A Comparison of the Environmental Policies of Trump and Clinton

October 24, 2016
Nu Ri Choi Seoul International School  11th Grade

Nu Ri Choi Seoul International School
11th Grade

Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s political agendas about the environment could not be more different. Hillary Clinton’s firm and unwavering belief that climate change is caused by human activities and will cause disastrous effects on the environment if we do not take drastic measures to alleviate it is the polar opposite of Donald Trump’s skepticism towards it. Based on this fundamental disagreement about the nature of global climate change, each of their proposed environmental policies are almost the exact inverse of one another.

Trump’s opposition to the very idea of climate change in the first place is well-documented, both in his social media activity and in his campaign speeches. On November 7th 2012, Trump tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” This admittedly tongue-in-cheek tweet is still prescient not only because it captures his cavalier attitude towards the whole phenomenon of global warming itself, but also because it expresses how his future environmental policies as a presidential candidate are shaped by his economic agenda as well. He supports more oil drilling on public lands in order to boost economic growth and increase our international competitiveness. In addition, he has advocated pulling out of the Paris Agreement if elected and vowed to “stop all payments of the United States tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs” while also expressing opposition towards cap-and-trade systems as being “job-killers”. Emphasizing that these measures will do less environmental harm than its opponents realize, Trump’s environmental policy clearly plays second fiddle to his view that American economic growth should be prioritized over all else.

Hillary Clinton on the other hand adamantly believes that climate change is one of the most pressing political issues that our nation faces. Her stance on climate change is been unequivocal and she has said, “I believe in science. I believe climate change is real and that we can save our planet when created millions of good-paying, clean-energy jobs.” This quotation has reflected her intention to aggressively pursue alternative energy sources if elected. She opposes further oil drilling in federal lands and has repeatedly stated that the Paris Agreement is “an historic step forward” and hopes to further expand governmental measures to support renewable energy. Though she has still avoided taking a clear position on cap-and-trade systems, she has still made the concrete commitment towards getting America to generate 25% of its electricity from renewables by 2025.


One Comment

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