Dean’s Priority: Combating Climate Change
“We didn’t leave the Stone Age because we ran out of rocks; rather, we discovered better ways of doing things. It’s the 21st century, and it’s time to accelerate our transition to a clean-energy economy, reduce our carbon footprint, and preserve and protect our planet for future generations.”
– Dean Phillips
Dean knows that climate change is real — and as someone who drives an electric car and uses a geothermal system to heat and cool his home, he walks the talk. Extreme weather events are dramatic signs that the effects of climate change are already upon us, which is why Dean will take action to make our communities more resilient, create incentives to speed our transition to a clean-energy economy, and reclaim America’s leadership in making our planet safe by reducing carbon emissions. Here’s how:
Reclaim America’s role as an international leader
Climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions, and Dean believes the U.S. should be a leader in global negotiations on climate change — as it was until President Trump was elected. The Trump Administration has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement, rolled back fuel-efficiency standards for cars, eased regulations on methane emissions, and abandoned the Clean Power Plan. Dean will actively work to provide a check on this Administration’s reckless and shortsighted attacks on the environment, and restore America’s role as an international leader in curbing climate change.
Seek market-based solutions to reduce carbon emissions
While a number of U.S. states, multinational corporations, and countries have already put a price on carbon emissions and set reduction goals, our federal government has yet to act. Monetizing greenhouse-gas emissions allows the free market to figure out the best solutions to addressing the threat posed by global climate change. Dean supports an approach like the Carbon Fee and Dividend Plan advocated by the Climate Leadership Council, which has bipartisan support as well as support from prominent business leaders. Every dollar raised would be returned to taxpayers – averaging almost $2,000 per year for a family of four.
Expand on incentives for clean-energy production
Dean will work to incentivize renewable energy from wind and solar, and for infrastructure investments to develop a clean and reliable electrical grid. He supports extending the 30% federal tax credit for solar and other renewable energy, rather than letting the credits decrease after 2019 and disappear altogether after 2021, as they will under current law.
Increase energy efficiency and the resiliency of our “built environment”
Increasing energy efficiency is the most cost-effective and affordable way to reduce fossil-fuel consumption. Dean supports the extension of expired federal tax credits for energy-efficiency upgrades and the adoption of building-code standards that will save Americans billions of dollars on their energy bills, create domestic jobs, and improve health by reducing pollution. And with the effects of climate change upon us, Dean supports enhanced resiliency in our infrastructure and buildings, so that they can better withstand extreme weather events and achieve “passive survivability” if power is lost for an extended period of time.