Never again will
we sit on the sidelines, or stand in the way of collective action to
this global challenge. Getting our own house in order is only a first
will invest in efficient and clean technologies at home while using our
assistance policies and export promotions to help developing countries
biodiversity, curb deforestation, and leapfrog the carbon-
energy-intensive stage of development.
This challenge is massive, but rising to it will also bring new benefits to America. By 2050, global demand for low-carbon energy could create an annual market worth $500 billion. Meeting that demand would open new frontiers for American entrepreneurs and workers.
Stewardship of Our Planet and Natural Resources [p.46-47]
climate change is the planet’s greatest threat, and our response will
the very future
of life on this earth. Despite the efforts of our current
deny the science of climate change
and the need to act, we still believe that America can be earth’s best
hope. We will implement a market-based cap and trade system to reduce
emissions by the amount scientists say is necessary to avoid
catastrophic change and we will set
interim targets along the way to ensure that we meet our goal. We will
invest in advanced
energy technologies, to build the clean energy economy and create
millions of new, good “Green
Collar” American jobs. Because the environment is a truly global
concern, the United States must
be a leader in combating climate
change around the world, including exporting climate- friendly
technologies to developing countries. We will use innovative measures
to dramatically improve
the energy efficiency of buildings, including establishing a grant
program for early
adopters and providing incentives for energy conservation. We will
encourage local initiatives,
sustainable communities, personal
responsibility, and environmental stewardship and education nationwide.
We will help local
communities in the American West preserve water to meet their fast
We support a comprehensive solution for restoring our national
as the Great Lakes, Everglades, and Chesapeake Bay—including expanded
scientific research and protections for
species and habitats there. We will reinvigorate the Environmental
Protection Agency so that we can work with communities to reduce air
and water pollution
and protect our children from environmental toxins, and never sacrifice
science to politics. We
will protect Nevada and its communities from the high- level nuclear
waste dump at Yucca
Mountain, which has not been proven to be safe by sound science. We
will restore the “polluter
pays” principle to fund the cleanup of the most polluted sites, so that
those who cause
environmental problems pay
to fix them.
We will create a new vision for conservation that works with local communities to conserve our existing publicly-owned lands while dramatically expanding investments in conserving and restoring forests, grasslands, and wetlands across America for generations to come. Unlike the current Administration, we will reinvest in our nation’s forests by providing federal agencies with resources to reduce the threat of wildland fires, promote sustainable forest product industries for rural economic developmen and ensure that national resources are in place to respond to catastrophic wildland fires. We will treat our national parks with the same respect that millions of families show each year when they visit. We will recognize that our parks are national treasures, and will ensure that they are protected as part of the overall natural system so they are here for generations to come. We are committed to conserving the lands used by hunters and anglers, and we will open millions of new acres of land to public hunting and fishing.
By increasing our American energy supply and decreasing the long term demand for oil, we will be well positioned to address the challenge of climate change and continue our longstanding responsibility for stewardship over the environment.
Addressing Climate Change Responsibly
The same human economic activity that has brought freedom and opportunity to billions has also increased the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. While the scope and long-term consequences of this are the subject of ongoing scientific research, common sense dictates that the United States should take measured and reasonable steps today to reduce any impact on the environment. Those steps, if consistent with our global competitiveness will also be good for our national security, our energy independence, and our economy. Any policies should be global in nature, based on sound science and technology, and should not harm the economy.
The Solution: Technology and the Market
As part of a global climate change strategy, Republicans support technology-driven, market-based solutions that will decrease emissions, reduce excess greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, increase energy efficiency, mitigate the impact of climate change where it occurs, and maximize any ancillary benefits climate change might offer for the economy.
To reduce emissions in the short run, we will rely upon the power of new technologies, as discussed above, especially zero-emission energy sources such as nuclear and other alternate power sources. But innovation must not be hamstrung by Washington bickering, regulatory briar patches, or obstructionist lawsuits. Empowering Washington will only lead to unintended consequences and unimagined economic and environmental pain; instead, we must unleash the power of scientific know-how and competitive markets.
Because the issue of climate change is global, it must become a truly global concern as well. All developed and developing economies, particularly India and China, can make significant contributions in dealing with the matter. It would be unrealistic and counterproductive to expect the U.S. to carry burdens which are more appropriately shared by all.
Using Cash Rewards to Encourage Innovation
Because Republicans believe that solutions to the risk of global climate change will be found in the ingenuity of the American people, we propose a Climate Prize for scientists who solve the challenges of climate change. Honoraria of many millions of dollars would be a small price for technological developments that eliminate our need for gas-powered cars or abate atmospheric carbon.
Doing No Harm
Republicans caution against the doomsday climate change scenarios peddled by the aficionados of centralized command-and-control government. We can – and should– address the risk of climate change based on sound science without succumbing to the no-growth radicalism that treats climate questions as dogma rather than as situations to be managed responsibly.
A robust economy will be essential to dealing with the risk of climate change, and we will insist on reasonable policies that do not force Americans to sacrifice their way of life or trim their hopes and dreams for their children. This perspective serves not only the people of the United States but also the world’s poorest peoples, who would suffer terribly if climate change is severe – just as they would if the world economy itself were to be crippled. We must not allow either outcome.
Continuing Our Stewardship over the Environment
The Republican perspective on the environment is in keeping with our longstanding appreciation for nature and gratitude for the bounty the Almighty has bestowed upon the American people. It was Republican President Theodore Roosevelt who said, “The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem, it will avail us little to solve all others.” We agree. Whether through family vacations, hunting or fishing trips, backpacking excursions, or weekend hikes, Americans of all backgrounds share a commitment to protecting the environment and the opportunities it offers. In addition, the public should have access to public lands for recreational activities such as hunting, hiking, and fishing.
In caring for the land and water, private ownership has been the best guarantee of conscientious stewardship, while the world’s worst instances of environmental degradation have occurred under governmental control. By the same token, it is no accident that the most economically advanced countries also have the strongest environmental protections.
Our national progress toward cleaner air and water has been a major accomplishment of the American people. By balancing environmental goals with economic growth and job creation, our diverse economy has made possible the investment needed to safeguard natural resources, protect endangered species, and create healthier living conditions. State and local initiatives to clean up contaminated sites – brownfields – have exceeded efforts directed by Washington. That progress can continue if grounded in sound science, long-term planning, and a multi-use approach to resources.
