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The 2020 Presidential Candidates and Climate

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The 2020 Presidential Candidates and Climate

The current state of the environment has become a serious concern for voters, and current presidential candidates' views on the climate may determine who Americans will vote for. So where do Democratic nominee Joe Biden and Republican nominee Donald Trump stand on climate issues? Below, we break down each candidate's stands by presenting information from their records while holding public office, as well as information from their public platforms. 

Biden’s Climate Record

In 1986, former vice president Joe Biden introduced the first bill concerning climate change to the Senate, the Global Climate Protection Act. The bill became law under President Reagan. It encouraged the government to conduct more research about global warming and develop and implement strategies to address the issue. As the vice president to President Obama, Biden oversaw the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which invested $90 billion into clean energy. The bill was said to be the “single largest investment in clean energy” ever made. Biden is quoted as saying that the fight against climate change is the “single most important thing” that he and Obama could do as vice president and president. As such, Biden as a strong advocate of Obama’s executive orders on climate change policies, including (1) the Paris Agreement and (2) the Clean Power Plan.

Biden has also implemented or launched several programs and projects that aim to fight against climate change. For example, he created the ARPA-E, an agency that supports and provides funding for research and development of technologies that help the environment and funding the research and development of energy technologies and nominating those individuals who support climate science to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Trump’s Climate Record

Since he took office in 2016, President Trump has received a lot of negative attention for his views and actions on the fight against climate change. He has reversed several policies that focused on climate and the environment that were enacted by President Obama. The New York Times states that the Trump administration has rolled back 66 regulations related to the environment. He is also in the process of easing more than 30 regulations. Additionally, he has taken several actions against climate change and the protection of the environment. Notable actions include defunding clean energy programs and pushing for people with connections to fossil fuels to crucial positions.   

One of Trump's most notable actions against the climate was overturning Obama's executive order that required construction companies to take climate change and rising sea levels into account. Additionally, in 2017, the EPA started taking down climate change information from several government websites, such as the EPA website. He also put the brakes on a study that was assessing the risks to health for individuals living within proximity to coal mines.

Who Supports Climate More?

The information compiled here is just a small snapshot of the two key 2020 presidential candidates. Who will you choose?

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