John Edwards' Record on the Environment

"Why has America not addressed global warming in a serious way? There's a very simple answer for that. Oil companies, power companies, gas companies and their lobbyists in Washington, D.C." -- John Edwards [Speech in Iowa, September 16, 2007]

"I do not favor nuclear power. We haven't built a nuclear power plant in decades in this country. There is a reason for that. The reason is that it is extremely costly. It takes an enormous amount of time to get one planned, developed and built. And we still don't have a safe way to dispose fo the nuclear waste. It is a huge problem for America over the long term." -- John Edwards [CNN/YouTube Debate, July, 23, 2007]

John Edwards has distinguished himself as a leader in
combating global warming

John Edwards has crafted an energy plan for America's future that will help achieve energy independence and stop global warming. He will achieve these goals by investing in renewable, environmentally sound energy sources and encouraging energy efficiency so we can create a strong, safe economy. Edwards' plan will:

Cap greenhouse gases at levels that the latest climate science has determined to be necessary to avoid the worst impacts of global warming. He will reduce greenhouse pollution by 20 percent by 2020, and reduce it by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050

Share America's clean energy technology in exchange for binding greenhouse reduction commitments. If necessary, he will insist that strong labor and environmental standards in our trade deals include commitments on climate change. This new deal will require global participation, promote shared responsibility, and let American workers and businesses compete on a level playing field.

Reduce oil imports by 7.5 million barrels a day by 2025 -- nearly a third of the oil projected to be used in 2025 -- thereby eliminating the need to rely on unstable and even hostile countries and get us on the path toward energy independence.

Require polluters to pay for their global warming pollution, a portion of which will raise $10 billion a year for a New Energy Economy Fund to jumpstart clean, renewable, and efficient energy technologies and create 1 million jobs.

Not include any new nuclear plants in the US because this power source is too costly, too dangerous and too vulnerable to attack by our nation's enemies.

Other Examples of Edwards' Strong Record on the Environment

John Edwards is not simply a leader in the fight against global warming. He has a comprehensive environmental resume and dynamic plans for the future. Reversing the damage done over the last seven years by the Bush administration will not be easy. John Edwards has a plan to address all aspects of the environment.

Calls for eliminating $3 billion in annual government subsidies to oil companies, and says he is "very open to the possibility of an excess profits tax" on oil companies.

Proposes creating at least 1 million "green collar jobs" by investing in clean energy and energy-efficiency technology. Would also create 50,000 government-subsidized "green-collar stepping-stone jobs" that would train low-income and low-skillworkers to move into promising career fields.

Supports a goal to get 25 percent of the U.S. electricity supply from renewable sources by 2025.

Pledges to cut the U.S. government's energy use by 20 percent and make the White House carbon-neutral.

Opposes oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Introduced an amendment in 2003 that would have blocked the Bush administration from making changes to the "new-source review" program under the Clean Air Act; the administration's changes would let the power industry make major upgrades to facilities without installing the latest pollution-control equipment.

Voted in 2003 in favor of an amendment to the 2003 energy bill to increase fuel-economy standards for passenger cars to 40 mpg by 2014.

Launched, which encourages Americans to decrease their own carbon emissions.

Environmentalists Praise Edwards' Leadership on Global Warming

John Edwards is recognized as the presidential candidate who has brought global warming to the forefront as an issue in this campaign. He was the first to submit a comprehensive, renewable energy plan for consideration, and has consistently made it a priority. Environmentalists have acknowledged his willingness to confront this most important issue of our time:

"The League of Conservation Voters applauds Sen. John Edwards for taking the lead in announcing aggressive plans to combat global warming...We look forward to other 2008 presidential candidates outlining their plans to address this pressing issue." -- Gene Karpinski, President -- League of Conservation Voters [LCV press release, March 20, 2007]

"MoveOn members want leaders who will take on the oil and coal industry and create a clean energy economy. That's probably why Sen. Edwards' support of cap and auction systems -- which force polluters to pay citizens -- and his call for more green collar jobs received such strong backing," -- Ilyse Hogue, Campaign Director of Political Action [ press release, July 11, 2007]

"I will say this. John Edwards in the past few weeks has come out with a series of proposals which I am now studying that strike me as probably the most forward-leaning of all the candidates so far." -- Tom Friedman, NY Times Columnist [CNN, April 22, 2007] "Anyone running for president who claims they're going to be able to lead t his country out of the energy and climate crisis needs to show they can do it in their campaign." -- NRDC Spokesperson (in response to Edwards' announcement of a carbon-neutral campaign) [Associated Press, April 2, 2007]

"Edwards has played an indispensable role in this campaign. On issue after issue -- energy, poverty, health care -- he has led the pack with bold progressive policy proposals. In doing so, he's pushed the envelope and made it safe for the other major candidates to strengthen their own plans. He is at least partly to thank for the fact that '80% by 2050' is the standard target for emission reductions...He was, it seems, the first to recognize the benefits of auctioning permits. He was the first to propose a major cleantech investment fund. The first to propose banning non-IGCC coal plants. And so on...he's laid the groundwork for a strong progressive administration" -- Dave Roberts, Grist Magazine staff writer [Grist, October 11, 2007]