Last week I outlined the Democratic Candidates positions relative to climate change. This week I’ll contrast those with the positions and policies of President Trump.
- All the Democrats plan to aggressively address climate change. President Trump has denied that climate change exists, describing it as a hoax.
- All the Democrats support the United States endorsement of the Paris Climate Agreement. President Trump has initiated steps to withdraw the U.S. from this international agreement.
- All the Democrats support a 100% Clean Energy plan by a specified year, e.g., 2050. President Trump views the U.S.’s fossil fuel reserves as the nation’s wealth and the use should not be restricted.
- Democrats generally support providing funds to developing nations to encourage environmentally friendly new power sources. President Trump has withdrawn the U.S.’s support for these initiatives currently provided through the United Nations.
- Democrats support the Environmental Protection Agency and many would support new regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. President Trump, using executive orders and through his E.P.A. appointments (Scott Pruitt, and later Scott Wheeler) have systematically dismantled existing regulations.
- Democrats have proposed eliminating new oil and gas leases on government lands. President Trump has proposed expansions to government lands currently protected now and encouraging new leases.
- Democrats support aggressively phasing out coal mines. President Trump supports coal mines and has sought to ensure coal viability through relaxed regulations.
- Democrats support solar and wind energy as alternatives to fossil fuels. President Trump has reduced government subsidies and incentives for these technologies and has described wind turbine power as unreliable and potentially causing cancer.
- Most Democrats support higher standards for auto and light truck emissions. President Trump has proposed rolling back existing emissions, in spite of opposition from several major auto companies.
- Most Democrats support increasing the environmental standards for new buildings and residential homes. President Trump has not addressed this particular issue but indications are he would not support any new environmental regulations in this area.
- Many Democrats support a Carbon Tax – viewed by many economists as a significantly effective tool in reducing greenhouse gasses by taxing carbon emissions. President Trump has not addressed this particular issue but indications are he would not support any new environmental regulations in this area.
In sum, the presumed Other Candidate, Donald Trump, will describe his climate-change leadership as “No one cares more about the environment than me.” But the facts do not support this assertion! In November 2020, the voting public will decide if Trump should continue to enact climate change policies that contradict this stated care or if the Democratic candidate, whomever wins the nomination, will replace him. As a reminder, the Democratic candidates will discuss their plans for addressing climate change in televised forums this month. CNN will host one on September 4 and MSNBC will host a two-day forum on September 19 & 20. I hope these forums will enable the public to learn more about what is needed to sustain our environment and avoid the climate wrecking ball.
In a story in the N.Y. Times entitled “Trump to Miners, Loggers and Drillers: This Land Is Your Land” the evidence is clear and the title says it all. My conclusion, based on overwhelming evidence, is that Donald Trump has been and will continue to be a wrecking ball to planet earth! I plan to make an informed choice November 2020.