Thursday, August 4, 2016

Sharp Contrast on Climate and Energy in Presidential Campaign

GOP and Democratic Platforms Highlight Stark Differences on Energy and Climate
While Republicans embrace fossil fuels, Democrats push for climate action. But do party platforms influence policy?

By Phil McKenna | Inside Climate News | Jul 26, 2016 

If there was any lingering confusion on how America's two major political parties differ over climate and energy policy, platforms released by the Republican and Democratic Parties during this month's national conventions made their often polar-opposite views exceedingly clear.

Republicans would dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency as it currently exists and abolish the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of the Obama administration's plan to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.

Democrats called for a price on carbon, implementation of the Clean Power Plan, which was stayed by the Supreme Court in February, as well as other regulatory measures to reduce greenhouse gases, and prioritization of renewable energy over natural gas.

While platforms are more outline of party beliefs than binding policy, they nonetheless offer a picture of the widening gulf between the increasingly conservative Republican Party and a Democratic Party that has adopted many of the progressive policies championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Read more at Inside Climate News

Climate Change Divide Bursts to Forefront in Presidential Campaign

By CORAL DAVENPORT | New York Times | AUG. 1, 2016

WASHINGTON — During the 2012 race for president, the issue of climate change was nearly invisible. President Obama and his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, almost never spoke about it, and it did not come up during their debates. There was far more talk of ramping up oil and gas production than cutting emissions.

But this year, as Hillary Clinton thrusts climate change to the heart of her campaign, the issue is taking on a prominence it has never before had in a presidential general election.

In speeches, Mrs. Clinton regularly highlights her plan to combat global warming, and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, praised her at the Democratic National Convention last week for putting it at “the center” of her foreign policy. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, her main rival in the primaries, spoke of the issue forcefully, saying that “this election is about climate change.” The party platform calls for a price — essentially a tax — on carbon pollution.

Mrs. Clinton’s opponent in the November election, Donald J. Trump, has gone further than any other Republican presidential nominee in opposing climate change policy. He often mocks the established science of human-caused climate change and dismisses it as a hoax. The Republican platform calls climate change policy “the triumph of extremism over common sense.”

The divide between the two parties over the issue is the widest it has been in the decades since it emerged as a public policy matter. That is all the more remarkable given that during the 2008 election, the Democratic and Republican positions on climate change were almost identical.

Read more at the New York Times

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