Government at all levels should protect private property rights by cooperating with landowners’ efforts and providing incentives to protect fragile environments, endangered species, and maintain the natural beauty of America. Republican leadership has led to the rejuvenation and renewal of our National Park system. Future expansion of that system, as well as designation of National Wilderness areas or Historic Districts, should be undertaken only with the active participation and consent of relevant state and local governments and private property owners.
We support a clean and healthy environment and sensible use of our natural resources. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Pollution and misuse of resources cause damage to our ecosystem. Governments, unlike private businesses, are unaccountable for such damage done to our environment and have a terrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights in resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. We realize that our planet's climate is constantly changing, but environmental advocates and social pressure are the most effective means of changing public behavior.(Section 2.2 of 4.0)
The United States has a high-energy-consumption economy based mainly on fossil energy. The extraction, refining, and combustion of fossil fuels have proved extremely harmful to the environment, and supplies are rapidly being depleted. Over the past century, the infrastructure of our civilization has become utterly dependent on plentiful oil, coal, and natural gas: vast land, air, and sea transportation networks; increasing dependence on imported goods; industrialized food production dependent on fertilizer and biocides; and sprawling, car-dependent neighborhoods and workplaces. Our electric grid depends on fossil fuels for two-thirds of its energy.
Dirty and dangerous energy sources have generated an unparalleled assault on the environment and human rights. In the U.S., low income communities and communities of color bear the greatest burden of health impacts due to exposure to emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants. Native American communities have been devastated by uranium mining, and the people of Appalachia watch helplessly as their ancient mountains are destroyed for coal-fired electricity. Regional and global peaks in supply are driving up costs and threatening wars and social chaos. (See separate section on catastrophic Climate Change from excess release of carbon dioxide.)
Since 1859 when the first commercial oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania, the global community has consumed about half what nature generated over hundreds of millions of years. Although coal is more abundant than oil, it is inherently dirtier than oil, is limited in terms of its use as a vehicle fuel, and demand is skyrocketing globally for use in electricity generation. Natural Gas is also in high demand for power production and is ultimately finite. We must plan and prepare for the end of fossil fuels now, while we still have energy available to build the cleaner, more sustainable energy infrastructure that we will soon need.
To simply substitute better energy sources in place of fossil fuels is not the answer for two main reasons. First, there are no energy sources (renewable or otherwise) capable of supplying energy as cheaply and in such abundance as fossil fuels currently yield in the time that we need them to come online. Second, we have designed and built our infrastructure to suit the unique characteristics of oil, natural gas, and coal.
The energy transition cannot be accomplished with a minor retrofit of existing energy infrastructure. Just as our fossil fuel economy differs from the agrarian economy of 1800, the post-fossil fuel economy of 2050 will be profoundly different from all that we are familiar with now. Changes would occur if we wait for the price of fossil fuels to reflect scarcity, forcing society to adapt; however, lack of government planning will result in a transition that is chaotic, painful, destructive, and possibly unsurvivable.
The Green Party advocates a rapid reduction in energy consumption through energy efficiency and a decisive transition away from fossil and nuclear power toward cleaner, renewable, local energy sources. Toward these goals, we advocate:
THE GREEN PARTY SOLUTIONS
1. Encourage Conservation and a Significant Decrease in our Energy Consumption, Institute National Energy Efficiency Standards.
With five percent of the world's population, U.S residents consume twenty-six percent of the world's energy. U.S. consumption of electricity is almost nine times greater than the average for the rest of the world. These are not sustainable levels.
a. The U.S. must retrofit its building stock for energy efficiency. Most U.S. residents live in homes that require heat during the winter, and most are inadequately insulated. Buildings in the South require air conditioning during the summer. Fuel shortages, power outages, and energy price hikes could bring not just discomfort, but a massive increase in mortality from cold and heat. Millions of buildings can and must be super-insulated and, as much as possible, provided with alternative heat sources (passive solar, geothermal, or district heating).
b. Energy efficiency standards similar to those in California must be adopted nationally. The energy efficiency standards adopted there in the late 1970s have resulted in overall electricity-use remaining flat over the past three decades while the population has steadily increased. During the same time period electricity use in the rest of the U.S. has climbed along with population growth.
c. There are many different ways to increase energy efficiency and the best path for one region of the country might differ from that of another. We will need concerted effort to increase efficiency in every sector of our economy. Technologies exist that, if widely implemented, can result in huge energy savings.
d. Cogeneration and use of waste heat to generate electricity should be encouraged.
e. A carbon tax, which the Green Party supports, would serve as an important market incentive to increase efficiency.
2. Move Decisively to an Energy System Based on Solar, Wind, Geo-Thermal, Marine, and other Cleaner Renewable Energy Sources.
The development of Earth-gentle, sustainable energy sources must be a cornerstone of any plan to reduce reliance on conventional fossil fuels. The Green Party advocates clean renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, marine-based, and other cleaner renewable sources as the long-term solution.
a. Many other solutions being pushed, including nuclear power, coal, industrial-scale biofuels, and low-grade fossil fuels such as oil shale and tar sands, create more problems than they solve.
b. Further research with increased government support is needed into new energy storage technologies, as well as new cheaper and non-toxic photovoltaic materials and processes, and new geothermal and ocean power technologies.
c. Policy tools to directly support the development of renewable energy sources, such as Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and Feed-in Tariffs, should also be reviewed for effectiveness. In general, a feed-in tariff is legislation enacted by the government that requires the large electric utilities to guarantee a price for the renewably-generated electricity fed into the grid. When done right, such as in Germany, this policy appears to succeed in harnessing entrepreneurial zeal.
d. State-level financing policies like California's AB 811 can help homeowners install expensive renewable energy where the county pays the up-front cost and the system is paid for via the homeowner's property taxes.
e. Greens support voluntarily purchase of tradable renewable energy certificates; however, voluntary approaches are not sufficient.
f. Greens support research into advanced fuels when the purpose of the research is to develop a fuel that in its full cycle does not create more problems than it solves. We support the use of hydrogen as an energy storage medium; however we oppose the use of nuclear technologies or carbon-based feedstocks for hydrogen production.
g. We call for a ban on the construction of large-scale and inappropriately-located, hydroelectric dams.
