US presidential race issues: Environment

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The 2016 Elections And The Environment


It's 2015, and we still haven't discovered any more habitable planets. So, how are we going to protect this one? The 2016 election may determine just that.

The big issues? Climate Change, oil Independence and alternative energy.

See photos related to the environment:

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2016 issues: Environment, Climate Change, Keystone, Alt Energy
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US presidential race issues: Environment
UNITED STATES - JULY 7: Lilyana Distler, 4, of Waldorf, Md., holds a sign during a 'play-in' protest by kids and mothers in Upper Senate Park organized by Moms Clean Air Force, July 7, 2015. About 400 gathered to support the EPA's Clean Power Plan and call attention to climate change and air pollution. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
The Keystone Steele City pumping station, into which the planned Keystone XL pipeline is to connect to, is seen in Steele City, Neb., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. TransCanada, the company behind the project, said Monday it had asked the State Department to suspend its review of the Canada-to-Texas pipeline, citing uncertainties about the route it would take through Nebraska. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
The Keystone Steele City pumping station, into which the planned Keystone XL pipeline is to connect to, is seen in Steele City, Neb., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. TransCanada, the company behind the project, said Monday it had asked the State Department to suspend its review of the Canada-to-Texas pipeline, citing uncertainties about the route it would take through Nebraska. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
With AFP Story by Michael MATHES: US-politics-environment-climate,INTERVIEW Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, holds a placard which he had with him during his speeches on the floor of the Senate during an interview with Agence France-Presse at his office in the Hart Senate Office Building on May 14, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. On Monday, May 18, 2015, the two-term Democrat offers his 100th Senate floor speech on climate change -- an unprecedented three-year odyssey demanding Republicans address one of the more pressing concerns of the 21st century. AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 18: will.i.am poses backstage during Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day on National Mall to end extreme poverty and solve climate change on April 18, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for Global Citizen)
State Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, displays an advertisement used against her 2006 greenhouse gas measure during a news conference to illustrate the same scare tactics used in the Legislature's latest environmental fight, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, in Sacramento, Calif. Pavley's proposal, SB32, calls for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels, by 2050. SB350, by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, calls for boosting renewable energy use to 50 percent by 2030. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
FILE - This July 13, 2011 file photo, shows homes flooded by the Souris River in Minot, N.D. Minot is among 10 cities across the nation getting a $25,000 grant and volunteers to improve their ability to handle risks related to climate change, including extreme weather. The help is through the Resilience AmeriCorps initiative that President Barack Obama announced in July 2015. (AP Photo/James MacPherson, File)
President Barack Obama waves after touring Everglades National Park on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Florida. Obama used the visit to warn of the damage that climate change is already inflicting on the nation's environmental treasures. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee member Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asserts an objection to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a Democratic sponsor of the long-stalled Keystone XL pipeline bill, as the committee met to advance the controversial project, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sanders, who sits with the Democrats, wanted an amendment to put Congress on the record about their beliefs on climates change and whether they agree with the international scientific community that climate change is real or not. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
University of Washington senior Sarra Tekola, left, stands with other protesters at a Board of Regents meeting Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, in Seattle. Members of the student group Confronting Climate Change spoke at the meeting, asking the school to divest itself from direct holdings in oil sands and coal. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
FILE- In this March 8, 2014, file photo steam from the Jeffrey Energy Center coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the setting sun near St. Marys, Kan. A groundbreaking agreement struck Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, by the United States and China puts the world's two worst polluters on a faster track to curbing the heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
FILE - In this July 1, 2013, file photo, smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in in Colstrip, Mont. State officials planned a public meeting Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, in Colstrip on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal to cut greenhouse emissions. The town is home to one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the West, a 2,100-megawatt facility that churns out more greenhouse gases than any other source in Montana. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)
Demonstrators form a sit-in during a march towards Wall Street from Battery Park to protest for action on climate change and corporate greed, in New York, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, a day after a huge climate march in the city. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Some 300 environmental activists yell their support for stricter pollution rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency during a march to the William S. Moorhead Federal Building in downtown Pittsburgh by some 5000 union members, led by the United Mine Workers of America Thursday, July 31, 2014. Thursday is the first of two days of public hearings being held by the Environmental Protection Agency in Pittsburgh to discuss stricter pollution rules for coal-burning power plants proposed by the EPA. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Some 5000 union members, led by the United Mine Workers of America, march through downtown Pittsburgh to the William S. Moorhead Federal Building Thursday, July 31, 2014. Thursday is the first of two days of public hearings being held by the Environmental Protection Agency in Pittsburgh to discuss stricter pollution rules for coal-burning power plants proposed by the EPA.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
