Have you decided who you’ll vote for in the November 2012 general election? If you’re like many Americans, you’re probably feeling a little underwhelmed with the choices. As the Occupy Wall Street movement has pointed out so many times in the last year, both parties are controlled by the financial interests of the 1%. Both take money from SuperPACs, a benefit of the democracy-killing Citizen’s United ruling. Both have made 180 degree chances in their stance on policy issues.
As broken as our political system is right now, it’s the only one we have to work with. Even in this broken system, the people can prevail, but we HAVE TO VOTE. So if you can’t get behind a candidate completely, it’s time to choose a deal breaker issue. For me, those issues are energy and the environment (surprise, surprise). So how do the Democratic and Republican platforms stack up with regard to these two issues?
Here’s a short summary of what both platforms have to save about issues involving energy and environmental protections. Keep in mind, political platforms are non-binding documents, but they do reflect on party leadership. Numbers in brackets indicate the page in each platform document where that statement can be found. Use it to help guide your decision on voting day. After all, you can’t do business on a dead planet.
- President Obama has encouraged innovation to reach his goal of generating 80 percent of our electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. Democrats support making America the world’s leader in building a clean energy economy by extending clean energy incentives…. [p.7]
- We support more infrastructure investment to speed the transition to cleaner fuels in the transportation sector. [p.7]
- Democrats will fight to cut tax subsidies for Big Oil while promoting job growth in the clean energy sector…. [p.7]
- Harnessing our natural gas resources needs to be done in a safe and responsible manner, which is why the Obama administration has proposed a number of safeguards to protect against water contamination and air pollution. We will continue to advocate for the use of this clean fossil fuel, while ensuring that public and environmental health and workers’ safety are protected. [p.7]
- Democrats are committed to balancing environmental protection with development, and that means preserving sensitive public lands from exploration, like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Pacific West Coast, Gulf of Maine, and other irreplaceable national landscapes. [p.7]
- We affirm the science of climate change, commit to significantly reducing the pollution that causes climate change…. [p.20]
- Democrats pledge to continue showing international leadership on climate change, working toward an agreement to set emission limits in unison with other emerging powers. [p.21]
Keep reading for the GOP stance on energy and the environment…
- We will end the EPA’s war on coal…. Further [sic], we oppose any and all cap and trade legislation . [p.16]
- We call for timely processing of new reactor applications currently pending at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. [p.16]
- We will respect the States’ proven ability to regulate the use of hydraulic fracturing, continue development of oil and gas resources in places like the Bakken formation and Marcellus Shale, and review the environmental laws that often thwart new energy exploration and production. We salute the Republican Members of the House of Representatives for passing the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act …. [p.17]
- As soon as possible, we will reverse the current Administration’s blocking of the Keystone XL Pipeline…. [p.47]
- We support opening the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for energy exploration and development and ending the current Administration’s moratorium on permitting; opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for exploration and production of oil and natural gas; and allowing for more oil and natural gas exploration on federally owned and controlled land. [p.16]
- We stand with growers and producers in defense of their water rights against attempts by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to expand jurisdiction over water…. [p.17]
- [P]ublic access to public lands for recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting should be permitted on all appropriate federal lands. [p.18]
- All efforts should be made to make federal lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service available for harvesting. [p.18]
- We also call on Congress to take quick action to prohibit the EPA from moving forward with new greenhouse gas regulations….[p.19]
- The Lacey Act of 1900, designed to protect endangered wildlife in interstate commerce, is now applied worldwide, making it a crime to use, in our domestic industries, any product illegally obtained in the country of origin…. This unreasonable extension of the Act not only hurts American businesses and American jobs, but also subordinates our own rule of law to the legal codes of 195 other governments. It must be changed. [p.14]
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