Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

EARTH TALK ; Where Do VP Candidates Stand on Environment?

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

EARTH TALK ; Where Do VP Candidates Stand on Environment?

Article excerpt

Where do VP candidates stand on environment?

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Where do the VP choices for the upcoming Presidential election (Tim Kaine and Mike Pence) stand in terms of environmental track record and commitment? - Mitchell Finan, Butte, Mont.

Not surprisingly given the current political climate, the respective Vice Presidential candidates differ on most of the issues, including their policies on the environment and energy.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton's VP choice Tim Kaine has opposed big oil companies since his career as Virginia State Senator. He first endorsed a "25 percent renewables by 2025 goal back in 2007, and has continued his staunch support ever since. He has been a champion of diversifying America's energy portfolio. "We're not going to drill our way out of the long-term energy crisis facing this nation and the world ... we can't keep relying [on] oil, said Kaine back in 2008. He reinforced this position again in his 2012 Senate race by arguing against tax subsidies for major oil companies.

As far as environmental protection, he has not shown much of a track record in support or against. In May of 2013, he did vote affirmatively on a bill to protect ocean, coastal and Great Lakes ecosystems. The League of Conservation Voters (LCV), which puts out an annual national environmental scorecard for politicians, has attributed a 91 percent lifetime score to Kaine, clearly naming him as one of our nation's leading politicians. More recently, in late 2015, Kaine voted against a bill that attacked Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carbon pollution limits. Of course, a Republican dominated Congress passed the bill anyway, although President Obama quickly vetoed it to maintain stricter limits on carbon pollution.

Across the aisle, Donald Trump's VP selection, Mike Pence, lacks any sort of environmental agenda in his political career. …

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