The Presidential Elections: Environmentally, Where Does Your Candidate Stand?

        The presidential election is fast approaching and everywhere you turn, there is some sort of political support or slander. Most may already know who they will be voting for on the November 4th Election Day, but even so, many may not be aware of the environmental stand of both the Democratic and Republican nominees Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Do you know where your candidate stands on key environmental issues?
        Environmental issues have become a “third rail” and not been a very talked about subject for either of the candidates. There’s blame on both sides, but let’s not pretend the two parties neglect climate change equally.
         Governor Mitt Romney believes in man-made global warming, but is not certain to the extent that we are causing the change in the environment. He would like to adopt policies that allow us to become energy independent and reduce the greenhouse gas that we emit, with “No Regrets” policies.
        Romney supports additional drilling offshore, as well as, the use of nuclear, clean coal, liquid coal, solar, wind, and other renewable resources. He wants to make America an energy superpower by rapidly and responsibly increasing our own production and partnering with our allies to achieve energy independence. When asked if he supports cap-and-trade (a market-based approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants), Governor Romney states that he would support it on a global system, but not solely for the US. “They don’t call it ‘America warming.’ They call it ‘global warming.’”
        While at the Republican convention, Romney made a bit of a joke about climate change in his speech and received a standing ovations. His convention speech offered instead to “help you and your family,” as if the state of Earth has nothing to do with the well being of our families.
        Meanwhile at the Democratic National Convention, we did not hear much about environmental issues, but President Barack Obama did make one fairly important remark regarding climate change, “Climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke; they are a threat to our children’s future.” He also commented on the chance to create more natural gas jobs, spoke about building wind turbines and reducing dependence on foreign oil. Obama has been pretty clear that he still opposes offshore drilling in addition to supporting cap-and-trade.
        The President has taken steps to reduce carbon pollution, including establishing fuel economy standards that will cut the amount of carbon pollution from cars in half, proposing standards to decrease carbon pollution from new power plants, and helping us transition to cleaner and more efficient energy sources.
        President Obama has enacted the largest expansion of wilderness protection in a generation and established the country’s first comprehensive ocean policy. Also, under the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken the first steps toward regulating carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants and, in addition, the U.S. has cataloged greenhouse gas emissions from large emission sources for the first time.
         Perhaps my bit of information about both President Obama and Governor Romney’s stands on environmental issues has helped you decide your pick for presidential nominee, and maybe you are already dead set on who you will be voting for. Either way, we all must prepare for these men and their plans for our federal government to become enacted. 
        Although the date for voter registration has since passed, those of you who are registered, I strongly urge you to go out there on November 6th and cast your ballot for the man you see fit to run the nation!!
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