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These Candidates for Congress Want to Win in 2018 on a Platform of Decisive Climate Action


These Candidates for Congress Want to Win in 2018 on a Platform of Decisive Climate Action

Wenonah Hauter

More than 100 U.S. House and Senate candidates pledge to move off fossil fuels.

"With recent polling showing that 66 percent of Democrats care deeply about the issue, the support for urgent and decisive climate action is growing in the party base." (Photo: Food & Water Action Fund)


The economic and political systems we have are based on the support of unsustainable and suicidal fossil fuel industries. They can’t stop the collapse. This century will see a holocaust far worse than the imagination can even handle. Humanity could adapt, until now. Even after the food riots begin, there will be denial and delay. Good luck to anyone trying to fight this battle. We will need 100 Lincolns and 100 Churchills to slow the march to oblivion.


The urgency of now is in play. There is political risk of suddenly being overwhelmed by events not anticipated like war with Iran, economic debt collapse, pandemic disease, and so on. These events will shock. We must remember that climate chaos will destroy Israel and Iran, cause economic collapse, expand disease and famine. Nothing is more important than leaving dead carbon in the ground.


It is not just climate and ocean acidification that needs addressing.

Just got this from the

Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

Uniquely, it combines both the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis into a single unifying idea we all can gather around, an idea of singular difficulty - which is exactly why E.O. Wilson thinks it will work. Wilson believes that the human being is up for a challenge of this magnitude, and I agree !

“Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life”, Edward O. Wilson, (2016)

The Yellowstone to Yukon initiative, as depicted in Karsten Heuer’s “Walking the Big Wild”, might be thought of as symbolic - or as a template for what needs to be done on a planetary scale.

As for the people who have already given up:

“Optimism is true moral courage” (Ernest Shackleton)

All the best to this CASSE organization - here is real progress !


If you click on the highlighted text it will show you the close-ups of all those folks and where they are campaigning.

Five from Pennsylvania - very encouraging - but only two in Ohio, not so much, and none in West Virginia. There are many dedicated and hardworking activists in West Virginia, but they must face the reality that there it would be an exercise in futility, and could very likely be deleterious to their health and safety.


Jeebus H, three out of four of the Michigan candidates are running against each other to win a chance to unseat tea party darling, Fred Upton, who hasn’t lost since 1987. The odds are not good.


From above:
“Randy Bryce in Wisconsin, challenging Rep. Paul Ryan”

Why Randy Bryce over Cathy Myers in Wisconsin?

"Instead of focusing on issues, qualifications, and appeal to voters, the Democratic establishment has lined up behind Bryce, thereby subverting democracy in their own primary. Myers tweeted on July 9, “While it’s true that Randy is a working guy, that doesn’t differentiate us. I’m a teacher with a strong record of union leadership."


It’s OK. No one expects anything from you. I wish them the best. I began supported the hopeless campaign of Doug Jones long before the teen chasing came out. Of course Jones is just a damn Democrat, so forget I said anything.


What Party would that be? More to the point, do you support a single one of them?


I don’t think anyone will count on you for storming a barricade. You’ll have some other reason for doing nothing.


The OFF Act is an absolute ridiculous piece of legislation. I want to transition our energy portfolio and advance our infrastructure but there are many flaws with this bill:

  1. This bill does not describe specific actions as they need to be for such a significant piece of legislation. Claims such as:
    “We must invest in early-stage proof of concept technologies and basic scientific research at the Department of Energy’s Office of Science through the 17 U.S. National Laboratories will be needed to discover the scientific properties needed to produce proof of concept or prototype technologies.”(p.12) In this claim Gabbard makes no attempt to describe existing projects, which would need to already exist in order to pass such a piece of legislation. If this requires technology that we have not invented yet it is inconceivable how one could make such a short timeline for completion. The fact that this bill doesn’t even take the time to address actual advanced Department of Energy projects like the Sunshot Initiative tells me that Gabbard has not taken the time to actually understand the US Government’s research into alternative energy. As a member of congress, it is quite bizarre she is not aware enough to describe such programs.

