Powerful corporations have fought attempts to address the climate crisis and have targeted low-income and marginalized communities for their dirty, industrial power plants. Together, Tom and the people have taken them on. Tom’s grassroots efforts have protected ambitious climate policies, put more renewable energy on the grid, closed a corporate tax loophole to fund energy upgrades in schools, and stopped development of a dirty gas power plant.
In 2010, Big Oil tried to roll back California’s nation-leading climate protections with Prop 23, which would have frozen the state’s greenhouse emissions targets. State Republicans and big oil companies like Valero and Tesoro who backed the prop called it a “jobs initiative,” but Tom and the No on 23 movement saw it for what it really was: a way for big corporations to make more money at the expense of our environment. Voters overwhelmingly agreed and defeated the measure by a 23% margin.
In Nevada, Tom and NextGen Climate Action were directly involved in funding the successful Renewable Energy Standards Initiative in 2018. The measure raised the state’s renewable portfolio standards (RPS) to 50%, meaning the state committed to generating half their energy from renewable sources by 2030.
In Michigan, Tom was prepared to take on two of the state’s largest utilities — DTE Energy and Consumers Energy — at the ballot box in 2018. He worked with NextGen America and local activist groups on an initiative to significantly increase the state’s renewable requirements, but before they could submit petition signatures to the state, an agreement was struck. Thanks to this grassroots effort, Consumers Energy pledged to increase their renewable power by 25% by 2030.
Tom worked with state Senator Kevin De León to make California the largest jurisdiction in the world with a 100% clean energy law. Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 100 into law in 2018, committing the state to get all its energy from clean sources by 2045 and solidifying its place as a global leader in the fight against climate change.
Tom helped win a ballot initiative in 2012 that closed a corporate tax loophole, generating $1.7 billion for California schools and 19,000 new jobs for the state. Pre-existing tax law let out-of-state companies reduce their income tax, essentially rewarding them for taking jobs out of state. That $1.7 billion went towards necessary energy upgrades in schools, reducing their utility costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
In the environmentally-burdened coastal town of Oxnard, NRG Energy wanted to construct a new power plant called the Puente Power Project in 2017. Residents loudly protested this attempt by corporate polluters to disadvantage a community largely made up of immigrants, people of color, and low-income families for their own gain. Tom joined local protesters and together, they pressured the Energy Commission to shut down the project. NRG ended up withdrawing its proposal, and plans are now in the works to build clean energy projects instead. Ventura County got a small piece of the environmental justice they’re owed.
Tom’s Justice-Centered Climate Plan will provide clean air and water, honor the contributions and sacrifice of workers in fossil fuel industries, and prioritize justice for communities that have been treated as environmental dumping grounds for far too long. We will put people and communities before polluting corporations through a truly inclusive planning process. We will make sure Americans have all necessary resources to support stronger, more resilient communities.
Asthma-inducing air pollution is a pervasive problem that affects low-income, indigenous, and communities of color first and worst. Tom’s plan to neutralize global warming pollution by 2045 starts by prioritizing the creation of good jobs while ensuring every American can breathe clean air by 2030. We will establish climate-smart transportation, and construct and retrofit buildings to be cleaner and safer.
The people closest to the problems understand the solutions that will work best in their communities. Tom’s plan will lift up local voices and build a Civilian Climate Corps — a combined service, training, and job creation effort — to implement tailored solutions specific to the needs of individual communities.
Our government should hold our public lands, waters, and skies in trust for the American people — not as a stockpile of future profits for big polluters. Tom’s plan honors people in legacy energy industries who have devoted their lives to keeping our lights on and our vehicles moving by offering a $50 billion investment program to build up local economies and protect worker’s wage benefits. This plan will invest in local economies, end government giveaways to big polluters, and restore and expand public nature areas, working lands, and parks.
Our use of taxpayer dollars must align with our climate targets, protect workers, and help Americans build inclusive and prosperous communities. That’s why we will shift the way we invest in our infrastructure to be smarter about climate change, prioritize clean manufacturing, and require companies to disclose and internalize the costs of their risky fossil fuel holdings.
To create a safer, more secure America, we need to secure our military bases against extreme weather, improve our disaster prevention systems, and strengthen our response and recovery strategy. Tom’s plan will put our global purchasing power and diplomacy to use by advancing climate action and will re-establish this country as an economic, moral leader in fighting the climate crisis.
President Trump’s dangerous deregulatory agenda has undermined global progress around climate change, and damaged the United States’ reputation as a country of science, progress, and morality. As president, Tom will renew American leadership by making the climate crisis the heart of his foreign policy. Tom’s Justice-Centered Climate Plan provides a framework for bold action both domestically and abroad.
Tom’s administration will recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement and work rapidly and equitably to meet our commitments. He will release a strengthened plan to reduce our country’s emissions by at least 40% by 2030. Tom will also work to make the United States carbon neutral by 2045, and provide $200 billion in U.S. aid over ten years to address environmental crimes by stopping the burning of the Amazon, cleaning up the Pacific Garbage Patch, and remediating other extreme instances of environmental degradation.
The United States will no longer allow other countries to destroy environmental resources people around the world need to survive. Tom’s administration will work with the global community to create and define environmental crimes against humanity, and develop a process for enforcement. Independently, the United States will ensure climate goals and penalties are incorporated into our trade policies, including banning the export of fossil fuels.
As our global systems change, we must ensure people around the world have the tools they need to adapt and thrive. As president, Tom will create and define a new status of “climate refugees,” and support indigenous groups and youth activists. He will also address gender divides that make women and girls more vulnerable to the climate crisis and perpetuate environmentally-harmful agricultural practices. His plan will increase funding to the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative and improve access to education and resources.