3. End the Use of Dirty and Dangerous Energy Sources.
The Green Party advocates the phase-out of nuclear and coal power plants. All processes associated with nuclear power are dangerous, from the mining of uranium to the transportation and disposal of the radioactive waste. Coal is the largest contributor to climate change with estimates as high as 80%.
a. The generation of nuclear waste must be halted. It can remain hazardous for thousands of years and there is no way to isolate it from the biosphere for the durations of its toxic life. We oppose public subsidies for nuclear power. Cost is another huge factor making it unfeasible, with each new nuclear power plant costing billions of dollars.
b. The Green Party calls for a formal moratorium on the construction of new nuclear power plants, the early retirement of existing nuclear power reactors, and the phase-out of technologies that use or produce nuclear waste, such as nuclear waste incinerators, food irradiators, and all uses of depleted uranium.
c. The Green Party calls for a ban on mountaintop removal coal mining. With limited supplies and in the absence of commercially viable "clean coal" carbon sequestration, which is many decades away, coal is neither an economically nor environmentally sustainable solution.
d. Greens call for the cessation of development of fuels produced with polluting, energy-intensive processes or from unsustainable or toxic feedstocks, such as genetically-engineered crops, coal and waste streams contaminated with persistent toxics.
e. We oppose further oil and gas drilling or exploration on our nation's outer continental shelf, on our public lands, in the Rocky Mountains, and under the Great Lakes. Enact a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") until its damaging effects on water and air quality are fully studied and understood. Permanently ban high volume hydraulic fracturing in sensitive watersheds. Regulate hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act, and require public disclosure of the chemicals used in fracturing fluids.
f. Due to serious negative impacts on food, soil, and water, Greens oppose biofuels production except for small-scale production such as that from used vegetable oils. Further, we oppose the use of biomass as an energy source on a large scale because of the adverse impacts it will have on our forests, soils, and natural habitats. Biomass from landfills may pose problems of air pollution if incinerators are used.
4. Plan for Decentralized, Bio-Regional Electricity Generation and Distribution.
Decentralized power systems are likely to be more resilient in the face of power disruptions and will cut transmission losses, assure citizens greater control of their power grids, and prevent the massive ecological and social destruction that accompanies production of electricity in mega-scale projects.
a. We support "smart grid" upgrades. The federal government must step in to set goals and standards and to provide capital. This effort must not favor commercial utilities over municipal power districts.
b. The Green Party supports net-metering to make decentralized energy production economically viable.
c. Greens support tax-exempt bonds to finance public ownership of utilities and to allow publicly owned utilities to finance conservation and renewable energy projects.
d. We oppose deregulation of the energy industry.
5. De-Carbonize and Re-Localize the Food System
Our national industrial food system is overwhelmingly dependent upon oil and natural gas for farm-equipment fuel, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and the transport. It is responsible for over 12% of all greenhouse gases from human activities in the U.S. New farming methods, new farmers, and a re-localization of production and distribution are needed. These will require land reform, an investment in revitalizing rural areas and the creation of local food processing plants and storage centers. Laws and incentives affecting the food system (including food safety laws and farm subsidies) will need to be rewritten to provide preferential support for small-scale, local, low-input producers.
6. Electrify the Transportation System
Our enormous investment in highways, airports, cars, buses, trucks, and aircraft is almost completely dependent on oil, and it will be significantly handicapped by higher fuel prices, and devastated by actual fuel shortages. The electrification of road-based vehicles is a must and will require at least two decades to fully deploy and we must move to Earth-gentle electricity generation to charge the vehicles. Meanwhile, existing private automobiles must be put to use more efficiently through carpooling, car-sharing, and ride-sharing networks. (See Transportation section for more, including need for dramatic increase in CAFE or gasoline efficiency standards.)
7. Requirements for Energy Transition
a. Investment: Enormous amounts of investment capital will be needed to accomplish the energy transition, much more than the promise of $150 billion for renewable energy over ten years, and must now come from government.
b. Coordination: The energy transition will be complex and comprehensive, and its various strategies will be mutually impacting. For example, efforts to redirect transport away from highways and toward rail service will need to be coordinated with manufacturers, farmers, retailers, and employers. An independent federal Energy Transition Office should track and manage the transition.
c. Education: Community colleges should prepare workers for new job opportunities, e.g., sustainable food production, renewable energy installation, grid rebuilding, rail expansion, public transport construction, and home energy retrofitting. Grade school curriculum should include gardening programs in all schools and increased emphasis on energy conservation.
d. Public Messaging & Goal Setting: Our leaders must instill in the nation a sense of collective struggle and of a long journey toward a clear goal. The success of a project of this scope will require public buy-in at every stage and level, including the use of language and images to continually underscore what is at stake, to foster a spirit of cooperation and willing sacrifice.
Business leaders, advertising agencies and even Hollywood must be enlisted, a quid pro quo for government bail out of banks and corporations. Grassroots initiatives, such as the Transition Towns movement, could lead the way toward voluntary community efforts. A sophisticated, interactive, web-based program would inspire action and provide resources. Ratepayers should get full disclosure of the specific electric generating facilities used to produce their electricity.
A series of challenging yet feasible
should be set, with the ultimate goal - complete freedom from fossil
dependency - to be achieved by 2050. The federal government should take
lead by setting targets for federal facilities. Achievement of annual
should be cause for public celebration.
C. NUCLEAR ISSUES
1. The Green Party recognizes that there is no such thing as nuclear waste “disposal.” All six of the “low-level” nuclear waste dumps in the United States have leaked. There are no technological quick fixes that can effectively isolate nuclear waste from the biosphere for the duration of its hazardous life. Therefore, it is essential that generation of additional nuclear wastes be stopped.
2. The Green Party calls for the early retirement of nuclear power reactors as soon as possible (in no more than five years), and for a phase-out of other technologies that use or produce nuclear waste. These technologies include non-commercial nuclear reactors, reprocessing facilities, nuclear waste incinerators, food irradiators, and all commercial and military uses of depleted uranium.
3. Current methods of underground storage are a danger to present and future generations. Any nuclear waste management strategy must be based on waste containers being stored aboveground and continuously monitored, and the containers must be retrievable and capable of being repackaged. All such strategies must also minimize the transportation of wastes.
4. The Green Party strongly opposes any shipment of high-level nuclear waste across the U.S. to the proposed Nevada waste repository at Yucca Mountain, or any other centralized facility. The Green Party believes that this proposal is part of a move to re-fire a fast-track, commercial nuclear industry by providing a means for “safe disposal.” We deny there is such a thing as safe disposal of nuclear waste.
