Julian Castro on Energy & Oil

Democratic Presidential Challenger (withdrawn); former HUD Secretary


The ice caps are melting; the Amazon is on fire

[Climate change] is the most existential threat to our country's future. And the U.N. has told us that we have about 12 years to get this right or the consequences could be catastrophic. We see that now.

Hurricane Dorian that's about to hit landfall. These hurricanes are happening more frequently and they're happening with greater intensity. It seems like these floods, that they call 500-year floods, are happening every other year now.

We see the arctic ice caps that are melting, the Amazon on fire. So we don't need climate scientists to tell us what we see with our own eyes.

When I see these things, when I hear about them, what I think of are my own two children, who are 10 and 4. And there's a resolve to make sure that our children inherit a planet that is healthy, where they're going to breathe clean air and drink clean water.

Source: CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall marathon (10 Democrats) , Sep 4, 2019

People First, Planet First: net-zero by 2045

Q: What would your first step be in dealing with this climate crisis?

CASTRO: My first executive order will be to rejoin the Paris climate accord so that we lead again on sustainability. But it's actually what comes next after that that is the most important, a series of other executive actions and legislation. Just yesterday I put out a plan called, People First, Planet First. We would make investments to get the United States to net zero by 2045. We would incentivize wind energy production, solar energy production, invest in renewables. We would challenge the rest of the world at latest to get to net zero by 2050. We would institute a carbon pollution fee to help make the investments that we need to make. We would also take executive orders, for instance, prohibiting fossil fuel exploration, permitting of it and extraction on federal lands.

Source: CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall marathon (10 Democrats) , Sep 4, 2019

Carbon-free America by 2045, clean electricity by 2035

Q: Are you in favor of a carbon-free America? And if so, by when?

CASTRO: I am in favor of a carbon-free America. I believe that we can get to net zero by 2045 and that we can achieve, in our electricity sector, for instance, relying on clean, renewable and zero emissions energy by 2035.

Q: Would you end oil and gas drilling on public lands?

CASTRO: Yes, I would prohibit the permitting of oil and gas leasing on public lands. I don't believe that that should happen on our public lands. I think that that goes contrary to the purpose of preserving public lands, and this is consistent with moving to sources of clean renewable energy instead of dirty fossil fuel energy.

Source: Climate Crisis Town Hall (CNN 2019 Democratic primary) , Sep 4, 2019

Federally mandated price on carbon to spur renewables

Q: Do you support a federal carbon tax? If so, at what price per ton, and how do you envision the proceeds being used?

Castro: The United States needs a federally mandated price on carbon to spur private-sector investments in renewables and carbon-free energy sources. The revenue created should go towards investments in renewable energy and related technologies, including in battery technology, which would lower the carbon profile of our economy. The revenue should also be directed towards addressing the burdens many communities will bear on the impacts of climate change and from the policies that need to address climate change.

Pricing carbon is necessary but not sufficient. We need bold policies that incentivize sustainable and renewable energy and change the behavior of certain industries. Pricing carbon is an important first step in that effort.

Source: 2019 "Meet the Candidates" (NY Times.com) , Apr 18, 2019

Cut carbon emissions; invest in renewable energy

I would recommit the United States to the Paris climate accord. I like the concept of a Green New Deal. We need to invest in renewable energy. We need to drastically cut down carbon emissions. We need to convince other countries around the world to do the same thing.

I'm proud that when I was secretary of housing and urban development, we worked with housing authorities across the United States to improve their embrace of renewable energy, solar energy, other types of renewable energy.

Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 11, 2019

Green Jobs Leadership Council: more solar; less coal

Castro created a Green Jobs Leadership Council and voted for an incentive package to bring solar panel maker Nexolon America to the city. CPS Energy (San Antonio's publicly owned energy utility) invested $50 million in alternative energy research and signed a deal for the world's largest solar installation, approved energy efficiency upgrades to three landmarks, lured green tech companies to the city, inked a deal to build five solar plants, and pledged to close one of its coal plants by 2018.
Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary contenders , Feb 15, 2019

Supported both fossil fuel and green energy

San Antonio relied on a drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale, an oil and natural gas basin. It contributed to the city's poor air quality. This was Castro's "new energy economy": continued investment in and promotion of oil, natural gas, and "clean coal," partnered with a movement toward alternative energy for electricity production. It was Obama's "all of the above" energy policy, but at the municipal level.
Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary contenders , Feb 15, 2019

Rejoin the Paris Climate Treaty

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Jan 12, 2019

Federal funding to jumpstart green jobs

Weatherization and Green Jobs: San Antonio's municipally-owned utility, City Public Service (CPS) Energy, recently announced that it will invest $850 million as part of a comprehensive citywide weatherization, energy efficiency and conservation program: the Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan (STEP). STEP will help spur the creation new green markets and green jobs, and participants agreed that the City of San Antonio must expand and develop new green jobs training programs to align with this significant investment.
Source: City of San Antonio Mayoral press release, "Job Summit" , Jan 8, 2010

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Other big-city mayors on Energy & Oil: Julian Castro on other issues:

Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
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Page last updated: Mar 25, 2021