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Proposal Details

Proposal ID518
ProposalPLATFORM: Energy
PresenterPlatform Committee presenter, Green Party of California sponsor
Floor ManagerDavid Strand
Discussion07/26/2010 - 08/08/2010
Voting08/09/2010 - 08/15/2010
Presens Quorum31 0.6666
Consens Quorum75 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes


GPUS Bylaws Article IX. Platform states:

9-1.1 The GPUS Platform represents policies upon which most Greens would agree and serves as a basis for Green Presidential and Congressional campaigns. The Platform may only be amended as provided by this Article.

9-1.3 In even numbered years in which there is no Presidential Nominating Convention, the National Committee shall be the decision-making body responsible for amending the platform. The process shall be as established in the GPUS Rules and Procedures.

9-1.4 Amendments to the Platform may be submitted for consideration by any accredited state party or caucus, or any committee whose Mission Statement authorizes it.


Replace the existing Energy section with the following:

Section Title: Energy

Section Subtitle: Energy for a safe climate and a cleaner world

Our position: Greens support a rapid shift to an energy system based on wind, solar and geo-thermal power.

Cheap fossil fuels have led our nation to build an energy infrastructure that is designed for, and utterly dependent on, the illusion of plentiful oil, coal, and natural gas. We have built cars and trucks and an extensive network of highways. We have built passenger aircraft that are swift and safe, and airports in practically all our cities. Our shopping malls have become filled with products imported from around the world.

We have configured our food system to take advantage of fossil fuels by mechanizing production, by using petrochemicals to fertilize crops and kill weeds and pests – and then by transporting food ever further distances to giant supermarkets accessed by private automobile.

We heat most of our homes with fossil fuels, and we have designed our homes around automobiles, setting aside a large portion of interior space for garages. We have built countless neighborhoods through which and to which no one is expected to travel by any mode other than by car. We define the functionality of our cities by the highways that connect their neighborhoods and suburbs. We have built an electric grid system to supply power that depends on fossil fuels for two-thirds of its energy.

In short, we have become systemically dependent on cheap fossil fuels.

However, burning fossil fuel releases enormous quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that are changing the global climate. If we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, we must begin reducing fossil carbon dioxide emissions immediately, and bring them virtually to zero before mid-century.

We must reduce our overall energy consumption, and restructure our economy to run primarily on renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, and advanced geothermal. Renewables can power our society indefinitely. They are the only long-term answer to our nation’s and the world’s energy problems.


Increase conservation, reduce energy consumption by at least 40% from 1990 levels by 2020

1. Increase national energy efficiency standards for products and services, including the average fuel efficiency of automobiles.

2. Establish and strengthen green building codes and guidelines for new construction.

3. Retrofit existing buildings for increased energy efficiency.

4. Enact a carbon tax to increase energy conservation and efficiency and to internalize the true environmental cost of burning carbon-based fules

Swiftly transition to safe and clean energy

1. Move decisively to solar, wind, geo-thermal, marine and other cleaner renewable energy sources.

2. Increase funding for research and development of new energy storage technologies, cheaper and non-toxic photovoltaic materials and processes, and geothermal and ocean power technologies.

3. Retrofit existing buildings to become distributed generation sources of renewable energy.

End the use of dirty and dangerous energy sources

1. Phase out all nuclear power plants. Enact a moratorium on the construction of new nuclear power plants. Terminate corporate welfare and other subsidies, bailouts and liability limitations for nuclear power.

2. Phase out non-medical technologies that use or produce nuclear waste, such as nuclear waste incinerators, food irradiators, and all commercial and military uses of depleted uranium.

3. Phase out all coal power plants. Ban mountaintop removal coal mining.

4. Oppose the development of fuels produced by polluting, energy-intensive processes or from unsustainable or toxic feedstocks, such as genetically-engineered crops, or coal or waste streams contaminated with persistent toxins.


1. Implement community-scale, distributed generation of renewable energy. Support incentives for small-scale, local, low-input producers.

2. Support public power. Provide public investment capital for decentralized municipal power systems.

3. Oppose deregulation of the electric industry.




Visit the Platform Committee webpage for this proposal at:
On the webpage, you can see various formats of the proposal created by the GPUS Platform Committee and the amendment proposal sponsors including the 2004 and 2010 texts side-by-side. You can also read and respond to comments from Greens around the country, including many who are not on the Green National Committee.

