Written by Mareka Tsongas, ESLLC 2015-2016
There has been a lot of press and focus around the upcoming election. This media frenzy focuses on the more dramatic stories in the news like what the most recent ridiculous unpresidential thing Donald Trump did. These events and incidences cause people to overlook some crucial issues. Other issues seem more pressing in the immediate election but it is still important to be educated on the environmental opinions of the candidates. There are four key issues the candidates have opinions on regarding the environment and one should be educated on these before forming opinions and voting. The candidates that are still running that will be discussed in this post are Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
The first issue is climate change. Candidates like Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie and Ben Carson believe that global warming doesn’t exist and was not caused by humans. They also don’t believe that there is an obligation to act. Jeb Bush and John Kasich do believe that global warming is real and that it is caused by humans. They want to act but don’t want it to hurt the economy so if acting upon it would do that they won’t act even though it is so time sensitive. Whereas Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders believe we caused global warming and that it is our “moral responsibility” to act. Since the science is so overwhelming now in favor of human caused climate change that to ignore that is very ignorant.
The next issue is in relation to the EPA and regulation. Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie and Ben Carson are all against the EPA and all environmental regulation. Donald Trump thinks “the Environmental Protection Agency is the laughing stock of the world” and Jeb Bush thinks “we should repeal every rule that Barack Obama has made in terms of work in progress…” which includes The Clean Power Act and The Waters of the United States Act. Ben Carson is less hostile towards the EPA he just believes that it “should lead us not leash us”. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are generally in favor. Hillary thinks we should continue to build on The Clean Power Act and Bernie believes strongly in conservation.
Hillary and Bernie are in strong favor and believe in favor incentives. Hillary’s campain plan says “The United States will generate enough clean renewable energy to power every home in America within ten years of Hillary Clinton taking office” which is a very bold commitment. John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson are very in the middle and generally supportive but don’t have plans to make it a priority in their presidency. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush all strongly oppose subsidies and believe alternative energy will be bad for the economy and market.
Finally there is the issue of fossil fuels. As you could guess Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson are all in favor of maintaining or even boosting fossil fuels. Trump thinks we should “start to drill everywhere oil is accessible”. Rubio thinks that “God has blessed this nation with these resources [and that] it would be reckless and irresponsible to not fully utilize all of our energy resources”. Jeb Bush thinks we should “lift restrictions on exports of oil and natural gas [and] approve the Keystone XL pipeline”. In general these candidates believe that since we have oil and gas that we should use it. Hillary is less left-wing but she is unsure that drilling is the best idea. Bernie believes we should put a price on carbon and ban drilling.
There seems to be a trend in the opinions of these different candidates. Please consider this information before you make your decision this election.
“Full Plan: Combating Climate Change to Save the Planet.” Bernie Sanders RSS. Web. 17 Feb. 2016. <https://berniesanders.com/issues/climate-change/>.
By Wendy Koch Illustrations by Daisy Chung Graphics by Chiqui Esteban PUBLISHED February 9, 2016. “How Do the Candidates Stack Up on Four Key Issues?” National Geographic. National Geographic Society. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
“Hillary Clinton’s Vision for Renewable Power.” Hillary Clinton’s Vision for Renewable Power. Web. 17 Feb. 2016. <https://www.hillaryclinton.com/briefing/factsheets/2015/07/26/renewable-power-vision/>.
Trump, Donald. Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again. Print.