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.
Unlike Clinton, who failed to reply to the call to deny funding from the fossil fuel industry, Democratic candidate Lincoln Chafee had the courtesy to respond by saying that he supported strong climate action but would not sign the pledge.
Chafee, who is an ex-Republican, has joined the fight against climate change since switching political sides. While it’s unfortunate that he is still relying on the fossil fuel industry to fund his campaign—or at least won’t promise not to—he has supported the switch to cleaner energy, the reduction of fossil fuel use, and the preservation of the arctic over drilling. You can see a full list of green efforts that Chafee supported here.
During his time as the Governor of Rhode Island, Chafee had some successes when it comes to climate change. In February 2014, he signed Executive Order 14-01, a new climate change bill, into law. The legislation created the Rhode Island Executive Climate Change Council, which advises the state on how to address the challenges of climate change, as well as reduce the state’s carbon emissions. The ultimate goal is an 80 percent reduction of emissions produced in 1990 by 2020.
“I am establishing the Council because for too long there has been strong evidence and scientific consensus that manmade greenhouse gases will have profound effects on global climate, weather patterns and ocean conditions; effects that the state cannot afford to ignore,” Governor Chafee said. “Rhode Island must act boldly to position the state as a national leader in climate adaptation with a comprehensive approach that will benefit our communities and businesses.”
As far as our Democratic candidates go, Chafee is neither the best or worst bet for voters who are concerned with climate change. But if we are really going to create sustainable change in America, the country will need someone with a stronger stance on the issue.
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]