Update: Chris Dodd dropped out of the presidential race on Jan. 3, 2008.

Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd, who has represented Connecticut in the U.S. Senate for 26 years, racked up a 93 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters in the last Congress and a 77 percent score for his whole career. He hasn’t been a leader on environmental issues over the years, but he seems bound and determined to make up for that in the current presidential campaign, in which he’s been the lone voice calling for a corporate carbon tax and has advocated a higher fuel-economy target than his opponents.

Read an interview with Chris Dodd by Grist and Outside.

Key Points

  • Advocates a corporate carbon tax, which he estimates could bring in about $50 billion a year. The proceeds would be spent on renewables and energy-efficient technologies.
  • Aired the first-ever presidential campaign ad to focus on global warming.
  • Calls for raising fuel-economy standards for automobiles to 50 miles per gallon by 2017.
  • Cosponsor of the Boxer-Sanders Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act, the most stringent climate bill in the Senate. It would establish a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse-gas emissions and require the U.S. to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
  • Opposes investment in coal-to-liquid technology or programs.
  • Would require new coal power plants to capture and store carbon emissions.
  • Supports a goal to get 20 percent of the U.S. electricity supply from renewable sources by 2020.
  • Made his campaign carbon neutral in June 2007.

Video and Audio

Watch Dodd’s climate-change campaign ad:

Watch Dodd answer a question about cutting energy use at the CNN/YouTube debate on July 23, 2007:

Quotable Quotables

  • “I believe I’m the only [presidential candidate], along with Al Gore, who has called for a corporate carbon tax. You’ve got to tax polluters. You’ve got to separate the price differential so that we can move away from fossil fuels that do so much damage to our environment, to our economy, to our future, to jobs in this country. Until you deal with the issue of price, until you impose a corporate carbon tax, we will never get away from fossil fuels. It’s the only way this can be achieved. You have to advocate that if you’re serious about global warming.”
    — July 23, 2007, in a CNN/YouTube debate between Democratic candidates