• The Political Environment

    Hey guys! For the summer, I decided to write a small piece about our environment, the role our government plays in protecting our planet, and how current candidates are addressing this issue. But first, some background.

    Ever since the Clean Water Act in 1972, our government has taken a hard look at how its citizens and companies treat the environment. Before this, dumping, landfills, lack of recycling, polluted water, and many more problems were rampant in the country. In today’s world, the most common problem is the fight for clean energy. In the United States, our energy primarily comes from coal, nuclear plants and natural gas.

    Under Obama’s administration, wind, solar, and hydro energy have greatly been expanded. Coal and natural gas are dangerous to burn because they emit harmful gas into the atmosphere. Also, pipelines proposed to be built, such as the Keystone Pipeline, rip up the land, destroying the environment. One of the problems that our country faces is the switch that we make between energy sources. When we make a switch, coal miners and natural gas workers often lose jobs because the coal companies are encouraged to close. It also is often hard to switch from one energy business to another. The tricky situation is that to the extent we protect the environment, we also disadvantage the many workers involved in the fossil fuel industry.

    As it stands, the Republican party is characterized by support for fossil fuels and its workers, whereas the Democratic party generally favors new research and renewable energy sources. There is no right answer or wrong answer, per se, but it is important to recognize the dire situation our environment is currently in and choose candidates wisely.

    Personally, I believe that Hillary is the right person to help guide us in this issue because of her unwavering support for our environment, and her willingness to take a stand against fossil fuels by striking down agenda items such as the Keystone Pipeline. Donald Trump, on the other hand, chooses to keep the mines open and protect miners. Who is right in their choice is a question that it is up to the constituents to decide. However, as teen voters, we really should take a hard look at who we want to protect our planet and our country for the future.

    Photo credit to David Hepworth

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