The 2020 Election- How Your Vote Will Affect the Environment
As we have all observed, this upcoming election is a very important one.
Donald Trump and his administration poses a massive threat to environmental policy and I thought it would be helpful to outline his environmental contributions. In doing so, my hope is that you can make an informed decision this election and have the understanding to converse with others about what the Donald Trump Administration really means for the environment.
First off, here's a list of actions that Trump has already taken:
In 2017, the Trump Administration pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement
In 2019, the Trump Administration rolled back on safety measures that regulate offshore drilling operations- which was supported by leaders in the oil and gas industries
In April of 2019, David Bernhardt was appointed as Secretary of the Interior- a controversial choice as he has a history of lobbying for the energy and agribusiness sectors. One of his objectives was to expand extraction operations on public land and roll back environmental protections
In April of 2019 Donald Trump signed 2 executive orders that will make it easier for companies to build oil and gas pipelines. Likewise, these orders limited the power of states to block these orders
In March of 2019, Donald Trump approved a new permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline- which poses a huge threat to its surrounding landscapes and populations
In February of 2019, Andrew Wheeler was appointed as the EPA Administrator, a controversial choice as he is a former coal lobbyist. During his time in office, Wheeler has ended regulations on coal emissions set by the Obama Administration and dismissed a scientific review panel that advised the EPA on air pollution regulation
In January of 2019, Trump called for increased logging on Federal lands (through an executive order)
During the Trump Administration, EPA criminal enforcements reach a 30-year low
In October of 2018, the first offshore oil wells were approved for the arctic- posing a huge threat to wildlife and this region in general
In May of 2018, the Trump Administration cut the NASA Climate Monitoring Program, which makes it significantly harder to measure emissions/emission reductions and make sure that countries are following their part of agreements
... and there are many more examples that I could have included
It is clear that Donald Trump is not concerned about climate change nor the future of the environment. He went so far as to remove climate change from the list of national security threats, when in reality, climate change is among one of the most pressing issues our world currently faces.
As the election approaches, I wanted to have a better understanding (and an outlined one as well) to highlight why your vote is so essential in protecting the environment.
Biden and Trump on Climate in the 2020 Election
-Plans to end taxpayer-funded subsidies for fossil
-Has taken the "No Fossil Fuel Money" stance
-His proposed policies would continue bailouts for CEOs in the oil and gas industries
-promotes fossil fuel use (especially coal)
-has put fossil fuel lobbyists and insiders for key federal positions, including EPA Administrator, Interior Department Secretary, & Secretary of State
- Places environmental justice at the center of his environmental plan
-Highlights the right of every American to access clean air
-Focus on protecting public lands for future generations
-In 1986, Biden introduced the Global Climate Protection Act, which was the first climate change bill in the Senate.
-"as President Obama’s Vice President, Biden oversaw the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The law created new investment vehicles for clean energy, and the $90 billion allocated was characterized by the Obama White House as “the single largest investment in clean energy in history.” Biden has called fighting climate change, “the single most important thing” he and Obama could do in the White House, and was a strong public supporter of the former President’s use of Executive Orders to achieve climate policy including rolling out the Clean Power Plan and signing the Paris Agreement." (Cronin, 2020)
-" 'Joe’s Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice.' Within this plan’s primary environmental justice section, Biden calls out the “disproportionate harm” of pollution on communities of color and low-income neighborhoods." (Conin, 2020).
-Policies perpetuate environmental racism
-Allows corporate polluters to continue spewing toxins and air pollutants with reduced regulations
-Trump ignores the science provided regarding climate change- in one prominent example:
-"When U.S. government scientists released their latest volume of the National Climate Assessment in November 2018, it revealed much about the robust, sobering scientific consensus on climate change.
It also revealed the striking disconnect between Trump and essentially every authoritative institution on the threat of global warming.
The president rejected the assessment's central findings—based on thousands of climate studies and involving 13 federal agencies—that emissions of carbon dioxide are caused by human activities, are already causing lasting economic damage and have to be brought rapidly to zero.
"I don't believe it. No, no, I don't believe it," Trump told a reporter after the assessment's release." (Loeb, Lavelle, Feldman, 2020)
-"Starting in early 2017, the EPA began removing climate change information from US government websites, including the EPA webpage that explained climate change. At the time, the administration also halted a study of the health risks to individuals living near coal mines." (Conin, 2020)
- Proposed policies would achieve 100% clean electricity by 2035
-"Biden has offered a very detailed plan to combat climate change and decarbonize the economy. According to InsideClimate News, Biden’s proposed $1.7 trillion climate plan includes 30 times the clean energy commitment in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 platform." (Conin, 2020).
-Policies include the continuation of billions of dollars being used to bail out fossil fuel CEOs
-Loosened emissions standards for cars & trucks
-Plans to build a clean energy economy that will create millions of new jobs
-His administration is eliminating clean energy jobs
-Is focused on "American Energy Dominance" that includes the unhindered support for fossil fuel development
Of course, no candidate is perfect. But these examples highlight how important this election is for the future and stability of our environment.
These facts have stuck out to me during my own research on the upcoming election and I hope they are useful to you as well.
Vote like the environment depends on it, because it does!