How Green Are The Presidential Candidates?

 

Image File Credit: DonkeyHotey

If you haven’t notice lately or have been living under a rock, we are in the midst of a Presidential campaign, certainly like no other in modern times. There has been plenty of fodder for political comedians from both sides of the political parties; some say more on one side than the other.

Among the topics of immigration, trade, security, dealing with Isis, foreign relations and good economic health for our country, its interesting to know how do the candidates rank as far as being Green candidates, that is where do they stand on the environment.

It seems, in general, that the Democratic Party leans more towards implementing environmental initiatives and recognizes global warming than the Republican Party and thus influencing the views of each party’s candidates.

Of the 5 that are still going around the track, the environment seems to somewhat take a back seat to “more important issues”. Without bias from the writer here are the general rankings on the environment of each of the candidates.

The top-ranking candidate working to get his party’s nomination is Bernie Sanders. His climate record goes far back into his time in the Senate. His views go further than Obama’s current climate change initiatives. Sanders proposes taxing carbon, heavily investing in solar, wind and geothermal energy, expanding public transit and winterizing homes. In the debates he stated that climate change is the biggest national security threat and defined it as a major crisis. He co-sponsored the Keep it in the Ground Act that bans drilling leases on public lands and in the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans. He recognizes the scientists’ views that moving away from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy and believes that if nothing is done, future generations will not have a healthy plant to live in.

The next ranking goes to Hillary Clinton. Although not always considered green on key issues especially while being secretary of state, she has called climate change an urgent challenge during the campaign and has come out against artic drilling while promising to improve Obama’s Clean Power Plan. She has proposed an environmental plan to install more than half a billon solar panels across the country by her term’s end, increase renewable energy from 13 to 33 percent by 2027 and revitalize coal country communities as the nation moves away from fossil fuels.

On the Republican side of the issue, the views are more skeptical as far as climate change is concerned. In this ranking, John Kasich seems to be leading the pack, somewhat. Although he does recognize that climate change exists and protecting the environment is important, implementing environmental polices should not jeopardize American jobs. He feels that climate change is a theory and has not yet been proven. Although there is concern about climate change he’s “not lying awake at night worrying” about it.

Next is Ted Cruz. He believes that climate change is a partisan agenda, does not believe that it is science but rather religion. He considers himself a skeptic rather than a denier of the issue. He has sponsored the American Energy Renaissance Act that allows exploration of oil and gas on federal lands, leaving states to regulate their own fracking laws and prevents the EPA from regulating emissions.

And lastly is Donald Trump. Trump’s views on the subject pretty much falls in line with the Republican view on the matter. He believes that there are bigger problems than climate change and does not believe in it. It does just that; it changes, sometimes up, sometimes down and sometimes up again depending on the span of time, according to Trump. Near his golf resort in Scotland, he was dead against a wind energy development program and strongly opposes federal development of wind energy in our nation.

So there you have it. There are many views the candidates have on very important and strategic subjects that will help make up your mind on who you want to be our next president. You can now add the environment to that list. May the best person win and better yet may the people of the United States win with someone in the White House that will keep this nation on an even keel into the future.

Dennis Machicao