The United States has a real opportunity to become a global leader in the technology that will protect our environment, including solar, wind, and alternative forms of fuel. If we don’t take the lead, another country will. We need to make the green energy products of the future, not buy them from someone else.

1. End corporate energy subsidies, spread energy independence

Whether it’s oil and gas or solar, corporate subsidies don’t help us protect our environment. They help energy companies make money.

We’re handing the fossil fuel industry $6 billion a year in research and development money to find new ways of drilling for oil. We shouldn’t be paying anyone for R&D unless they’re figuring out ways to take carbon out of the atmosphere or make clean energy more efficient.

That’s why I will work to swap these corporate subsidies with demand side tax credits directly to the taxpayer, for things like solar panels and fuel efficiency.
We have to wean off fossil fuels, and the best thing about clean energy is that it can be used to give people lower electric bills and be less dependent on the power grid.

2. Work with local governments to build Climate Compacts

County and city governments know how intensifying climate change affects them better than anyone else.

Climate Compacts are groups of local governments in climate regions that work together to mitigate the effects of climate change on a united front. They’ve already started in Southeast Florida and congress can work to spread this practice across the country.

3. Tax and regulate pollution

The way we generate power and run our cars causes long lasting effects that are being passed on to the future taxpayer (our kids and grandkids).

Without having this cost built into our transactions, shifting away from fossil fuels will take decades that we don’t have.

So what can we use the revenue for:

  1. Tax rate cuts for the middle class
  2. Making desperately needed improvements to our infrastructure

4. Energy independence can transform our economy

The average American spends about $115 a month, or $1,370 a year on electricity. Giving Americans the resources to generate even 60% of their own electricity will put over $800 more dollars in the pocket of every family. Multiply that across 130,000,000 energy consumers, and it creates over a trillion dollars of growth per year for our economy.

Imagine only needing to pay for electricity when the sky is overcast or the wind isn’t blowing. That’s the kind of liberty I believe we should have in the United States.

To incentivize real energy independence, I will push amendments to the tax code and DOE budget to transfer these payments to individuals for purchasing residential solar panels.

We can also channel the $6 Billion a year currently spent on oil and gas into research and development for more efficient technology, and additional funding for solar and wind tax credits. Take a look at how the new funding structure would look:

Department of Energy Budget
(Based on 2015 CBO numbers)

$15.8 Billion

New DOE Budget

$15.8 Billion

While we will likely still need some sort of supplementary power supply for when weather doesn’t allow for generation in certain areas, this would achieve an unprecedented level of energy independence.

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