You deserve to know!

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Before entering the ballot box, you deserve to know. You have the right to know. Actually, you have the responsibility to know candidates’ positions on the critical issues before us and before the US. And, a new tool has emerged for doing so on critical energy and environmental issues.

Candid Answers provides a path for voters (for citizens) to query quickly candidates on five critical issues: Global Warming; Renewable Energy; Nuclear Power; Public Transportation; and Automobile Fuel Efficiency.  And, these queries, if they are made, will lead to a public record for candidates across the nation.

Candid Answers provides a path for voters (for citizens) to query quickly candidates on five critical issues:

  1. Do you support or oppose mandatory limits to reduce global warming pollution 80% by 2050?
  2. Do you support or oppose producing at least 20% of America’s electricity from clean power sources by 2020?
  3. Do you support or oppose additional subsidies to build new nuclear power plants?
  4. Do you support or oppose more federal funding for public transportation?
  5. Do you support or oppose increasing fuel efficiency standards to at least 50 mpg by 2030?

These are issues about which all citizens should be informed

A group of environmental organizations has come together to form Candid Answers.  

The purpose of this brief questionnaire is to allow candidates to conveniently and publicly indicate and explain their positions on these important national issues. CandidAnswers is the only online voter guide that enables voters to directly ask candidates questions on the environment.

 

If the candidates don’t respond, they’ll be queried again … and again.  

But, the only way that they will be queried is if you, the citizen / the voter, ask them.  So, take a few moments and ask!

About the issues

Question 1 directly relates to Global Warming. At a minimum, if not even more, scientists believe that we must reduce green-house gas emissions by 80 percent to avoid “major” mpacts of Global Warming. (Some scientists are pleading for a path to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, rather than stabilize it at a higher level. The hope is for a reduction to 350 parts per million, roughly a 10% reduction from today’s levels, leaving the globe some 30% higher than pre-industrial levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. To achieve this would require far more aggressive action than 80% by 2050.) Answering “yes” to an 80% target (at least) means a candidate views Global Warming seriously.  Answering “no” means a willingness to abandon the nation’s future beneath the rising tides (all the damage, not literally just sea rise).

Question 2 talks to our energy future. While I would prefer an embrace of Gore’s call for 100% renewable power in 10 years, 20% by 2020 is somewhat a minimum standard for judging one’s seriousness about the pursuit of clean American power.  And, of the economic benefits that come with it.

Question 3 really addresses the economics of nuclear power, whether a power system that provides 20% of America’s electricity should receive additional government subsidies. (This, in fact, is an issue that I might step away from the organizations.  We could judge subsidy value on many criteria, one of them being climate change impact. Additional nuclear power might be a part of a sensible path off our coal addiction and this might merit some additional financial assistance, even though renewables and energy efficiency should have greater priority.)

Question 4 points to the issue of America’s car culture. Do candidates see a role for government in smart growth and helping people with options to reduce car use?  “Right now, only 9 percent of the total U.S. work trips employ mass transit, compared to 40 percent in Europe. Transportation accounts for two-thirds of U.S. oil consumption and is the main contributor to global warming pollution. Americans that commute via train or bus reduce their carbon footprint significantly and save themselves money in the process.”

Question 5 addresses the fuel usage of the car fleet and the need to end our oil addiction.  Right now, the new CAFE standards move new car fleet average to 35 miles per gallon by the 2020s. Are candidates willing to commit to an achievable, but more aggressive, target of 50 miles per gallon by 2030?

Are these perfect?

No, of course not.  With each of these, as suggested above, there are reasons to quibble (and, in general, look for far more aggressive targets). And, there are missing questions / areas. (Why not “Do you support a moratorium on new coal-fired electricity plants?”  “Do you support an end to mountain-top removal coal mining?”) But these five questions provide a reasonable basis for separating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to energy sensible politics.  And, every voter owes it to themself, the nation, and the future to vote for wheat (and not chaff) this November. The stakes are too high.

So, take a few moments from your day to ask five key questions of your House and Senate candidates. With enough people asking, perhaps we’ll get some candid answers. Answers which you deserve to have.

2 comments

    • OPOL on August 15, 2008 at 3:07 am

    This is a cool tool.

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