Congresswoman Debra Haaland

https://debforcongress.com/

Candidate, US House of Representatives, NM CD1

Do you agree with climate scientists that we are facing a climate emergency?

Yes

Do you agree with climate scientists that greenhouse gas emissions must be reversed within 12 years in order to achieve carbon neutrality in time to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees and to avoid catastrophic runaway climate disruption?

Yes

In your opinion, why do political leaders set benchmarks and timeframes for emissions reductions that do not comport with  climate science mandates? If elected, what will you do differently than current leadership?

If re-elected, I will remain, as I have in the past, entirely unaffiliated with big oil companies, and I will back the scientific community in my policy actions. I believe climate change is the biggest issue facing our planet, and I believe we need to act immediately to combat climate change. Too many politicians side with big donors that do not want timelines that are dictated by science.

Do you pledge to co-sponsor the Green New Deal

Yes

If Yes, what is your Green New Deal Plan? What specific policy instruments would you like to see included? And what are your ideas to get the GND passed through Congress?

Education about the green economy at every level is paramount to the success of this bill. Additionally, holding each representative and senator accountable for their responsibility to advocate for the future is a necessary next step in getting this legislation through.  

If elected, what other specific policies will you initiate and support in your first year of service to transition our economy to net zero carbon emissions in the timeframe set by the world’s leading scientists?

The US needs to transition to clean & renewable energy now as well as immediately move away from oil & gas. I support the Green New Deal’s efforts to reduce emissions by shifting to clean energy, & I co-led the development of H.R. 5221, the 100% Clean Economy Act. Additionally, I co-led H.R. 5435, the American Public Lands and Waters Climate Solution Act. I also introduced the 30 by 30 Resolution to Save Nature.

What measures will you propose and advance to ensure that economic recovery and the transition to a green economy fosters equity and economic & racial justice?

In the 100% Clean Economy Act, we emphasized the disparate impact that climate change has on vulnerable & marginalized communities, including communities of color, Tribal & indigenous, low-income, & rural communities. The bill explicitly states that as federal government combats climate change, the new resources & opportunities should be concentrated in communities that are or may face disproportionate harm from pollution & that face greater challenges in the transition to a 100% clean economy.

If elected, how will you include Indigenous and traditional land-based knowledge in the development of a sustainable economy?

I stood with the organizers at Standing Rock, and I know that our political leaders have many lessons to learn from two centuries of indigenous climate-oriented organizing efforts. I will always ensure that Indigenous land-based knowledge has a seat at the table in the development of a sustainable green economy.

Who will you talk to about climate issues? Who advises you? What is your plan for community consultation on climate issues?

I talk to my community members about climate issues. I will talk to students, educators, experts, scientists, environmental organizations, and climate activists with regard to community consultation on climate issues. As the Vice Chair of the Natural Resources Committee, and the Chair of the subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, I am in regular communication with Congressional leaders about how to protect our climate.

Define environmental racism in your own words and provide an example in NM

Environmental racism occurs when an environmental injustice takes place in a racialized context. Running pipelines through rural indigenous communities, fracking on sacred land, and keeping pollution-heavy industrial buildings in the highly-Hispanic South Valley community are all examples of environmental racism challenges in New Mexico.  All too often, big corporations work to take advantage of less resourced communities, usually communities of color, & use their spaces as dumping grounds.

Do you believe climate action is an issue of intergenerational justice? What is the responsibility of your generation to the youth and future generations while in office? Explain.

Yes. The actions of older generations and their willingness to rely on the fossil fuel industry has had catastrophic consequences for the environment, and the home for our future generations. It is my responsibility to mitigate the effects of climate change for those to come after me.

A) Do you support placing a national moratorium on new gas development? Why or Why Not?

Yes. It is time for New Mexico to seek alternative revenue besides oil and gas development. We need to move forward into the future and invest our infrastructural development in wind and solar, as well as additional alternative energy revenue sources.

B) Do you support placing a national moratorium on new gas plant investment for utilities? Why or Why Not?

Yes. It is time for New Mexico to seek alternative revenue besides oil and gas development. We need to move forward into the future and invest our infrastructural development in wind and solar, as well as additional alternative energy revenue sources.

Do you support nuclear energy? Why or Why Not?

I have grave concerns about nuclear energy due to the historic impact that uranium mining has had on nearby communities including my own Pueblo of Laguna as well as the lack of a permanent solution for spent nuclear fuel.

Do you support community choice aggregation - an energy policy adopted in seven states whereby local communities and Tribes can aggregate their energy demand and become electric energy owners, producers, and sellers?  Why or Why Not?

Yes.

Community Solar legislation has been proposed in NM multiple times in the last few years and exists in many states throughout the country. What is your position on community solar and what will you do to increase access to the benefits of solar for communities across the country regardless of income.

I support Community Solar. I will publicly advocate for community solar and give it the press recognition that it is warranted in order to ensure it is prioritized. I have cosponsored the Community Solar Consumer Choice Act and the Promoting Renewable Energy with Shared Solar Act to support community solar.

What do you believe is the fossil fuel industry/utility’s responsibility for cleanup and how as an elected official in the public office for which you are running do you plan to hold industry accountable for pollution and cleanup?

Federal bonding rates for the fossil fuel industry should cover the cost of oil cleanup, rather than forcing state lawmakers to clean up oil and gas contamination with money from the State Land Office, which could otherwise go to public health or schools.

Do you believe bonding rates for industry should cover the full cost of cleanup?

Yes

We have seen the oil industry collapse over the last month, with oil prices nosediving. Given our current situation and the danger our state’s budget is in, how do you see the role of oil and gas corporations in our economy's future?

Oil and gas corporations should fill a less-vital role in the future of New Mexico. We as a state need to find alternative sources of energy and revenue.

Do you support a moratorium on utility shut-offs and utility bill forgiveness for low-income Americans who have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis?

Yes

Some are saying that COVID-19 is the dress rehearsal for the climate crisis. In fact, in many places throughout the world, the two are compounding crises. What do you think we can learn from the COVID-19 crisis when addressing the climate crisis?

This crisis has shown us what harm a lack of federal engagement can do to the marginalized communities of this country. We must implement and adequately fund programs and initiatives that will support all communities when addressing the climate crisis, as well as ensuring that appropriate and quick action is taken at all levels, especially federal and state.

Describe your previous experience working on social/health/environmental issues, do you have experience working with impacted communities to co-develop solutions? How will you use this experience to tackle the climate crisis?

As a community organizer, I have spent over 20 years ensuring that everyone has access to resources to be successful as well as a platform to voice their concerns.

Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities? Yes/No

No

Will you take the #fossilfree pledge? http://nofossilfuelmoney.org/politician-signup/

Yes

© 2020 YUCCA Action (Youth United for Climate Crisis Action) 

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