Here is the 2004 text of the section being amended:

Chapter 3: Ecological Sustainability

Section Title: Energy

Our energy use and abuse is at the core of many environmental and even social problems. With less than 5% of the world’s population, the U.S. consumes more than 25% of the world’s oil, gas and electricity. Major damage to land, air and water around the world has resulted from such industries as mining, drilling, transportation, pipelines, and generation of toxic and radioactive wastes. Our oil and gas addiction in particular has led to wars and human rights abuses in many countries.

We advocate strong energy policies at all levels of government to shift decisively away from polluting energy systems towards reduced energy use and clean energy sources.

We oppose energy utility deregulation. We support strong protections for electricity and natural gas consumers. These protections can only occur in a locally-controlled, fully regulated energy system that directly links generation with transmission and distribution. We recognize that deregulation and its reliance on markets – as opposed to state-based regulations – is incapable of providing affordable, reliable and clean energy. We support state efforts to regain control over electricity by establishing democratic, public control systems to locally coordinate supply and demand and by eliminating energy trading. Consumers deserve full disclosure of the specific electric generating facilities used to produce their electricity. We support net-metering to make decentralized energy production economically viable.

Energy management must be governed by the principle of conservation, efficiency, and clean renewables. Of highest importance is to use less, then to use wisely, and to have clean production of what is used. We advocate strong public policies to widely deploy conservation, efficiency, and clean renewable energy technologies. Examples include tax credits, renewable portfolio standards, research programs, loans and grants. Existing policies that currently benefit nuclear power, combustion technologies or large hydroelectric dams should be eliminated and reallocated to conservation, efficiency, wind and solar power.

Conservation and Efficiency

1. Extensive conservation measures will bring huge resource savings for both the economy and the environment. Europe already consumes less than half of the electricity consumed per capita in the U.S. We call for extensive energy conservation efforts, with a goal of reducing energy consumption by 50% in 20 years.

2. We support efforts to decentralize regional electric grids by promoting energy efficiency and localized clean renewable energy. Tax-exempt bonds should be authorized to finance public ownership of utilities and to allow publicly owned utilities to finance conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects.

Clean Renewables

3. The U.S. is blessed with tremendous renewable energy potential, enough to meet the entire electric demand of the country. We call for a Manhattan Project-level of commitment to developing clean renewable energy technologies – technologies that do not create pollution in the course of generating electricity. These can include wind, solar, ocean power, geothermal, and small-scale hydro. Since even clean renewable energy can have negative environmental impacts, care must be taken to minimize such impacts. Clean renewable energy does not include nuclear power, any sort of combustion or process in which by-products are ultimately combusted, or hydroelectric dams that block entire rivers.

4. The Green Party calls for federal commitment to the mass-production of cheap, non-toxic solar photovoltaic technology to enable widespread deployment of solar power. To make solar more cost-competitive, we support large-scale government purchases of solar cells for installation on government facilities.

5. We support efforts of individuals and institutions to voluntarily purchase wind and solar power products through tradable renewable energy certificates. However, there are limits to the volunteer, market-based approach to promoting clean energy. Just as we cannot expect that individual purchases of organic food will cause all food production to become organic, we cannot expect that voluntary approaches will be sufficient to fully replace current energy supplies with clean energy, since only a tiny percentage of the energy supply can be affected by a volunteer purchasing approach.

Fuels for Transportation and Heating

6. Oil and gas are the primary fuels used for transportation and heating. U.S. dependence on oil and gas has driven an unparalleled assault on the global environment and on human rights in many nations. We call for major reductions in fuel consumption as we prepare for a fuel system based on clean hydrogen production and the use of fuel cells.

7. We support the use of hydrogen as an energy storage medium, which makes it possible to operate a decentralized grid on intermittent energy generation methods, such as solar and wind. Fuel cells (using hydrogen sourced from water and separated by electrolysis with power provided by clean, renewable energy technologies) should be used to efficiently distribute electricity as needed. We oppose the use of nuclear technologies or carbon-based feedstocks for hydrogen production.

8. We oppose the development of environmentally-destructive “alternative” fuels produced from unsustainable or toxic feedstocks, such as genetically-engineered crops, coal, or waste streams contaminated with persistent toxins.

9. With regard to heating fuels, we support building codes for new construction that incorporate the best available energy conservation designs. New construction should be required to achieve substantial portions of its heating energy from the sun. For existing homes and buildings, we support programs to aid in their weatherization and increased energy efficiency.

10. 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.

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