We propose making spent reactor fuel and other high level wastes safer by vitrification at the site where it is produced or now stored.
5. We call for cancellation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the nation's first weapons complex nuclear dump in southern New Mexico.
6. We call for independent, public-access radiation monitoring at all nuclear facilities.
7. We support applicable environmental impact statements (EIS) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis with citizen participation at all nuclear sites.
8. We support an immediate and intensive campaign to educate the public about nuclear problems, including disposal, clean-up, and long-term dangers.
9. We oppose the export of nuclear technologies or their wastes to other nations.
10. We oppose public subsidies for nuclear power, including Price-Anderson insurance caps and stranded cost recovery bailouts.
11. We oppose the development and use of new nuclear reactors, plutonium (MOX) fuel, nuclear fuel reprocessing, nuclear fusion, uranium enrichment, and the manufacturing of new plutonium pits for a new generation of nuclear weapons.
12. We oppose the deregulation of radioactive materials and wastes, which is allowing such wastes to be recycled into consumer products and to enter municipal waste landfills and incinerators. We call for the strict regulation, tracking, monitoring, and recapturing of radioactive materials and wastes.
13. We call on the military to clean up depleted uranium contamination from testing ranges and battlefields and to fully compensate exposed veterans and civilians who have been affected by depleted uranium exposure in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The Green Party supports a transportation policy that emphasizes the use of mass transit and alternatives to the automobile and truck for transport. We call for major public investment in mass transportation, so that such systems are cheap or free to the public and are safe, accessible, and easily understandable to first-time users.
We need ecologically sound forms of transportation that minimize pollution and maximize efficiency. Surfaces impermeable to rainwater, polluted storm run-off; paved over or polluted wetlands, the heat island effect, air pollution, and acid rain are all directly related to a transportation system run amuck.
Massive subsidies to the auto and fossil fuel industries, as well as an unworkable approach by urban planners, maintain the auto's dominance of our cityscapes. The present-day approach of upgrading streets to accommodate increased traffic generates new traffic because access is now easier, and people will now take jobs further from their homes or purchase homes further from their jobs. Some people shift from public transit to private cars due to the trip time in cars being shorter. As patronage for public transit decreases, public transit loses funding, becomes less viable, and service deteriorates thus encouraging even more people to use their cars.
To counteract these trends and reduce auto use, the Green Party advocates the following strategies:
Pedestrians and Bicyclists
1. Make streets, neighborhoods and commercial districts more pedestrian friendly.
2. Increase the greenery of streets.
3. Utilize traffic-calming methods, where the design of streets promotes safe speeds and safe interaction with pedestrians. Create auto-free zones.
4. Develop extensive networks of bikeways, bicycle lanes and paths. Include bike racks on all public
5. Maintain free community bicycle fleets, and provide necessary support for cyclists.
6. Redirect resources that currently go to enhancing auto capacity into expanding human-scale transit options.
7. Develop affordable mass transit systems that are more economical to use than private vehicles.
8. Encourage employer subsidies of transit commuter tickets for employees, funded by government Congestion Management grants.
9. Use existing auto infrastructure for transit expansion where possible. Light rail could be established in expressway medians through metropolitan high density corridors.
10. Include land use decisions in transportation issues, with consideration of the need for mass transit to have a market and be viable, and with attention paid to cross-commuting—the practice of people commuting to a place where they could and should live.
11. Expand our country's network of rail lines, including high speed regional passenger service.
12. Place a moratorium on highway widening then use the money for mass transit and facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists.
13. Mandate HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes on freeways, and lower toll fees for carpools.
14. Discourage unnecessary auto use by eliminating free parking in non-residential areas well served by mass transit, and establish preferential parking rates for HOV.
15. Substantially increase the taxes on gasoline, but allow some compensation for low income drivers.
16. Support ambitious increases in motor vehicle fuel efficiency, including the use of hybrid electric designs. Legislate a “gas guzzler” tax on new vehicles that get a lower MPG than the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards and offer “gas sipper” rebates for vehicles that get a higher MPG.
17. Schedule an increase in CAFE standards to 60 MPG for cars and 45 MPG for light trucks by the year 2014.
18.Develop and market to the general public fuel efficient cars as well as solar, electric and other non-fossil fuel powered vehicles for local travel. Support government procurement of high efficiency motor vehicles. Electric components of vehicles should not be put “on the grid” while we still have polluting electricity generation sources providing power to that grid.
19. Encourage carpooling programs, telecommuting, and other creative solutions to reduce commuter traffic congestion. We advocate fair buy-backs of the most polluting and least efficient vehicles to remove them from the road.
20. Make airports accessible by local transit systems.
21. Legislate further incremental reductions in airplane noise and air pollution.
22. Emphasize the use of light and heavy rail for freight transportation.
23. We call for incentives to get long-distance truck hauling off of our highways and on to railways. We favor the removal of any administrative impediments to efficient long-haul freight transport by rail. Time is lost when switching goods from one railroad to another, even when the trains are the same size and gauge, and this waste can be eliminated.
E. Zero waste, reduce, reuse, recycle.
Our position: Greens will shift our nation toward clean production and principles of zero waste.
A waste-free society is essential to public health and the integrity and sustainability of the biosphere. Natural ecosystems are self-sustaining and generate no waste. We humans are a part of these ecosystems, and while we obtain resources from them, we have a responsibility to return only those things that can be re-absorbed without detriment. Waste is not an inevitable part of production and consumption, as it is viewed in the current economic model.
1. Phase out all avoidable production and sale of toxic metals, persistent organic pollutants, persistent bio-accumulative toxins, synthetic petrochemicals, and halogenated chemicals. Replace them with non-toxic alternatives.
2. Make manufacturers responsible for the full life cycle of their products by requiring them to take back used products and packaging for remanufacturing, reuse, or recycling.
3. Support and implement the precautionary principle: "When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the precautionary principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action."
3. Strengthen right-to-know laws so that everyone can discover what toxic or potentially toxic chemicals are used and released in their communities, and in products that they might purchase or use.
4. Hold corporations strictly liable for the consequences of the pollution they produce. We support the Citizens’ Platform on Superfund, as adopted at the 1995 Communities At Risk Superfund Summit in Washington, DC (ccaej.org/projects/platform.htm). End the use of incineration as a cleanup technology, and ensure that “cleanups” don’t simply relocate toxins to chemical waste dumps in poor communities of color.
