Issue Position: Environmental Protection
"We should not have to worry that a grandfather taking his grandchild to a favorite fishing hole is exposing her to dioxin contamination; or that when students turn on a faucet at school, they swallow arsenic; or that acid rain is showering us - especially when corporate responsibility could prevent it."
Joe Biden's Plan For Passing On A Cleaner, Greener World To Our Children
Focus on Climate Change
Joe Biden is continuing his strong environmental record by leading the effort to pass the most aggressive bill in the Senate to reverse global warming -- the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act. The Act would limit greenhouse gas emissions and help avert the major problems warming of our planet could cause - such as altering growing seasons; redistributing natural resources; and lifting sea levels.
Lead the World Forward
Global warming requires a global solution. Joe Biden believes the US must take a leadership role in international climate treaty negotiations, and make it a top priority. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, he wrote a bipartisan resolution directing the President to return to international negotiations and reclaim a leadership role in the fight against global warming. If we don't engage countries like China - which is building one new coal-fired power plant a week - we will not solve the global warming crisis.
Reduce Power Plant Emissions
Joe Biden wants tougher standards for power plant emissions. He supports the Clean Power Act which would require power plants to achieve specific reductions in emissions of sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and mercury.
Make Cars and Trucks More Fuel Efficient
Joe Biden wants to improve fuel efficiency by upgrading to a better system that combines protection for U.S. automobile manufacturing jobs with predictable increases in fuel efficiency standards for cars, SUVs, and light trucks. The new system would set fuel economy standards based on vehicle elements such as size and weight, with individualized fuel economy targets that increase by about one mile per gallon each year - reaching a 40 mpg average by 2017.
Build Vehicles with Environmentally-Friendly Energy
Joe Biden wants to increase the number of vehicles that can use ethanol and alternative fuel. He wrote legislation directing automakers to gradually increase the number of flexfuel vehicles -- those able to use both regular gasoline and blends of up to 85 percent ethanol (E85). His legislation also requires major oil companies to install E85 pumps at gas stations, and would boost the use of homegrown fuels in our national fuel supply by raising the renewable fuel standard benchmarks. Joe Biden also recognizes that renewable energy - like wind, solar and geothermal -use energy more efficiently, and he supports using and developing these types of energy.
Protect Alaska's Wildlife
For many years, Joe Biden has fought to permanently protect from oil and gas drilling one of the world's last great wilderness areas -- the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Joe Biden does not believe the uncertain oil recovery justifies the risk of potentially great harm to this rich environment.
Make Polluters Pay for Cleanup
Joe Biden believes that we need to reinstate polluter-pays Superfund fees, so that polluters pay for the cleanup of toxic sites, not taxpayers. Reinstating the polluters-pay program will expand cleanup operations.
Recognizing the global nature of the climate change crisis, Joe Biden wrote a plan that provides debt relief to developing nations in exchange for protecting tropical rainforests that are critical to the global climate.
Defend Clean Air and Water
Joe Biden has opposed and will continue to fight attempts to roll back environmental safeguards and threaten the quality of our air and water. He fought the Administration's plan to gut the New Source Review standards by allowing power plants to avoid their obligations to install modern pollution controls. Joe Biden also supports limiting exports of mercury to stop the harmful pollution of our oceans with mercury.