Next Tuesday, Dec. 10 voters in the 5th Congressional District will decide which individual will be the district's newest U.S. Representative. The person will replace former representative Sen. Ed Markey.
Patch asked each of the candidates a series of questions. The answers to those questions will be published now through Sunday, Dec. 8.
Candidates who responded to the questions were Democrat Katherine Clark, a state senator who lives in Melrose, Republican Frank Addivinola, a Boston lawyer and Independent James Hall, an attorney from Arlington.
Today's focus is on the the federal government's role in setting energy policy and protecting the environment.
Hall: "The federal government has to play a leading role with respect to the environment and energy. But this is not to say that local communities and individual citizens can’t make a major difference in preserving our environment, dealing with climate change, and making us more energy-efficient. Thus, with regard to the environment and energy, as a United States Representative I would support many actions – on the local, state and national level – including programs:
- to promote conservation and recycling at all levels
- to construct energy efficient buildings and homes
- to manufacture and package goods with the least amount of energy and material
- to increase the fuel mileage for automotive vehicles
- to invest in and promote alternate and renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power
- to institute a fair and reasonable carbon tax
- to support international efforts for all countries and people to conserve and use their energy effectively – here, again, we can also lead by cooperation and example"
Addivinola: "America’s energy policies should be designed to address two priorities - economic growth and energy independence while recognizing our responsibility to protect our planet and our environment. Our current energy policy is ineffective in stimulating economic prosperity and protecting Americans from excessive fuel prices that hurt working families. The U.S. economy should not be manipulated by member nations of OPEC, especially those that have hostile attitude towards America.
"While many alternative energy sources have great promise and should be explored, those sources should be developed through free-market system, not through government influence on the markets. Our government should not force the taxpayers and consumers to pay for the costs of failed projects.
"As U.S. Representative in Congress, I will support the energy initiatives aimed at making our country energy independent such as: building the Keystone XL pipeline, opening new U.S. territories to 'environmentally responsible and safe' oil and gas production and eliminating policies that stifle our energy production and increase production costs."
Clark: "First, the federal government needs to fully fund the EPA, so that the existing environmental regulations are enforced. Congress should also pass legislation to encourage energy efficiency. We need to have a tax structure that supports the installation and use of clean, renewable energy. We need to take away tax breaks from big oil companies, who are already making record profits, and redirect those into clean energy. I would support any good idea that makes the adoption of clean energy easier, would work to extend and build certainty for a production tax credit, loan guarantees, or another form of innovative financing that supports clean technology. But I think underlying all of this is a need to pass a comprehensive climate bill that puts a price on carbon, which will spur innovation and create jobs right here in the Fifth Congressional District."