5. Shut down existing waste incinerators, impose a moratorium on new waste incinerators, and phase out landfills. For all possible waste streams, we support the following strategies (in order of priority) as alternatives to incineration and landfills:
(a) Toxics use reduction;
(b) Source reduction, reuse, clean recycling or composting/digestion; or,
(c) Neutralization, sterilization or detoxification methods where applicable.
6. Do not deregulate wastes containing toxic or radioactive contaminants significantly above background levels. They should not be allowed to be used in “beneficial use” schemes as fertilizer, “co-products,” or fuels; or by “recycling” them into consumer products (including construction materials) or disposing of them as municipal waste.
7. Do not export, under any circumstances, chemicals that are prohibited in the United States. We oppose shipping of toxic, hazardous, or radioactive wastes across national borders, and the shipment of such wastes without strict regulation across any political borders. Waste should not be considered a tradable commodity under the Interstate Commerce Clause.
8. Safe, secure, above ground storage for existing nuclear waste. We oppose exporting nuclear waste to other nations.
9. Strict regulation of radioactive materials and wastes and prohibiting such wastes to be recycled into consumer products and to enter municipal waste landfills and incinerators.
10. Close, clean up and remediate at national labs devoted to nuclear energy and weapons development and operations at the Department of Energy's nuclear production sites.
11. Clean up depleted uranium contamination from testing ranges and battlefields, and provide generously compensate veterans and civilians who have been sickened by depleted uranium exposure.
12. Require independent, transparent radiation monitoring at all nuclear facilities.
13. Substitute chemical safety testing on
animals with alternatives that do not use animals, wherever such
tests or testing strategies are available.
F. CLEAN AIR / GREENHOUSE EFFECT / OZONE DEPLETION
The strict, comprehensive protections of the Clean Air Act must be maintained and enhanced if we are to keep in place effective federal programs that deal with urban smog, toxic air pollution, acid rain, and ozone depletion. State and local clean air initiatives should advance and improve national efforts: for example, moving forward with stricter clean air and fuel efficiency standards, and with vehicle and fleet conversions.
Earth's atmosphere is in great danger due to man-made chemicals and hydrocarbon emissions. Chloro-fluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochloro-fluorocarbons (HCFCs), and other related ozone-depleting substances should be banned as soon as is possible.
The Green Party urges the U.S. Congress to act immediately to address the critical global warming and climate change issues. When the U.S. Senate voted 95-to-0 to oppose any global warming treaty that does not also bind developing countries to specific, if smaller, carbon emissions reductions in the future, which many industrializing countries oppose, it put a roadblock in the way of progress by all nations.
With only 4% of the earth's people, the United States produces more than 20% of carbon emissions. From 1990 to 1996, total U.S. emissions grew by an amount equal to what Brazil and Indonesia produce every year. Per capita, the United States emits 85% more than Germany, twice as much as England and Japan, and currently nearly 10-times as much as China.
Climate change presents very real economic and social opportunities for new and sustainable jobs from new energy technologies, including both energy efficiency and renewables. Yet, too often, the focus of debate has been only on the pain of adjustment to carbon reductions. This is because of the influence of multinational business on government policies.
We must implement the following policies if we are to make a start on protecting our global climate:
1. An early target must be set to prevent emissions from rising so far that future reductions become even more difficult.
2. Avoiding loopholes is even more important now than an ambitious target. Unless a very ambitious target is set, which now seems unlikely, allowing sinks and trading within the protocol will create such loopholes that no real reductions will occur. Trading and sinks must be left until there is much more scientific precision in how they are measured.
3. Targets are not enough without credible policies and measures to achieve them. We urge all governments to table a list of the policies and measures they intend to adopt to attain their target, for example eco-taxes and energy performance standards.
4. Nuclear power is not an acceptable alternative to fossil energy. We should not accept country commitments that depend on increasing nuclear capability. We must join the solar age.
5. We endorse the Contraction and Convergence model under discussion at international talks (which as proposed would eventually give every human being an equal right to the atmosphere) as the most practical way to achieve justice and participation for developing countries.
6. As a nation, we must implement public and private initiatives at every level to support the Global Climate Treaty signed at the Earth Summit in 1992, committing industrial nations within a time framework to reducing emissions to 1990 levels.
7. The most authoritative assessment to date concludes that a worldwide carbon dioxide emissions reduction of 50-70 percent is necessary to contain climate change. The Kyoto Climate Protocol in 1998 falls far short, calling for only a five percent reduction. Nonetheless, the agreement is an important first step that all parties—especially the U.S.—should ratify as soon as possible.
8. We must drastically reduce, then eliminate, the use of fossil fuels. We must use energy more efficiently, and from clean, renewable sources. We must preserve the many valuable natural services including climactic stability provided by intact ecosystems. [See section E.2.Fair Taxation on page62 in chapter IV]
9. If we fail to summon the political will now to make these investments, the costs of climatic disruptions will almost certainly force us to make them later at a greater expense. Greenhouse gases and the threat of global warming must be addressed by the international community in concert, through international treaties and conventions, with the industrial nations at the forefront of this vital effort.
G. LAND USE
Stewardship in action
Our position: Land use policies must promote sustainable development and respect ecology.
Unlimited growth on a finite planet can not be sustained.
There is a fundamental difference between growth and development and between quantity and quality. Rather than exploiting the Earth for short-term gain, Greens believe in living in sustainable balance with it.
Land use practices must be founded on stewardship of the Earth, to honor the interconnected and interdependent nature of all life, to respect ecosystems and other species, while at the same time providing for human needs in a responsible and sustainable way.
Only an economics that is based upon environmental health is sustainable.
1. Land ownership and property rights
a. Insist that every property right has an implied responsibility to provide for the common good of people, places and the planet.
b. Encourage the formation and operation of cooperatives, non-profits, land trusts, co-housing, and other forms of communal and public interest management of land and resources.
2. Urban land use
a. Promote livable urban environments to minimize urban sprawl. Promote urban infill with affordable housing, mass transit, schools, jobs, health care, public spaces, bicycle and walking paths, community gardens, open spaces, parks, playgrounds, and urban growth boundaries.
b. Green our cities with green belts, energy-efficient infill, distributed solar and wind generation, gray water systems, undergrounding of wires and pipelines, redevelopment of brownfields, closed loop, energy-producing sewage systems, watershed protection and urban agriculture.
c. Restore damaged urban ecosystems.
d. Consider the carrying capacities of the bioregions in which our cities are located and attempt to match urban populations to these natural limitations.
e. Support environmental justice policies that give communities a voice in planning future development with the goal of preventing concentration of polluting industries and practices in poor and/or minority communities.