A member of the Boilermakers local 154 Pittsburgh holds a sign at a rally to support American energy and jobs in the coal and related industries at Highmark Stadium in downtown Pittsburgh, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The rally is being held the day before the Environmental Protection Agency conducts public hearings on its new emissions regulations for existing coal fired power plants. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
A member of the Boilermakers local 154 Pittsburgh wears a sign on his hat while attending a rally to support American energy and jobs in the coal and related industries at Highmark Stadium in downtown Pittsburgh, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The rally is being held the day before the Environmental Protection Agency conducts public hearings on its new emissions regulations for existing coal fired power plants. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
John Harter, a Tripp County landowner whose property is crossed by the Keystone XL pipeline, appears at a Public Utilities Commission hearing at the state Capitol in Pierre, S.D., Monday, July 27, 2015. Opposing sides in the debate over the Keystone XL oil pipeline faced off on Monday in front of the state regulatory panel that is considering for the second time in just over five years whether to approve the construction of the South Dakota portion of the long-delayed project. (AP Photo/James Nord)
Danny Ruthenberg-Marshall, left, with 350 DC, and Lindsey Halvorson, 20, a student at American University, gather up their signs after attending a celebration gathering with other opponents of Keystone XL oil pipeline, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in support of President Barack Obama's veto of the legislation, outside the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., center, joined by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., left, and Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, to talk about the Keystone XL Pipeline bill being debated on the Senate floor. Despite President Barack Obama's veto threat, the Republican-controlled Senate is moving ahead on the bill to construct a pipeline that would carry oil from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Jim Tarnick of Fullerton, Neb., stands Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, stands next to anti- Keystone XL pipeline signs, which are posted at the border of his property. Tarnick is opposed to the pipeline which is planned to run through his property. . (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
An anti Keystone XL pipeline sign is attached to a post along the planned route of the pipeline near Fullerton, Neb. Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Demonstrators opposing the Keystone XL oil pipeline stand with signs outside the office of Rep. Brad Ashford, D-Neb., in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. Democrats plan to use Senate consideration of the Keystone XL oil pipeline to get Republicans on the record about climate change and to resurrect parts of a bipartisan energy efficiency bill doomed by pipeline politics last year. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Demonstrators opposing the Keystone XL oil pipeline hold banners outside the office of Rep. Brad Ashford, D-Neb., in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. Democrats plan to use Senate consideration of the Keystone XL oil pipeline to get Republicans on the record about climate change and to resurrect parts of a bipartisan energy efficiency bill doomed by pipeline politics last year. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
The first foundation jacket installed by Deepwater Wind in the nation's first offshore wind farm construction project is seen Monday, July 27, 2015, on the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off Block Island, R.I. Deepwater Wind will consist of five turbines producing a total of 30 megawatts of electricity. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 24: (L-R) American Association of Blacks in Energy President and CEO Paula Jackson, U.S. Country President for the United States at Alstom Amy Ericson, CEO and Board Member of Advanced Microgrid Solutions Susan Kennedy, Chairman of Smart Wires Inc. Tom Voss and Director of the Advanced Research Projects AgencyÐEnergy Dr. Ellen Williams participate in a panel discussion at the National Clean Energy Summit 8.0 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on August 24, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Political and economic leaders are attending the summit to discuss a domestic policy agenda to advance alternative energy for the country's future. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR ACCCE - Governor Bobby Jindal speaks at the ACCCE Energy forum on Thursday April, 9, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity and InsideSources kicked off the first of six energy policy discussions leading up to the 2016 elections. (Conrad Schmidt/AP Images for ACCCE)
Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, right, talks with employees as he tours the Rippey Wind Farm, Monday, June 15, 2015, in Grand Junction, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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The Republican field has a wide range of positions on climate change. One candidate, Donald Trump, thinks it's entirely China's fault. One thinks climate change isn't happening at all.

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In an interview with Katie Couric of Yahoo News, Ted Cruz said that "satellite data shows there has been no significant recorded warming. None."

A couple that say it's just unclear, including Jeb Bush. He recently told the Daily Signal that "the climate is changing - I don't think that anybody can argue that it's not. I don't think anybody truly knows what percentage of this is manmade and which percentage is just the natural evolution of what happens over time on this planet."


Marco Rubio recently said, "I don't think there's the scientific evidence to justify it" when it comes to climate change.

And Ben Carson took it further saying, "There's always going to be either cooling or warming going on ... as far as I'm concerned ... that's irrelevant.

Not much interest from that side of the aisle to address the flooding, droughts, storms, diseases, and extinctions that scientists predict will come as the climate changes.


The Democratic candidates have a more consistent position.

Hillary Clinton has said that "climate change is an existential threat. Climate threat. Climate change is real." And Bernie Sanders has said "if we do not get our act together... will only get worse."

And the other big environmental issues that this campaign will revolve around? You're sure to see the controversial Keystone XL pipeline be a major talking point on both sides. And how to turn from burning carbon to using cleaner energy.

But if even the settled science of climate change is this partisan, then rest assured those issues will fall along party lines too.
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