Joe Biden

Joe Biden.
Photo: senate.gov

Barack Obama’s running mate will be Joe Biden.

Here’s a fact sheet on Biden’s environmental record.

Grist interviewed Biden in August 2007, when he was running for president. He said this about dealing with climate change:

To deal with global warming, you have to change the attitude of the world, particularly China and India, the two largest developing nations. But in order to do that, to have any credibility, you have to begin here in the United States by capping emissions, increasing renewable fuels, establishing a national renewable portfolio standard, requiring better fuel economy for automobiles. I would cap emissions at 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and set a national RPS of 20 percent. I would announce an executive order that the federal government would not purchase one single automobile for its fleet that gets less than 40 miles to the gallon. And I would not build a single solitary federal project without it being a green project. That would have the effect of getting states to do the same thing, and that would create a pot of somewhere between a third and a half a trillion dollars that would be a lure to every major business in America to go green.

Biden had this to say about "clean coal":

I don’t think there’s much of a role for clean coal in energy independence, but I do think there’s a significant role for clean coal in the bigger picture of climate change. Clean-coal technology is not the route to go in the United States, because we have other, cleaner alternatives. But I would invest a considerable amount of money in research and development of clean-coal and carbon-sequestration technologies for export. China is building one new coal-fired plant per week. That’s not going to change unless there’s a fundamental change in technology, because they have about 300 years of dirty coal, and they’re going to use it.

Would you impose a moratorium on the development of old-style coal power plants in the U.S.?

I believe that all new coal-fired power plants should be built with carbon capture and sequestration capacity.

He had this to say about ethanol:

Ethanol is a good start. Because of the amount of [resources] that go into producing corn-based ethanol, it has only marginally less impact on the consumption of fossil fuels. But it has two real advantages: it begins to give us the margin of flexibility we need to deal with being held hostage to any one of the seven unstable countries that supply 35 percent of our oil — Nigeria, Venezuela, Iraq, Iran, etc. No. 2, it’s a transitional means by which you’re going to be pouring billions of dollars into the fields of the Midwest, rather than the sands of Saudi Arabia or the pockets of Chavez.

Biden has a lifetime score of 83 from the League of Conservation Voters (Obama’s is 86).