Monday, October 1, 2012

2012 Election Guide




The Environmentally Conscious Voter's Guide to the 2012 Presidential Election


A strong environmental platform that protects fragile ecosystems, promotes the wise use of our natural resources, and shifts our energy consumption toward renewable sources is paramount to the continued health and prosperity of our nation.  As voters in a democratic country, we have a duty to vote for the candidates who will fight to protect our environment and keep these issues at the forefront of their agenda. This guide evaluates the republican and democratic presidential campaigns in five main categories based on past voting history and statements made by the candidates on those subjects.  The following information was obtained from past political records (courtesy of www.govtrack.us), verbal and written statements by the candidates, and the campaign pages of the candidates.  The candidates are compared within each category listed below.

__________________________________________________________________________

Climate Change and Environmental Pollution


Romney/Ryan:

“I am uncertain how much of the [global] warming, however, is attributable to man and how much is attributable to factors out of our control. I do not support radical feel-good policies like a unilateral U.S. cap-and-trade mandate. Such policies would have little effect on climate but could cripple economic growth with devastating results for people across the planet.” 
No Apology by Mitt Romney p. 227
Romney plans to loosen greenhouse gas regulations by excluding carbon dioxide emissions from the scope of the Clean Air Act

Obama/Biden:
✓ "My plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet, because climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They are a threat to our children's future." 
–Obama, Democratic National Convention nomination acceptance speech September 6, 2012
✓ Obama co-sponsored the Boxer-Sanders Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a plan to reach target greenhouse gas reductions
✓ Biden co-sponsored the Boxer-Sanders Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a plan to reach target greenhouse gas reductions
__________________________________________________________________________

Clean Renewable Energy

Romney/Ryan:
Romney plans to streamline the permit process for energy-related regulatory procedures
Ryan voted against the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, to reduce carbon emissions, jumpstart clean energy initiatives, and provide jobs in clean energy
Ryan voted against the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to boost production of clean energy and advance efficiency of vehicles, buildings, industry, and the federal government
Obama/Biden: 
✓ “There are the environmental consequences [to our dependence on oil]. Just about every scientist outside the White House believes climate change is real.  We cannot drill our way out of the problem. Instead of subsidizing the oil industry, we should end every single tax break the industry currently receives and demand that 1% of the revenues from oil companies with over $1 billion in quarterly profits go toward financing alternative energy research and infrastructure.” 
– The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama P.167-169
✓ Both Obama and Biden voted for the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to boost production of clean energy and advance efficiency of vehicles, buildings, industry, and the federal government
__________________________________________________________________________

Endangered Species and Wildlife Issues

Romney/Ryan:
✓ Ryan voted for the Crane Conservation Act of 2009 to increase funding for endangered crane conservation programs in the U.S.
Ryan voted against the Captive Primate Safety Act, to restrict interstate trade in captive primates
Ryan voted against the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act of 2009, to provide funding for threatened/endangered cat and canine conservation programs
Ryan voted against the Marine Turtle Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2009, to reinstate the Marine Turtle Conservation act of 2004 aimed at protecting rare turtles species and nesting habitat for those species
Ryan voted against the Southern Sea Otter Recovery and Research Act, to research and assist in the recovery of Southern Sea Otters

Ryan voted for the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 to amend the original Endangered Species Act by relaxing critical habitat requirements for endangered species, implementing exceptions to protection laws, and changing the process by which species are selected for protection 

Obama/Biden:
✓ Obama overturned a Bush administration change to Endangered Species Act, which allowed agencies to skip scientific review of projects that could harm vulnerable species
✓ Biden co-sponsored an International Whaling Commission resolution to end commercial whaling and the illegal trade in whale meat
__________________________________________________________________________

Wilderness Habitat Protection


Romney/Ryan:
Ryan voted for the Alaskan Energy for American Jobs Act, to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and pave the way for a speedy approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline
Romney endorses the installment of pipelines to bring oil from Canada to the United States


Obama/Biden:
✓ Obama rejected the plan to install the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico pending re-routing of the pipeline to avoid sensitive ecosystems
 Biden introduced a bill to increase funding for the Rainforest Conservation Act of 1998 and to expand the parameters of the Act to protect coral reefs
✓ Biden co-sponsored the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Bill to protect portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by granting these areas wilderness status 
__________________________________________________________________________

Environmental Outreach and Education

Romney/Ryan:
X Ryan voted against the creation of a new competitive grant program (No Child Left Inside Act) that would help fund educational outdoor field experiences


Obama/Biden:
✓ Obama created America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to encourage conservation action by citizens and grassroots organizations and reconnect Americans with the outdoors
__________________________________________________________________________

This guide was constructed to help voters get to the heart of the candidates' stances on the major issues pertaining to the environment.  We did our best to include the most relevant, high-impact information in the guide, but if we missed something important, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us below or at conserve4tomorrow@gmail.com.


VOTE this November, and Vote For Tomorrow.


No comments:

Post a Comment