3. Rural land use
a. Preserve and expand rural land use patterns that promote open space, healthy eco-systems, wildlife corridors and the ecologically sustainble agriculture. Protect and expand large continuous tracts of public and private land for wildlife habitat and biological diversity, to permit healthy, self-managing wildlife populations to exist in a natural state, and to promote complete ecosystems.
b. Promote livable rural communities to miminize urban migration.
c. Transition rural communities into sustainable relationships with ranching, agriculture, forestry and mining.
d. Reward farmers and ranchers for the ecosystem services they provide on private and public lands. Favor policies that promote mall-scale farmers and ranchers over large-scale corporate agriculture and ranching.
4. Public Lands
a. Repeal the General Mining Law of 1872.
b. Enact mining reforms to better balance mining with other important public land uses, provide a fair financial return to taxpayers for resources extracted, and create a fund for clean up of abandoned mines. Enact tough new environmental safeguards to protect against mining pollution, including strict curbs on mercury emissions from metal mines.
c. Eliminate public subsidies for livestock grazing on public lands. Raise grazing fees on public land to approximate fair market value.
d. Oppose the sale of any portion our national parks, forests or coastlines. Fund and maintain public lands in a healthy and productive state. Oppose commercial privatization of the management of these lands.
e. Ensure public ownership of natural resources located on public lands. Halt federal mineral, oil and gas, and resource giveaways, “royalty holidays,” and flagrant concessions to the mining, energy and timber industries on public lands.
f. Restore and remediate damaged ecosystems on public lands.
g. Protect old growth forests, ban clear cutting and ban industrial timber harvest on public lands. Minimize road building on public lands.
h. Ban indiscriminate wildlife "damage
control practices" and abolish Wildlife Services.
Water is essential to all forms of life. The Green Party calls for an international declaration that water belongs to the Earth and all of its species. Water is a basic human right! The U.S. Government must lead the way in declaring water a fundamental human right and prevent efforts to privatize, export, and sell for profit a substance that is essential to all life.
We face a worldwide water crisis. According to the United Nations, more than one billion people lack access to safe drinking water. If current trends persist, by 2025 as much as two-thirds of the world’s population will be living with a serious scarcity of water. Multinational corporations recognize these trends and are moving fast to monopolize water supplies around the world. They argue that privatizing water is the best way to allocate this valuable resource, and they are scheming to have water declared a human need so that it can be commodified and sold on the open market ensuring that the allocation of water will be based on principles of scarcity and profit maximization.
We do not agree. With water sold to the highest bidder, the rich will have plenty while the poor will be left with little but polluted water, and short term profits will preclude any concern for long term sustainability. We must stop this privatization before the infrastructures become so established that it will be impossible to avoid a disaster of epic proportions.
Governments are signing away their control over their domestic water supplies by participating in trade treaties such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and in institutions such as the World Trade Organization. The World Bank recently adopted a policy of water privatization and full-cost water pricing.
1. We need strong national and international laws promote conservation, reclaim polluted water systems, develop water-supply restrictions, ban toxic and pesticide dumping, control or ban corporate farming, and bring the rule of law to transnational corporations that pollute water systems. Mining and depleting the present underground aquifers must be severely restricted.
2. Greens oppose the privatization of water and demand that the U.S. government pass strong laws with effective enforcement mechanisms to assure a safe and adequate supply of water for its citizens and all life within its borders.
3. New forms of international, bioregional, and community organizations, watershed/ecosystem-based, must be created to monitor and equitably distribute the fresh water necessary for all life on our planet. Decisions about water must be based on an ecosystems approach.
Cycles of intense drought and flooding have demonstrated the need to reorient our priorities in order to achieve a truly sustainable water policy. Over-development and poor planning have resulted in increasing rain-impermeable areas, which compounds the severity and frequency of flooding and pollution in regions downstream. We must begin to understand and apply a holistic watershed approach to managing our water resources. The principle of bioregionalism (living within the means of a region's natural resources) should give direction to future water policies.
4. Conservation must be an essential part of any water policy. Water conservation also reduces energy consumption and pollution.
To conserve water, the Green Party proposes to:
a. Mandate water efficient appliances and fixtures be used in all new construction, and promote retrofitting of older buildings.
b. Promote native landscaping and other drought resistant/ climate-appropriate plants, in order to reduce the need for irrigation.
c. Promote drip irrigation systems where irrigation is necessary.
d. Eliminate storm water pollution of our water resources through education of our citizens, enforcement of our laws, and holistic watershed management. Promote storm water technologies that detain, treat, filtrate, and use storm waters near where it is collected.
e. Promote the appropriate reuse of the “gray” and “black” waters we produce. Use separation techniques, such as dual piping systems where pure water is used for drinking and washing, and reclaimed water is used for lawn watering and similar purposes.
f. Mandate pre-treatment of industrial wastes to eliminate the presence of metals, solvents, and other toxins in sewer water. This would reduce the cost of municipal treatment and encourage wastewater reuse.
g. Promote passive and natural systems, such as wetlands, for water and wastewater treatment where appropriate.
h. Eliminate water subsidies for corporate agribusiness. Higher water prices give agribusiness incentives to conserve.
i. Assist community organizations to monitor the use of local resources, and to oversee the enforcement of water quality regulations.
j. Preserve and restore the nation’s natural water features (streams, rivers, lakes, bays, wetlands and groundwater aquifers) that are vital to achieving sustainable use of water resources.
5. Chemicals used in the
fluoridation of America's public drinking water supplies are toxic
byproducts. The majority of these toxic wastes come from the phosphate
fertilizer industry. Fluoride accumulates in the human body through
and inhalation. A growing body of research suggests that fluoride may
associated with arthritis, hip fractures, bone cancer, kidney damage,
infertility, and brain disorders. For these reasons, the Green Party
the fluoridation of drinking water.
Food is a necessity and a fundamental human right. All people have a right to adequate, safe, nutritional and high quality food; and those who grow it have a right to a fair return for their labor.
Our current food system is dominated by centralized agribusiness and unsustainable practices that threaten our food security, degrade the environment, destroy communities, and squeeze out family farmers. Our so-called cheap food comes at the expense of the exploitation of our farmers along with the oppression of third world peoples, inhumane treatment of animals, pollution of air and water, and degradation of our land.
