As the 2016 Presidential Election is heating up, with more than half of the primaries completed, it’s important to consider where the candidates stand on some of the most important issues. At Lesley, the environment is an issue that matters to most of us. So, here is some information you may find helpful when considering which candidate to vote for.
Hilary Clinton, Democrat
Clinton has an 89% rating by the League of Conservation Voters, an environmental protection agency, and has even been endorsed by the organization. She believes the environment deserves “a comprehensive energy plan as our Apollo moon shot”. In 2008 she voted to fund Environmental Job Training for working class Americans, and believes environmentally friendly energy can be great for the US economy. However, she has remained undecided on the Keystone Pipeline and has dodged questions on this issue during two presidential races.
Ted Cruz, Republican:
Ted Cruz has a complicated relationship with climate change. He has expressed doubts about whether climate change is real, has repeatedly denied that humans cause any change in the environment, and he has called climate change a “pseudoscientific” theory. However, Cruz does want to further the Renewable Fuel Standard, a federal mandate that requires renewable resources to be mixed into the nation’s gasoline supply, because he believes it will improve the economy and improve the U.S. agriculture industry.
John Kasich, Republican:
Kasich is the only Republican candidate who agrees that climate change is real, and is caused by humans. He believes that states should be in charge of individual environmental issues, but would strengthen the Clean Water Act and increase federal funding for protecting water and grazing fees for farmers who graze on federal lands. As a supporter of the Keystone Pipeline, he believes that the Pipeline would constitute a boom in the economy, but also bring us energy security. Although Kasich’s stance on environmental issues is far more progressive than most of his contenders, it’s important to note that he has not made the environment a top priority in his campaign.
Bernie Sanders, Democrat:
Bernie Sanders’ pro-environment voting history has granted him a 90% rating from the League of Conservation Voters; his advocacy efforts focus on the humane treatment of animals, wildlife conservation, and further regulation of environmentally harmful practices. He has received a 100% rating from the Humane Society Legislative Fund corresponding to his work on invasive research prevention, kennel safety, breeding, and animal fighting legislation. He is critical of Big Farming, consistently in favor of subsidy cuts and fee increases on the wealthiest percentage of the agro-industry. While he does not support prohibition of GMO’s, he is a proponent of labeling requirements. Throughout Sanders’ 2016 nomination campaign he has emphasized the importance of pro-environmentalism as a core tenant of his plan to modernize the United States government. He is “vigorously opposed” to the Keystone Pipeline.
Donald Trump, Republican:
Donald Trump is an avid climate change denier. In an interview with Fox News in 2015, Trump has said that what the EPA does is a disgrace, and that he would cut the agency as President. He repeatedly makes claims that climate change is a hoax, and that green energy is not worth it, believing that nonrenewable resources are great for the economy and American workers. He is a strong supporter of the Keystone Pipeline, and even owns stock in TransCanada, the company behind it.