Nicole Welle | October 19, 2020
With election day drawing nearer, it is important to know where the two presidential candidates stand on environmental policy issues.
Joe Biden has spoken repeatedly about his comprehensive plan to combat climate change, but president Trump has not clearly outlined his plans for the environment if he is reelected. In order to see where exactly Trump stands, one must look at his past actions and brief comments on the issue.
Joe Biden proposed a $2 trillion clean energy plan. This plan sets a number of research and development goals, the primary one being reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. He believes these goals will ultimately increase job opportunities and reduce the negative effects of climate change on communities according to an Iowa Public Radio article. Here are some of the main goals Biden has pledged to address:
- Allocate 40% of clean energy plan investments toward low-income and minority communities more heavily affected by pollution and climate change.
- Seek to rejoin the Paris climate accords.
- Increase climate-focussed investments in the auto and transportation industries to cut emissions and create jobs.
- Implement energy upgrades in 4 million buildings, weatherize two million homes in the U.S. and build 1.5 million sustainable homes and housing units.
- Create a division within the Justice Department that regulates and penalizes companies for environmental effects on communities.
President Trump has denied the validity of climate science in the past and has made a number of statements about his stance on climate change that often contradict each other. Here are some of Trump’s past actions and statements that could reflect his plans if reelected:
- The president’s website lists partnering “with other nations to clean up our planet’s oceans” as one of his innovation goals for the future. He has also supported legislation to remove garbage from the oceans.
- He put $38 billion toward “clean water infrastructure.”
- He allocated additional funding for national parks and public lands.
- He pulled the U.S. out of the international Paris climate deal and has tried to push policies that back the coal industry.
- He has supported boosting production of oil and natural gas in the U.S.
- Trump has called man-made climate change a “hoax,” and reversed multiple climate policies put in place during the Obama administration.
Some Republican lawmakers have begun to separate themselves from the outright denial of climate change, and they are pushing for a “clean energy mix” that involves multiple energy sources. This makes it unclear what Trump’s reelection could mean for energy policy in the next congress, according to an article in Market Watch.