The agricultural system for the 21st Century must provide a high quality of life for farmers, nutritious and safe food for consumers, and reward farming methods that enhance the quality of water, soil, and air, and the beauty of the landscape.
1. We encourage legislation that assists new farmers and ranchers, that promotes widespread ownership to small and medium-sized farms and ranches, and that revitalizes and repopulates rural communities and promotes sustainable development and stewardship.
2. We support new farming and growing opportunities and urge the inclusion of non-traditional crops and foods in farm programs.
3. We advocate regionalizing our food system and decentralizing agriculture lands, production, and distribution. We encourage public support for producer and consumer cooperatives, community kitchens, Community Supported Agriculture, urban agriculture, and community farms and gardens.
4. We advocate the creation of a Food Policy Council composed of farmers, including small farmers and consumers, to oversee the USDA and all food policies at the local, state, and national level. This council should adjudicate conflicts of interest that arise when industries police themselves.
5. We support the highest organic standards (California Organic Certification Standards, for example). We advocate shifting price supports and government subsidies to organic food products so that they will be competitive with chemically-produced food. We believe that everyone, not just the wealthy, must be able to afford safe and healthy food.
6. We urge the banning of sewage sludge or hazardous wastes as fertilizer, and of irradiation and the use of genetic engineering in all food production.
7. We would phase-out man-made pesticides and artificial fertilizers. We support Integrated Pest Management techniques as an alternative to chemical-based agriculture.
8. Food prices ought to reflect the true cost of food, including the health effects of eating processed foods, antibiotic resistance, pesticide effects on growers and consumers, soil erosion, water pollution, pesticide drift, and air pollution. Indirect costs (loss of rural communities, a heavily subsidized transportation system, cost of the military necessary to defend cheap oil, and reduced security), though more difficult to calculate, should be factored into the cost of our highly centralized food system.
9. World hunger can best be addressed by food security—being self-sufficient for basic needs. Overpopulation is largely a consequence—not simply a cause—of poverty and environmental destruction, and all remedial actions must address living standards and food security through sustainable production.
10. Because of the tremendous amount of energy used in agriculture, we support farm subsidies to encourage the transition from dirty fuels to clean renewable energy as one of the most effective ways to move our country to a sustainable future.
11. We support legislation that provides energy and fuel conservation through rotational grazing, cover-crop rotations, nitrogen-fixing systems, and fuel-free, clean renewable energy development on the farm.
12. We encourage states to promote net-metering to make decentralized energy production economically viable.
13. Animal farming must be practiced in ethically and environmentally sustainable ways. Rapidly phase out the use of confined animal feeding operations and factory farms.
14.Applying the Precautionary Principle to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), we support a moratorium until safety can be demonstrated by independent (non-corporate funded), long-term tests for food safety, genetic drift, resistance, soil health, effects on non-target organisms, and cumulative interactions.
Most importantly, we support the growing international demand to eliminate patent rights for genetic material, life forms, gene-splicing techniques, and biochemicals derived from them. This position is defined by the Treaty to Share the Genetic Commons, which is available through the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (www.iatp.org). The implications of corporate takeover and the resulting monopolization of genetic intellectual property by the bioengineering industry are immense.
15. We support mandatory, full-disclosure food and fiber labeling. A consumer has the right to know the contents in their food and fiber, how they were produced, and where they come from. Labels should address the presence of GMOs, use of irradiation, pesticide application (in production, transport, storage, and retail), and the country of origin.
J. BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
Humanity must share the planet with all other species. Our continuing destruction of animal habitats threatens an ever-growing number of species with extinction. This not only deprives these species of their existence, but will deprive future human generations of the enrichment of having these species on the Earth.
Ecological systems are diverse and interlocking, and nature’s survival strategy can best be found in the adaptability that comes as a result of biological diversity. All policies concerning human settlement, food, energy, natural resources, water, coastal development, and industrialization should be formulated to prevent further disruption of the non-human ecosystems' ability to maintain themselves.
1. The Green Party supports a strengthened and enforceable Endangered Species Act.
2. The Convention on Biological Diversity, first adopted at the Earth Summit in 1992, is a primary statement of purpose regarding how we can act to preserve and sustain our common genetic resources. We protest the demands of the U.S. to amend this unprecedented international agreement on behalf of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, with their insistence on protection of their intellectual property and technology transfer rights.
3. We encourage, and support public access to, seed banks and seed collections that emphasize traditional and heirloom seeds.
4. We call for wide-spread education on the critical importance of efforts being made to replant indigenous plant life where it has dwindled or been lost.
5. We oppose monopolistic production of high-tech hybrid seeds. This is the basis of monoculture where agribusiness relies on non-sustainable methods such as single crop varieties bred with industrial traits and grown with high input of energy, chemicals, and pesticides. This has led to a massive loss of biodiversity, displacing traditional varieties and seed stocks.
6. We encourage the use of diverse natural seed varieties passed down over many generations. Crops can be grown with the best plants’ seeds being saved season to season.
7. We oppose international trade agreements (NAFTA, GATT and the WTO in particular) that have precedent-setting provisions protecting transnational, corporate control of the intellectual property of genetic material, hybrid seeds, and proprietary products.
8. We support reintroducing native species to areas from which they have been eradicated, eliminating predator control on public lands, and reintroducing native predators where they would contribute to a viable ecosystem.
9. We should educate ourselves about animal behaviors to overcome our culture's irrational fear of wildlife, and learn techniques of co-existence with other species.
10. Since the efforts to
clone animals—and eventually humans—has been undertaken by
corporations, the purpose behind such projects is to manufacture
To classify a human (or any part thereof, including human DNA and body
as a commodity is to turn human beings into property.
K. ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS
Cruelty to animals is repugnant and criminal. The mark of a humane and civilized society lies in how we treat the least protected among us. To extend rights to other sentient, living beings is our responsibility and a mark of our place among all of creation. We call for an intelligent, compassionate approach to the treatment of animals.
We reject the belief that our species is the center of creation, and that other life forms exist only for our use and enjoyment. Our species does not have the right to exploit and inflict violence on other creatures simply because we have the desire and power to do so. Our ethic upholds not only the value of biological diversity and the integrity and continuity of species, but also the value of individual lives and the interest of individual animals.
