How green is your candidate? Info on the 2008 presidential contenders
A look at Bill Richardson’s environmental platform and record
Platform & Record In-Depth
- Opposes new road building in “pristine national forests.” Believes that some thinning and logging in roaded areas near communities is appropriate, so long as undergrowth that feeds wildfires is also cleared during the process.
- Opposes Bush administration policies that let old, coal-fired power plants make significant upgrades without installing new pollution-control equipment.
- Opposes oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
- Believes nuclear power should be part of the mix of energy sources in the U.S.
- Advocates a national recycling system that would boost recycling rates around the country, with federal funding contingent on participation.
- Would create a new cabinet position, secretary of water, to oversee national water issues.
- Calls for a life-cycle low-carbon fuel standard that would reduce the carbon impact of liquid fuels 30 percent by 2020.
- Would require a 20 percent improvement in energy productivity by 2020.
- As governor of New Mexico, signed groundbreaking executive orders in 2005 [PDF] and 2006 [PDF] that have the state addressing climate change in a number of ways.
- Signed a bill in March 2007 that will require New Mexico’s large electric utilities to get 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2015, and 20 percent by 2020. Signed four additional clean-energy-related bills in April 2007.
- Led New Mexico to become the first state in the country to join the Chicago Climate Exchange, a voluntary carbon-trading marketplace, in 2005.
- Teamed up with governors from Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington in 2007 to create a Western Regional Climate Action Initiative, which will set regional goals for cuts to greenhouse-gas emissions.
- Fought against the Bush administration’s plans to open nearly 2 million acres of desert grassland in New Mexico, known as the Otero Mesa, to oil and gas drilling.
Still Haven’t Gotten Enough?
- Read Richardson’s energy and climate plan on his campaign website.
- Read Richardson’s environmental platform on his campaign website.
- Read Richardson’s official bio.
What did we miss? Tell us below in comments. We’ll update this page as the presidential campaign continues.
Todd Hymas Samkara and Kate Sheppard contributed to this fact sheet.