Environmental Policies in the Presidential Debate

By Matthew Searfoss
On October 10, 2016

Photo courtesy of Jasonwoodhead23, Flickr

When I am deliberating on which candidate to vote for, environmental issues certainly have an influence on my decision, but they are not the most important issue influencing who I will support. I agree that issues relating to the environment are becoming more and more predominant in discussions relating to the election because I believe our generation is more eco-minded than any other previous generation. Growing up in a world that drilled recycling and "going green" into our heads, I think millennials are the first generation to truly care about the environment and want to lessen our impact on the world around us. Having lived through environmental disasters such as the BP Oil Spill in 2010 and the recent droughts in California that have led to so many wildfires, our generation has seen the effects that our actions and the actions of big business can have on our Earth and its resources. While the environment is not a top priority to me the same way our economy, national security, and international relations are, it is certainly something that I keep in mind during my daily routines.

Whether it is turning off the faucet when I am brushing my teeth, or recycling any time that I can, I try to do my part in lessening the impact we have on our environment. I believe the key to saving our environment, or at the very least preserving it a bit more, is educating people on exactly how much their actions deplete our resources and the simple things that they can do in their lives to preserve them. As a Republican who refuses to support Donald Trump, I do not agree with any of his stances on environment issues. Not surprisingly. Trump has stated that he plans to cut funds or eliminate the EPA as they make it hard for businesses to succeed. I would not support cutting the EPA, because I believe businesses will do whatever they can, including cutting corners and not following environmental regulations, in order to increase their profits and defer costs. I think it is important to have the EPA in place and active because at the very least, if nobody else in our society is caring about the environment, they will and they will work to open our eyes to the damage we are doing as a collective.

Trump also supports the fact that both of his sons are proponents of big game hunting, which I think is despicable. While he attempts to distance himself from the issue, by stating that he does not hunt, the fact that he approves of his adult sons going to Africa to hunt wild game is a disgrace. In addition to what is already being done to combat the environmental issues we are currently facing, or are soon to face, I believe that more incentive should be offered to businesses that are investing in solar, wind and hydro energy, and in the same effect any average citizen that equips their home with energy saving technology should receive a tax break. No matter what political party you may identify with, we are all living in this world together and we can only save it together. Therefore, I do not think it is a waste of money for public funds to be placed towards environmental reform, because we are working to make this world a better place for the remainder of our lives as well as our posterity. 

msearfoss@ramapo.edu

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