The Green Party advocates humane treatment of animals with the following policies:
1. Redirect the funds that are disbursed annually by the National Institutes of Health away from animal experiments and more towards direct health care, preventive medicine, and biomedical research using non-animal procedures such as clinical, epidemiological, and cell culture research.
2. Phase-out the use of animals for consumer product testing, tobacco and alcohol testing, psychological testing, classroom demonstrations and dissections, weapons development and other military programs.
3. Mandate clear labeling of products to tell whether or not they have been tested on animals and if they contain any animal products or by-products.
4. Establish procedures to develop greater public scrutiny of all animal research. These should include the welfare of laboratory animals, and a halt to wasteful public funding of unnecessary research such as duplicative experiments.
5. End the abuse of animals, including farm animals, and strengthen our enforcement of existing laws.
6. Ban the use of goods produced from exotic or endangered animals.
7. Prohibit large scale commercial breeding facilities, such as “puppy mills,” because of the massive suffering, overpopulation, and ill health such facilities produce.
8. Subsidize spay and neuter clinics to combat the ever-worsening pet overpopulation problem that results in the killing of millions of animals every year. Where unwanted companion animals are being killed in shelters, we advocate mandatory spay and neuter laws.
9. Ban the exploitation of animals in violent entertainment and sports.
L. FORESTRY PRACTICES
Forests are indispensable to human and animal life and must be protected.
Vast forests once covered most land, moderating the Earth's climate and providing habitats for myriad species of wildlife. The Earth's remaining forests are a critical resource in that useful products, especially medicines, originate in the forest. Today's global market economy, in the hands of multi-national corporations, irresponsibly uses and often destroys this valuable and irreplaceable resource.
The governments of many countries are selling off their rain forest land to cattle growers for the production of cheap beef, most of which is exported to first-world countries such as the U.S. Unsuitable rain forest land is also given to subsistence farmers who ruin the soil in a few seasons. In the meantime, landowners hoard prime agricultural land for speculation. On both state and federal lands, trees are harvested and the raw logs are exported, causing jobs to be exported.
The Green Party calls for actions to protect our forests:
1. Overhaul state and U.S. Forest Service rules to protect our forests and use them wisely.
2. Review, reform and restructure all federal and state land-use policies so that our practices become environmentally sustainable, and so that forests provide a continuing supply of high quality wood products.
3. Stop building logging roads in national forests at taxpayers' expense. These roads not only cost more than the revenue from timber sales that they expedite, but they also contribute to soil erosion and silting of streams, which ruin fish habitats.
4. Ban the harvest of Ancient Forests.
5. Ban the export of raw logs and other minimally processed forest products (pulp, chips, carts, slabs, etc.), which causes American job loss.
6. Offer subsidies to local watershed-based mills. This will maximize employment opportunities through value-added processing, and promote sustainability and worker control.
7. Use work projects, goats, and other sustainable methods to control undergrowth rather than spraying herbicides, especially near communities.
8. Grow and use hemp as a plentiful and renewable resource for the manufacture of paper and other forest products.
9. Protect significant archaeological, historical and cultural sites.
10. Support the rights of people indigenous to the rain forest, and their ecologically sound use of the forest—such as rubber extraction, nut gathering, and collecting medicinal herbs. End the importation of rain forest beef.
11. Forgive the debts of Third World countries that need help in halting the destruction of their rain forest lands.
12. Develop labels that identify ecologically sound forest products. This would help consumers to support ecologically sound forestry.
13. Protect wildlife habitats, fisheries, biodiversity, scenery, and recreation. We must accept responsibility for the affect local actions have on the global economy and ecology
M. OCEAN PROTECTION
Restoring our oceans
Our position: Our oceans, with their enormous diversity of life and function, are essential to life on Earth and must be preserved.
Our oceans are threatened by climate change, pollution, whaling, over fishing, factory fishing, bottom trawling, bycatch, pirate fishing and fish farming. Simple, strong policy changes can rejuvenate the health of our oceans and planet.
1. Protect 40% of the world's oceans as marine preserves, especially near shore coastal habitats. Determine protected zones through a democratic process involving all stakeholders.
2. Ban offshore oil drilling.
3. Ban the siting of liquefied natural gas facilities off the U.S. coast.
4. Phase out use of the once through cooling process, currently used by power plants, in and near coastal waters.
5. Require secondary treatment of waste effluent before release.
6. Ban ocean transportation of nuclear and toxic waste.
7. Ban sonar testing in the oceans.
8. Support the ban on international commercial whaling as well as other international efforts to protect endangered marine species.
9. Ban drift-net fishing and long-line fishing and phase out factory trawling.
10. Map undersea toxic dump sites, and investigate methods of rendering them harmless.
11. Ban the importation of fish and fish products caught by drift-nets and other illegal means.
12. Ban the importation of coral products and the destruction of breakwaters.
13. Support the Law of the Sea Treaty that establishes the global sharing of ocean resources.
14. Support complete cleanup of existing and past oil spills. Cost of cleanups and compensation for affected communities should be paid by the corporations responsible for the spills.
It is our responsibility to be prudent, productive, and efficient stewards of God's natural resources. In that role, we are commanded to be fruitful and multiply, and to replenish the earth and develop it (e.g., to turn deserts into farms and wastelands into groves). This requires a proper and continuing dynamic balance between development and conservation, between use and preservation.
In keeping with this requirement, we wholeheartedly support realistic efforts to preserve the environment and reduce pollution - air, water, and land. We reject, however, the argument of the perceived threat of man-made global warming which has been refuted by a large number of scientists. The globalists are using the global warming threat to gain more control via worldwide sustainable development.
The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution limits the federal power of eminent domain solely to the purchase of private property with just compensation for public use, such as military reservations and government office buildings - not for public ownership, such as urban renewal, environmental protection, or historic preservation. Under no circumstances may the federal government take private property, by means of rules and regulations which preclude or substantially reduce the productive use of the property, even with just compensation.
We call for a return to the states and to the people all lands which are held by the federal government without authorization by the Constitution.
We also call for repeal of federal wetlands legislation and the federal Endangered Species Act. Moreover, we oppose any attempt to designate private or public property as United Nations World Heritage sites or Biosphere reserves. We call for an end to this United States participation in UN programs such as UNESCO, Man and the Biosphere, and the UN Council on Sustainable Development. We oppose environmental treaties and conventions such as the Biodiversity Treaty, the Convention on Climate Control, and Agenda 21, which destroy our sovereignty and right to private property.