop or expand their capacity to produce biofuel plants or participate in wind projects. The Trust will also provide $1 billion in loan guarantees and grants to promote advances in production technology and bioscience.
- Provide a tax credit of up to $3,000 to farmers and ranchers who enroll their land in carbon trading programs or re-appropriate working lands for hunting, fishing and wildlife preserves.
- Expand programs designed to assist farmers and ranchers in becoming more energy efficient and that provide grants, loans and loan guarantees to assist farmers in purchasing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements.