Environmental Policy | 2016 Campaign Issues

Trump vs. Clinton: Environmental Policy

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton disagree on virtually all aspects of environmental policy outside of nuclear power. From the major issues like climate change, to more nuanced topics like renewable energy, Trump and Clinton have categorical differences in their views on the role of the US government in preserving the environment.

Climate Change

Trump believes that climate change is a hoax. At one time, promoting the idea that climate change was hoax invented by the Chinese to make American manufacturing less competitive. He has backed off these statements to an extent, but still maintains that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by those with money interests involved. Clinton believes that climate change has been scientifically proven to be influenced and magnified by human activity.

Energy Sources

Clinton supports the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, as well as the Paris Climate Agreement. She has also been a proponent for cap-and-trade for over a decade. Meanwhile, Trump says that one of the first things he would do once in office would be to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and rescind the Obama Administration’s Executive Orders on climate change.

Trump has been a strong supporter of fracking, and promised to remove all regulations and restrictions imposed on the oil, coal, and natural gas industries by the Obama Administration as part of his energy revolution. Clinton has promised to continue and add to the environmental regulations created by the Obama Administration. She has also promised to fight environmental racism, the intentional or unintentional practice of putting energy equipment or facilities in geographical areas that will be disproportionately hazardous to people of color.

Nuclear Energy

The one area of concert between the two candidates is on nuclear energy. In the past, Trump has supported the use of nuclear energy to help the country meet its energy needs, however he has also expressed more support for utilizing the country’s natural gas fields. Clinton’s history of support for nuclear energy has been mixed, however she has been particularly mute on the subject since her campaign began. Still, she has hinted at being open to expanding nuclear power in the US, while not trying to make it central to her campaign.

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Photo (crop): Trump Clinton by Furfur is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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