Environmental Groups United To Fight Donald Trump

Read time: 4 mins

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has never been shy about making statements that push the boundaries of what is acceptable in a civilized society, but his constant attacks on climate science have become yet another liability for the Republican candidate.

The Hill is reporting that environmental groups, including the NRDC and the Sierra Club, are hoping to rally voters concerned about the environment to vote for Hillary Clinton over Trump in the 2016 election to help protect the environment.

From The Hill:

To the groups backing Clinton, the choice in the 2016 election is clear: someone who would continue and expand President Obama’s aggressive environmental agenda, or Republican Donald Trump, who says he would undo every piece of it that he could, including the Clean Power Plan and the Paris climate agreement.

The growing concerns are Trump’s constant claims that global warming is a “hoax” and that environmental regulations are impeding the growth and profitability of businesses, a standard Republican talking point that has been thoroughly debunked.

During his speech on energy policy in late May, Trump indicated that he would rely heavily on fossil fuels for American energy if elected president, and went as far as to promise the dying coal industry that he could somehow revive it. He blamed the decline in coal reliance on bad policy, rather than a lack of demand from both domestic and overseas markets.

Trump has also promised to repeal many of President Obama’s carbon reduction rules and he’s set on either renegotiating the historic Paris climate accords or pulling the United States out of the agreement completely.

He has also said that he’s open to simply doing away with the Environmental Protection Agency (ignoring the fact that the agency was actually created by Republican President Richard Nixon during a time when environmental protection was not considered a partisan issue.)

Naturally, Trump’s insistence that climate change is not happening and his desire to repeal the few environmental achievements that have occurred in the last few years would leave environmental groups clamoring for someone to champion their cause, but it wasn’t as simple as you’d assume. Again, from The Hill:

Daniel J. Weiss, a principal at Waxman Strategies and a veteran of numerous environmental and progressive groups, said that while it’s little surprise that green advocates would line up behind the Democrat, they have been more strategic with their endorsements this year.

The reluctance to endorse Hillary Clinton early on in the campaign was due to the threat that Senator Bernie Sanders posed to the Clinton campaign and his outspoken criticism of climate change deniers and the need to address the issue head-on.

In the very first Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders was the only candidate on the stage who said that climate change was the greatest threat to American citizens while all of the other candidates, Hillary Clinton included, said that terrorism was the greatest threat. Sanders also held Q&A sessions with the media where the sole focus was on climate and environmental issues.

Aside from Sanders more outspoken views on the environment, there could have also been reservations about Clinton’s perceived flip-flopping on environmental issues. While she initially proposed a $30 billion plan to switch the country off of coal, she later told coal workers that their industry would play a vital role in America’s energy future. She has also referred to natural gas as a “bridge fuel” that will help America transition to clean energy — without acknowledging the dangers of fracking.

Oddly enough, Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein was left out of the endorsements, even though her Party’s platform is one whose primary focus is on protecting the environment and tackling climate change.

But in the end, Hillary Clinton won key green endorsements over Trump because the groups decided that some progress was better than turning backwards, and that’s exactly what could happen if Donald Trump gets the keys to the White House.

Image: YouTube screenshot

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