Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards focused on energy in a presidential campaign trip to Iowa today. Edwards, a Democrat, gave an energy policy speech at a center in Nevada that turns plant material into fuel. During a meeting with statehouse reporters, Edwards said global warming is an “international emergency.” He says the U.S. should begin capping carbon dioxide emissions in three years.
Edwards says that will lead an 80-percent reduction of emissions by 2050. He says they’ll auction off permits for emitting carbon dioxide, which Edwards says will generate roughly 30-billion dollars with at least 10-billion used to invest in innovation and technology to help “us get us off our addiction to oil.” He wants to require that 25-percent of electricity come from renewable sources by 2025.
Edwards’ plan goes beyond industry to homes and cars. Edwards says the plan asks Americans to conserve and reduce electricity use by 25-percent by 2025. He also proposes a higher fuel economy standard for American cars. Edwards says his energy plan will help the economy. Edwards says investing in renewable energy could help create up to one million plus new jobs, especially in places like rural Iowa, where manufacturing jobs have been lost.
Edwards has taken some heat for building a six-million dollar home with more than 10-thousand square feet, two garages, and a 15-thousand square foot indoor recreation center. He defended the size and efficiency of his home. Edwards says: “I came from nothing. I’m proud of what I’ve been able to do in my life. And I certainly have been successful and I have a nice house. But, we built this house using the best energy efficient methods that’re necessary. It has a five star rating from the federal government, federal government rating (for energy efficiency). We use solar power for part of the energy needs of the house. So, I think we’ve done a pretty good job of making it energy efficient.”
Edwards was the Democrat vice-presidential nominee and ran with John Kerry in 2004.