  2. “The environmental Law Institute found that from 2002 through 2008, Federal fossil-fuel subsidies in the United States totaled over $72,000,000,000, while Federal renewable-energy investments totaled 12,200,000,000.” (The Renewable figure isnt even accurate as the ELI report literally puts total investments at: $28,943,000,000) http://www.eli.org/sites/default/files/eli-pubs/d19_07.pdf

  • First of all why did Gabbard choose to use 10 year old study by the Environmental Law Institute, when the Energy Information Administration, as part of the US Department of Energy, has a much more recent study from 2013, 2010, and 2007? (The EIA’s report has significantly more analysis and looks at all energy sources).

  • Second, comparing subsidies in this way extraordinarily misleading. There are different types of subsidies given to fossil fuels than given to renewables based on characteristics that are not applicable to renewables. For example fossil fuels receive Foreign Tax Credits due to extraction expenses in foreign countries, where foreign governments place taxes on production. Renewables do not have subsidies like this, because their extraction does not exist in many of these countries. Gabbard’s bill is comparing completely different subsides to each other that are in no way comparable.

  • Third of all Fossil fuels do not even produce the same products as renewables. As noted in paratenses above Gabbard’s bill conviently cuts total investment in half. The reason for this is about 50% of renewable subsidies in this analysis are about ethanol and biodiesel production. Given that Gabbard took this out of the bill, this piece of legislation is now comparing completely different industries to one another. Total fossil fuel subsidies includes primarily petroleum subsidies. According to the Energy Information Administration less than 1% of all US petroleum production was used for electrical generation, which is the SOLE PURPOSE of hydro, solar, wind, tidal and geothermal. Gabbard’s analysis is comparing the petrochemical industry to the electrical generation industry. These are two completely separate industries. It does not make any sense to give equivalent subsidies to solar as petroleum, because solar never produces substitutes for petroleum products. This major flaw in net subsidy comparison is noted in the EIA Direct Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy in Fiscal Year 2013 report, which is why in THIS REPORT they actually compare subsidies for the electrical generation industry separate from fuel subsides. In fact in this report they compare subsidies per energy sector and then detail specific subsidies within each sector as it applies to different industries.

  1. “For this reason, Congress must incentivize the transition to clean energy transportation technology as it pertains to ground, air, rail, sea transportation and shipping in the most efficient, economically-friendly methods possible to ensure that jobs are protected and the cost of products remains affordable.”
    Gabbard recognizes that transportation was the largest net CO2 emitted in 2016. However, to propose that congress must incentivize a transition to clean energy (described by the bill as: energy efficiency, energy conservation, demand response, energy storage, and energy derived from solar, onshore wind, offshore wind, geothermal and tidal sources) specifically for air and sea transportation illustrates a complete lack of understanding in the engineering of these means of transportation. Based on Gabbard’s definition of clean energy, Congress must incentivize a means to electrical planes and sea travel. Unfortunately this demand is mathematically unfeasible based on current and projected technology. The reason why we use jet fuel in aircrafts is due to high energy density per mol of material. Essentially we desire the least amount of fuel to get aircraft into the air, because the more fuel you require the more weight is on the aircraft and the more energy is required to move the object. You may see small electric planes, but the fact is you would have to install so many batteries to store enough energy for flight that the plane would never be able to fly. This same issue of energy density also exists in shipping but the main concern is not operation, but rather economic feasibility. We can create electric cargo ships, but the combination of battery costs, propulsion required (keep in mind these ships are carrying on the magnitude of 50,000 to 500,000 tons), reduction in speed, charging time and port design would exponentially increase the costs for shipping and this project evaluation is not even remotely comparable to current means of shipping. I cannot fathom, where Gabbard got the idea that this was feasible within the next century much less the next 18 years…

