Presidential Candidates 2016

The will be held on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016  ♦  2016 Presidential Candidates

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EarthThe subject of environment spans across a wide range of disciplines that deals with issues involving legislations, policies and commercial practices that directly relate to the management of the country's natural resources, such as mineral, precious metal, water, fossil fuel and the wildlife. Of late, the subject has been increasingly politicized and has turned into one of the most polarizing issues between the right and the left over its impact on the country's long term resource management, business efficiency and energy extraction.

Historically, environment-related legislations first came into prominence starting from the late 1960s. The federal government initiated laws that attempted to monitor, enforce and legislate air and water pollution related activities in an effort to protect the population, geophysical system and the ecosystem. Most notable of these pioneering laws were the Clean Air Act of 1963, National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and the Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972 (now known as the Clean Water Act), which eventually led to the establishment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by President Richard Nixon on December 2, 1970.

The EPA is granted explicit authority in enforcing national environmental statutes and regulations, as well as Presidential Executive Orders related to the environment. Currently, the EPA's scope of authority is determined by 28 federal legislations and three Executive orders.

♦ Atomic Energy Act (AEA)
♦ Chemical Safety Information, Site Security and Fuels Regulatory Relief Act
♦ Clean Air Act (CAA)
♦ Clean Water Act (CWA) (original title: Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972)
♦ Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund)
♦ Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)
♦ Endangered Species Act (ESA)
♦ Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA)
♦ Energy Policy Act
♦ Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
♦ Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments - See Clean Water Act
♦ Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) - See FFDCA and FIFRA
♦ Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA, also known as the Ocean Dumping Act)
♦ National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
♦ National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)
♦ Noise Control Act
♦ Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA)
♦ Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA)
♦ Ocean Dumping Act - See Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act
♦ Oil Pollution Act (OPA)
♦ Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) - See FIFRA
♦ Pollution Prevention Act (PPA)
♦ Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
♦ Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
♦ Shore Protection Act (SPA)
♦ Superfund - See Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
♦ Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) - See Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
♦ Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

♦ EO 12898: Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations
♦ EO 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks
♦ EO 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA)

Over the next several decades, environment-related legislations expanded to international environmental concerns, on issues such as the ozone layer, transnational toxic disposal, the decreasing biodiversity of flora and fauna, fisheries, rain forest preservation, sustainable industrial practice and the climate. This in turn led to the implementation of international agreements and accords designed to meet growing concerns about the deterioration of the world's environment.
♦ The 1992 Earth Summit (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development) held in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, produced Agenda 21, which is a series of pledges geared at sustainable development.

♦ The 1997 Kyoto Protocol (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), was aimed at achieving "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner."

♦ The 2000 United Nations Millennium Development Goals, comprise of eight goals and 18 targets to be achieved by 2015, as agreed upon by 23 international organizations and 192 countries. These objectives include the reduction of extreme poverty and child mortality rates, combating disease epidemics, and creating a global partnership for development.

♦ The 2002 Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, roped in third-world nations into the battle for sustainable development.

However, environmental legislations have also adversely affected other aspects of the economy and society as a whole, most notably, on the business practice of private enterprises. There is a school of thought that believes that environmental regulations are designed to fulfill a specific sociopolitical agenda and are not supported by hard science, and instead, are driven by emotions and a flawed sense of idealism. As a result, many claim that American businesses are losing their competitive edge over their international rivals in the face of more onerous and stringent environmental laws and enforcements. It also drive operating costs up, leading to slower expansion and job-creation rates.

In The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion vs. Environmental Religion in Contemporary America, author Robert H. Nelson posits that these two competing ideology represents a form of secular religion, dogmatic and unyielding in its belief to the point where facts no longer play a part in the decision-making process.



2012 Democratic Presidential Nominee
Current President of the United States

Barack Obama

Presidential Candidate Barack Obama

Obama Position on the Environment

• Obama said, "So we have a choice to make. We can remain one of the world's leading importers of foreign oil, or we can make the investments that would allow us to become the world's leading exporter of renewable energy. We can let climate change continue to go unchecked, or we can help stop it. We can let the jobs of tomorrow be created abroad, or we can create those jobs right here in America and lay the foundation for lasting prosperity."

• Obama is working towards reducing the carbon pollution which he sees as a threat to our climate and will perpetuate the dependence on fossil fuels. Obama lists out his policies to close the carbon loophole and imposing stringent measures on carbon polluters.

• Obama believes that carbon pollution can be put at check through a market based cap. This is not only an environmentally friendly measure, but will address certain energy challenges too. The income that is generated in the process of closing the carbon loophole will be returned to the people, especially those families, communities and business which are vulnerable.

• Obama also exhorted to save the future generations from a catastrophe of global proportions by spelling out an energy plan wherein the carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced.

• "We've been talking about climate change in Washington for years and energy independence and efficiency for years," Obama said. "But no matter how many scientists testified about greenhouse gases, no matter how much evidence that they're threatening our coasts and endangering our weather patterns, nothing happened with global warming until now."
Obama's profile, official website and positions on the issues

2012 Republican Presidential Nominee
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mitt Romney

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney

Romney Position on the Environment

• Romney is of the opinion wherein the solution to our environmental problem lies in adopting a market approach. While solving the environmental challenges, we should also be supporting growth.

• Rather than establishing mandates, the United States should harness its power of innovation to enhance the alternative energy sources and discover innovative technologies that will help use the energy more efficiently.

• Romney gives importance to achieving the target of energy independence so that it can free itself from its enslavement to oil rich countries at the same time becoming an economic and military superpower. This will require a series of measures that will include energy efficiency to be adopted and conservation.

• The nation will also need to develop and harness alternate sources of energy such as nuclear energy, biodiesel, ethanol along with exploiting more domestic sources of oil such as Outer Continental Shelf and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

• Romney believes the nation will also have to invest a lot in research and innovation. The areas that will need heavy investment include fuel technology, power generation and materials science. There needs to be an emphasis on clean technology and more efficient power generation.

• Mitt Romney is against the Kyoto Protocol believing that it will result in jobs leaving the United States.

• Romney is also criticized for flip-flopping on the environmental question. He was blamed for subjecting his will to the likes of big companies.
Romney's profile, official website and positions on the issues




Declared 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate

Matt Snyder

Presidential Candidate Matt Snyder

Snyder Position on the Environment

The U.S. has more respect for the environment than any other oil producing country. Snyder supports letting the U.S. produce the majority of its own fuels. Handing the task to foreign nations is the worst thing that could happen to the world’s environment.

More on Snyder  

Declared 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate

Vern Wuensche

Presidential Candidate Vern Wuensche

Wuensche Position on the Environment

• Vern Wuensche believes a cost benefit analysis should be performed before passing any environmental regulation.

• He opposes any form of cap and trade regulation.

• Wuensche believes that unrefutable evidence of global warming should be required before passing any related laws.

• He believes that property owners should be properly compensated for the loss of their property due to environmental regulations.

• He believes we should properly manage and protect out national forests.

More on Wuensche  

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