Candidate, US House of Representatives, NM CD1
Patricia Roybal Caballero patriciafornm.com
Do you agree with climate scientists that we are facing a climate emergency?
Do you agree with climate scientists that greenhouse gas emissions must be reversed within 10 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?
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?
The science is clear and the mandate is clear, but political leaders must have the political will and courage to follow the science and not the powerful influences of the lobby. I understand we are in the midst of a climate crisis with heightened climate calamities occurring at much higher rates. For generations, we’ve known the impacts of global warming. We now have the obligation to take swift action to invest in and develop a clear path to renewable energy development. Political leaders seem to have shifted their attention & priorities to what the industry lobbyists & big money contributors dictate rather than paying attention to the science, data, evidence. Power & money seem to have taken control. I have never and will never be beholden to power & money. I am committed to the health & safety of future generations & right now, these are at risk due to the ravages of climate change. I will continue to sponsor legislation which addresses clean air, water & land.
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?
I believe in a Just Transition approach towards a fair shift to an economy that embraces ecological sustainability & is equitable & just for all. This means grassroots community organizations including labor unions, environmental justice groups must create alliances to forge coordinated strategies to transition whole communities to control their own dignified, productive & sustainable living in ecological resilience within a democratic governance framework. We must continue to advocate for solutions like Community Solar that will create the demand for clean energy thus creating green jobs. At the same time we must continue to fight for a livable wage so the people working these green jobs can support their families working one job, not 2 or 3.
Who will you talk to about climate issues? Who advises you? What is your plan for community consultation on climate issues?
I will continue to work with the community, grassroots organizations, and climate change activist groups such as this yucca youth group and others committed to climate action issues. I serve on several national legislative groups promoting energy democracy and will continue my strong presence & participation on national panels whenever/wherever invited to do so. I also plan to listen to climate activists like Greta Thunberg and plan to hear with climate envoy John Kerry has to say.
Do you pledge to co-sponsor the Green New Deal? Why or Why Not?
Yes, I plan to support the Green New Deal in order to transition from fossil fuel dependency to renewable energy for economic sustainability and the health of our environment. Our goals must be impactful enough to prevent catastrophic life altering natural disasters, and ensure we maintain a sustainable clean energy environment for economic growth and prosperity for all. This takes bold action, courage and commitment to do the hard work to save the planet. Without a planet, all else fails. As a sponsor of The Energy Transition Act, passed in 2019 we created the blueprint for what we can do at the federal level. It creates jobs, protects consumers & lays the groundwork for economic growth for years to come.
Do you support the Biden administration's Pause on Fracking and do you think New Mexico should adhere to the pause just like all other states? Why or Why Not?
Yes, Fracking has proven to be a bad for the environment so we should cease to do it, period. New Mexico is in a tough spot because we depend so much on oil & gas for revenue but if we can balance the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, so as to make it easier for our communities to transition, then we can ensure a just transition for all.
Do you support the THRIVE Agenda? Why or Why Not?
Yes, As a community and labor organizer and community economic developer, I’ve worked to ensure every community has the opportunity and the right to self-determination to thrive economically with jobs/careers that pay living wages, have the right to collective bargaining and the right to join unions. These rights move towards achieving more equitable and just employment practices and move towards fighting inequality. Governments have the obligation to invest in historically disenfranchised communities of color to support self-determination and community economic development opportunities that are community centered and for the collective good. The entire THRIVE Agenda is one that I have been committed to in my life’s work and which I will remain committed to.
Do you support the FRAC pack? Why or Why Not?
Yes, I do not support fracking of any type. I see this as similar to the argument that we can just rely on technology to capture carbon emission then we will be ok but that is not the case. We can use technology to help, of course, but that is not enough. We need to stop emitting carbon emissions all together and we need to stop fracking all together.
Do you support a moratorium on utility shut-offs and utility debt forgiveness?
Absolutely yes. Utility shut-offs place families and households at extreme health and safety risks and utilities can more than afford to offer a moratorium and governments have an obligation to work out terms of moratoriums on behalf of the public and public regulatory commissions have an obligation to protect the interests of the consumer and ensure undue hardship on consumers at the hands of the utilities. Debt forgiveness should be part of the negotiations governments, utilities and regulatory bodies work out so as to free consumers from the adverse economic and health effects of the pandemic.
What are your ideas to Build Back Better?
Yes, President Obama brought our economy back from an economic recovery with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with bold stimulus and investment package to kickstart the economy with jobs in rebuilding our infrastructure. The focus was on modernizing our nation’s energy and communication infrastructure. This is the model Biden’s Build Back Better is based on. Biden’s focus is for a full COVID relief and recovery approach to give families immediate relief and local governments boost manufacturing and more importantly, Biden focus is on building energy infrastructure taking an approach for a more equitable and clean energy future. I am in full agreement with this approach and I align fully with this approach. This approach places our climate change initiatives first and foremost at the forefront of priorities, a moment we must grab and boldly move the most progressive framework towards a clean energy future.
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?
I will support policies similar to what I’ve passed recently in Community Solar and use the blueprint of the Energy Transition Act as a guide to further specific legislation. I will also work closely with legislative priorities already in place for a just transition. My life’s work and legislative history will compliment current efforts in Congress and help propel action forward.
Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities?