Energy and Climate: Where the Presidential Candidates Stand
During this presidential election campaign the two major candidates hold views on energy and the environment that are pretty much diametrically opposed.
Donald Trump has denied that climate change is a man-made phenomenon and has been quoted as saying it is hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. “I consider climate change to be not one of our big problems,” he said on the campaign trail. Trump supports the growth in the use of fossil fuels, including coal, as well as nuclear power, and has said that green energy programs would imperil jobs.
Hilary Clinton intends to continue the policies of the Obama administration with regard to promoting clean energy and renewables. She has emphasized support for dramatically expanding the use of solar power in the U.S. and regards climate change as an existential threat.
Trump has said that he will make the United States 100 percent energy independent—without dealing with impact on energy trade that this would produce—and that “energy independence is a requirement if America is to become great again.”
While campaigning in coal country, Trump said that “we have to protect your coal industry which is being decimated” by EPA regulations, and that “we are going to bring the coal industry back 100 percent.”
He has also said, “I’m in favor of nuclear energy, very strongly in favor of nuclear energy.”
Trump has suggested clean energy policies to reduce CO2 emissions would “imperil jobs” and “the middle class and lower classes.” He has discounted the “negative impact of natural gas, oil, and coal”
and has opined that green energy programs are “really just an expensive way of making the tree-huggers feel good about themselves.”
Hillary Clinton has stated, “With the right investments, we’ll create good-paying jobs and make America the world’s clean energy superpower.”
She also champions the use of solar power, saying that she’ll set a goal of having half a billion solar panels in the U.S. by 2020. “And I want us to generate enough renewable electricity to power every home in America in the next 10 years,” she added.
Clinton is on record supporting the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, calling it “a significant step forward in meeting the urgent threat of climate change.” She wants to “implement all of the president’s executive actions on climate and quickly move to make a bridge from coal to natural gas to clean energy.”
Clinton would also “reduce the amount of oil consumed in the United States and around the world,” and would promote the development of advanced biofuels and “expand the overall contribution that renewable fuels make to our national fuel supply.”