  2. “There are better alternatives and sustainable solutions in the form of regenerative agriculture practices”.
    I just want to make a note on this section as it applies to subsidies. Regnerative agriculture practices may have their use in establishing healthier small scale environments, but regardless of size this industry including this practice still requires fertilizer production. Why I bring this up is because Gabbard is calling for the termination of all subsidies to fossil fuels. This includes subsidies for petrochemical development and processing. In the USA 99.99% of all hydrogen is made through steam reforming by primarily combining methane and naphtha, which are fossil fuels that will increase in price due to removal of subsidies. Steam reforming itself would also increase in pricing as it receives specific subsidies for development. Another process at some petrochemical facilities is fractional distillation, which produces nitrogen. Hydrogen + Nitrogen = Ammonia, which is the fundamental chemical in ALL fertilizer. If Gabbard’s objective is to reduce cost in the agriculture industry and incentivize new methods, it would be completely counterproductive to enact legislation that would increase the cost of manufacturing fertilizer that the agriculture industry relies on.

  3. “ELECTRIFIED TRAIN MANDATE.— (1) ELECTRIFIED RAIL LINES.—The minimum percentage of electrified rail lines in the United States shall be— (A) in 2027, 80 percent; and (B) in 2035, and every year following, 100 7 percent.”
    Its no surprise that Gabbard did not describe how much funding she would provide this part of the bill, as the cost required would comprise a large percentage of the total US federal budget. Currently in the USA there are about 150,000 miles of railroad, and electric rail comprises only about 2,500 miles. This means we would have to electrify 147,500 miles of railroad. The cheapest modern light rail system constructed in the USA cost about $43 million per sq. mile, which would put net costs at $6.34 trillion or $352 billion per year. However, lets assume that we would attempt to reconfigure existing railways. I am not satisfied with the data I have collected on the potential cost in electrifying existing railways, but the cheapest average cost I have seen for 110 mph light rail is about $25 million (keep in mind that we would have electrify light rail and cargo rail, as well as take into consideration geographical conditions as electric rails require more energy to push cars up elevation especially under high stress loads, thus increasing the cost). If someone can find a better analysis than my sources I would greatly appreciate it. However, for the time being lets measure based on the $25 million figure from the Iowa State Feasibility study: $25 million x 147,500 miles = $3.68 trillion or $204 billion per year. To put this in the context of the OFF Act the required funding for this project is greater than the total funding of the entire act and significantly more than all fossil fuel subsidies combined. How does Gabbard really expect to pay for this?

  4. In regards to basically the entire removal of fossil fuels section: I have severe concerns on this part, especially considering the abundant lack of research by Gabbard already in this bill. To call for transitional phase out of transportation of oil and gas presents an energy, economic and national security calamity. There is no evidence that renewable sources can be phased up to meet current utility scale production at the rates of natural gas, as there are severe technological concerns in battery capacity and grid stabilization. There is no evidence that renewable sources could ever displace the economic loss from a fossil fuel phaseout over 18 years. There is no evidence that renewable can be scaled up to meet national reserves per year required for national security. Renewables do not even produce the same products coal, petroleum and natural gas, which is severe cause for concern given US consumption of petrochemical and coal products.
    “MORATORIUM.—Subject to subsection (e), beginning on January 1, 2018, there shall be a moratorium on Federal permit approval for (1) any new electric generating facility that generates fossil fuel energy through the combustion of any fossil fuel resource; (2) any new gathering line or interstate pipeline for the transport of any fossil fuel resource that— (A) crosses Federal land or navigable water; or (B) requires the use of eminent domain on private property; (3) any maintenance activity relating to an existing gathering line or interstate pipeline for the transport of a fossil fuel resource that expands the carrying capacity of the gathering line or interstate pipeline by more than 5 percent; (4) any new or expanding import or export terminal for fossil fuel resources; (5) any maintenance activity relating to an existing import or export terminal for a fossil fuel resource that expands the import or export capacity for a fossil fuel resource; (6) any new refinery of a fossil fuel resource; and (7) any exploration for any type of fossil fuel.”

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