Kamala Harris on Environment
Democratic candidate for President; California Senator
[Climate change] is a problem that was created by human behaviors. And we can change our behaviors in a way that saves our planet. I've seen it happen in California.
As the attorney general of California, I took on the big oil companies and we saw progress. If any of you have been to Los Angeles, 20 years ago, you'll remember, that sky was brown. You go there now, the sky is blue and you know why? Because leaders decided to lead and we took on these big fossil fuel companies.
We have some of the most important and strongest laws in the country and we made a difference. And my point being, I've done it before and I will lead as president on this issue because we have no time, the clock is ticking, but we need courage, and we need courageous leadership. We can get this done.
HARRIS: Well, I certainly would declare an emergency--a drinking water emergency. And, if you don't mind, I'm just going to stand. And, also, I think it's critically important that we immediately on day one get back in the Paris agreement. I think it's important that, on day one, we immediately ratify the Kigali agreement in terms of the Montreal Protocol and that amendment. And I think it's critically important, on day one, that we end any fossil fuel leases on public lands. And, that, I'm prepared to do on day one as a matter of executive action.
HARRIS: There's no question I'm in favor of banning fracking, so yes. This is something I've taken on in California. I have a history of working on this issue. We have to acknowledge that the residual impact of fracking is enormous in terms of the impact on the health and safety of communities.
Q: Would you also ban offshore drilling?
HARRIS: Yes, and I've again, worked on that. You can talk to the folks in Santa Barbara about the work that I've done there where it's a big problem--but it's a big problem in many areas of our country--and yes, I would. Yes.
HARRIS: Everyone needs to see the images of what these plastic bottles and straws and everything are doing to our oceans. [The solution] is about one, creating the incentives. We banned plastic bags in California--people had to get used to it.
Q: So would you ban the single-use plastic?
HARRIS: I think we have to create incentives. Look, those little plastic grocery bags when I was growing up--we used them as garbage bags. Then we didn't have those anymore so we used paper bags as garbage bags--we can adapt.
Q: Do you ban plastic straws?
HARRIS: I think we should, yes. I'm going to be honest--it's really difficult to drink out of a paper straw. Let's encourage innovation and I think we could do a little bit better than some of those flimsy plastic straws but we do need to ban the plastic.
HARRIS: Yes, in a broader context, as a nation we actually have to have a real priority at the highest level of government around what we eat and in terms of health eating because we have a problem in America. We can talk about the amount of sugar in everything; we could go on and on. So the answer is yes. But we have to strike a balance around creating incentives and then banning certain behaviors. I love cheeseburgers from time to time. But in terms of creating incentives--that we will eat in a healthy way, that we will encourage moderation--the government has to do a much better job of that.
Q: Would you support changing the dietary guidelines? The food pyramid, to reduce red meat specifically?
HARRIS: Yes, I would.
HARRIS: The biggest issue we face in terms of nuclear energy is the waste and what are we going to do with that. Yucca Mountain--that's a nonstarter for me. The kind of disposal that has happened at Yucca Mountain--and also taking away that state's ability to make decisions--this administration was, in the middle of the night, carting waste in to Yucca Mountain without the authority and the permission of the leaders of the state of Nevada.
Q: Senator Bernie Sanders now says he wants to phase it out, get rid of nuclear power. Do you agree?
HARRIS: We have to figure out what we're going to do about the waste. My bottom-line is that I'm not going to allow the federal government to go in and impose its priorities on any state--it's going to have to be those states who make that decision.
TWO CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Joseph Biden, Jr.; Jay Inslee.
Utilities and scientists are developing nuclear power reactors that are much smaller than the massive facilities that have been used in past decades. The new reactors, called Small Modular Reactors that the Energy Department's national labs are helping to develop, would produce perhaps 50 to 100 megawatts.
|Other candidates on Environment:||Kamala Harris on other issues:|
Gloria La Riva
Kevin de Leon
Tom Del Beccaro
Senate races 2019-20:
AK: Sullivan(R,incumbent) vs.Gross(I)
AL: Jones(D,incumbent) vs.Sessions(R) vs.Moore(R) vs.Mooney(R) vs.
AR: Cotton(R,incumbent) vs.
AZ: McSally(R,incumbent) vs.Kelly(D)
CO: Gardner(R,incumbent) vs.Hickenlooper(D) vs.
DE: Coons(D,incumbent) vs.Scarane(D)
GA-2: Isakson(R,resigned) Loeffler(R,appointed) vs.Lieberman(D) vs.Collins(R) vs.Carter(D)
GA-6: Perdue(R,incumbent) vs.Tomlinson(D) vs.Ossoff(D) vs.Terry(D)
IA: Ernst(R,incumbent) vs.Graham(D) vs.Mauro(D) vs.Greenfield(D)
ID: Risch(R,incumbent) vs.Harris(D)
IL: Durbin(D,incumbent) vs.Curran(R) vs.
KS: Roberts(R,retiring) vs.
KY: McConnell(R,incumbent) vs.McGrath(D) vs.Morgan(R) vs.Cox(D)
LA: Cassidy(R,incumbent) vs.Pierce(D)
MA: Markey(D,incumbent) vs.Liss-Riordan(D) vs.Ayyadurai(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Waters(R)
ME: Collins(R,incumbent) vs.Sweet(D) vs.Gideon(D) vs.
MI: Peters(D,incumbent) vs.James(R)
MN: Smith(D,incumbent) vs.
MS: Hyde-Smith(R,incumbent) vs.Espy(D) vs.Bohren(D)
MT: Daines(R,incumbent) vs.Collins(D) vs.Cooney(D)
NC: Tillis(R,incumbent) vs.E.Smith(D) vs.S.Smith(R) vs.Cunningham(D) vs.Tucker(R) vs.
NE: Sasse(R,incumbent) vs.Janicek(R)
NH: Shaheen(D,incumbent) vs.Martin(D) vs.Bolduc(R) vs.O'Brien(f)
NJ: Booker(D,incumbent) vs.Singh(R) vs.Meissner(R)
NM: Udall(D,retiring) vs.Clarkson(R) vs.
OK: Inhofe(R,incumbent) vs.Workman(D)
OR: Merkley(D,incumbent) vs.Romero(R)
RI: Reed(D,incumbent) vs. (no opponent yet)
SC: Graham(R,incumbent) vs.Tinubu(D) vs.Harrison(D)
SD: Rounds(R,incumbent) vs.Borglum(R) vs.Ahlers(D)
TN: Alexander(R,incumbent) vs.Sethi(R) vs.Mackler(D) vs.Hagerty(R)
TX: Cornyn(R,incumbent) vs.Hegar(D) vs.Hernandez(D) vs.Bell(D) vs.Ramirez(D) vs.West(D)
VA: Warner(D,incumbent) vs.Taylor(R) vs.Gade(R)
WV: Capito(R,incumbent) vs.Swearengin(D)
WY: Enzi(R,incumbent) vs.Ludwig(D) vs.Lummis(R)
Senate Votes (analysis)