Welcome to Exact Solar’s ‘How Green is the 2016 Presidential Election?’ series! Check out the Introduction Post for more information and be sure to check back tomorrow for another candidate!
The Nation, a weekly political magazine, and 350 Action have teamed up and asked major political candidates in the Democratic, Republican and Green parties to “neither solicit nor accept campaign contributions from any oil, gas or coal company.”
We know that it’s early in the 2016 presidential race, but this election has the potential to truly revolutionize energy in America. We at Exact Solar feel that politics are at the heart of the green movement. So we are going to do all of the dirty work and research for you to provide you with the breakdown of the greenest and not-so-eco-friendly candidates so far.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is also in the running for the 2016 election, and he is one of the few Republican candidates who acknowledges the reality of climate change.
“I think global warming is real. I don’t think that’s deniable. And I do think human activity contributes to it,” he said. However, he stressed that it’s not certain how much humans are to blame, and his record as far as doing something to actually combat climate change is not incredibly impressive.
In 2011, Christie withdrew New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a program aimed at reducing emissions in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Even after two attempts by the state’s legislature to pressure Christie into rejoining, he vetoed both sets of legislation and told reporters that he would not consider rejoining the program, which he deemed “a completely useless plan.” However, some people felt that it was a valid move by Christie because the program put extra burden on New Jersey tax payers.
Just a month later, Christie scaled back New Jersey’s renewable energy portfolio target—which was 30 percent—on the grounds that it was too aggressive. He set a new, lower goal of 22.5 percent by 2021.
As far as the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline goes, Christie is all for its construction, and he is far from concerned with the negative side effects on the environment that may come with it.
While Christie isn’t denying climate change or sticking his nose up to renewable energy, he isn’t about to stand up against environmental issues either. But as far as the Republican candidates go, he is reasonably green.
Written by Sarah Bergen. Sarah is a writer and editor from New Jersey. She enjoys writing about environmental issues, sustainability, and health. She can be reached at [email protected]