By: Sam Jerow
In one of the most unusual presidential campaigns in modern political history, it can be easy to cast a ballot without looking into the policy specifics of either of the main party candidates. As Miami’s environment and sustainability publication, we would like to offer you a summary of both Mr. Trump and Sec. Clinton’s environmental platforms to help you make a more informed decision as you approach the polls this coming November.
Hillary Clinton’s policy plan has four main goals, as found on her campaign website: have enough renewable energy to power every home in the United States by 2027, reduce energy waste around the country by one third, make American manufacturing the cleanest in the world, and reduce oil consumption nationally also by one third.
Clinton will have to use a series of different tools in order to achieve her goals. One of her main points is to defend, enforce and expand the current Clean Power Plan, which President Obama announced in August 2015. This legislation is the main component of our current national plan in reducing carbon emissions, which was stayed by the Supreme Court last February and it still waiting for further litigation.
In addition to relying on existing legislation, Clinton will commence a Clean Energy Challenge. A main point of the plan calls for competitive grants to incentivize states to do more than the federal minimum standards with regards to reducing carbon emissions and implementing new clean energy initiatives. Additionally, the challenge calls for reducing regulations on installing rooftop solar panels, transforming the energy grid to accommodate more types of energy, and expanding agencies such as the Rural Utilities Service to provide clean and reliable energy around the world. Clinton has indicated she is willing to work without the help of Congress to implement her environmental agenda, which makes it likely that the issue would become too political under a Clinton presidency to achieve such ambitious changes in policy or that she would be able to meet her deadlines. For more information, visit her site at https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/climate/.
Trump’s campaign website does not list the environment or climate as an issue or policy proposal, so I turned to the political preference website www.isidewith.com (take the quiz, if you haven’t yet!) to get an idea of what President Trump would try to get accomplished in the arena of environmental protection. Trump says that global warming is a naturally occurring phenomenon, (which goes against the majority of the scientific community that cite data indicating that the current period of global warming is due to human, or anthropogenic, causes), and therefore does not support regulation being put in place to prevent or reverse climate change. Additionally, Trump has in the past called for cutting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) all together, saying that the regulations they impose are more harmful to businesses than they are beneficial to the environment.
In addition to eliminating the EPA and opposing new legislation, Trump opposes subsidies to renewable energy industries, and any other “unproven” technologies, while he supports both fracking and the expansion of offshore drilling. Although nothing is mentioned on his isidewith.com profile, Trump has stated several times since the beginning of his campaign that he will work to save the coal industry and coal jobs around the country, but did not offer specific proposals to do so. This is a particular sticking point with Clinton, who said in 2008 that she would “put a lot of coal miners out of work.”
Regardless of your political affiliation, it is important to stay informed on the issues and vote your conscience. Stay up-to-date with GreenHawks Media for more information on all issues environmental throughout the year!
Democracy needs engaged citizens to function properly, so it is important to make sure that you are registered to vote. The deadline in Ohio for voter registration is October 11, which is fast approaching. To find out how to register or update your voter registration, check out the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/elections/Voters/register.aspx. Voter registration deadlines and processes vary by state, so if you aren’t from Ohio, it is important to look up your home state’s specific information. Details on voting at Miami and in Oxford can be found on Miami’s Division of Student Affairs website, https://miamioh.edu/student-life/student-affairs/about/organizational-structure/office-of-dean/voting-rights/index.html.