Earth in danger

December 21,2016

Share Next Story >>>

Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump was elected, the environment is going to suffer.

Both have supported horizontal fracking, the destruction of the earth to extract oil and gas. The use of fracking is so harmful to the environment and public health that numerous banks refuse to lend funds to individuals who wish to build or sell their houses near drilling operations. Numerous lenders have also refused to loan money to corporations that wish to drill.

Hillary Clinton, while secretary of state, promoted the use of natural gas within foreign countries. In 2010, she told a meeting of foreign ministers, “Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available for power generation today.” One reason for the Obama/Clinton push for natural gas exploration and distribution in overseas countries is because geopolitics plays “a significant role in whether a number of gas projects are realized and come online and where pipelines are built. . . . Individual country decisions about natural gas resources can have dramatic impacts on responses in international discourse,” according to a research analysis published by the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In Romania, the Social–Democrats came to power in 2012 on a promise to ban shale gas drilling. However, following extensive lobbying by Clinton, the Romanian parliament voted against a proposed fracking moratorium. Thousands of Romanians, many of them farmers, later protested Chevron’s 30-year lease with the government to resume drilling. The protests in Summer 2013 led the government to send in the national police to suppress the citizens’ rights of assembly and freedom of expression.

Clinton does support stronger environmental laws and an increase in the budget for drinking and wastewater systems, and several other environmental measures, and now believes in a moratorium on fracking on federal land in the US She still believes natural gas is a ‘bridge fuel’ to cleaner energy.

Trump wants to make desalination of ocean water more affordable and has presented some environmentally-friendly proposals, but his overall environmental policy diminishes in comparison to that of Clinton and most environmentalists. The incoming president’s environment record is “one of the most stridently anti-environment platforms of any recent major party nominee,” according to the 2.4 million member Natural Resources Development Council.

Trump announced he would rescind the Clean Power Plan and end a moratorium on leasing federal coal reserves to private enterprise. Thousands of signs – ‘Trump Digs Coal’ – began appearing during the final two months of Trump’s march to the presidency. He claims that digging for coal will preserve jobs and is a source of energy. However, jobs in the renewable energy industry now exceed those in the fossil fuel industry, and coal miners can become renewable energy technicians. Numerous scientists have determined that mining and burning coal has been a contributing factor in the expansive hole in the earth’s ozone layers that protect the planet from deadly ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Trump claims wind farms and solar energy are unproven, although dozens of large scale operations have been developed over the past decade, with Iowa producing 20 percent of its energy needs solely from renewable energy, and other states escalating their renewable programs. He claims renewable energy is ‘very expensive’, but neglects facts that reveal renewable energy costs are now matching those of fossil fuel costs, and are continuing to plunge.

Trump opposes increased environmental regulation and fracking, and believes the Dakota Pipeline, which is currently being protested by Native Americans, is necessary. Unlike 97 percent of climate scientists who believe climate change is the result of humans using fossil fuels, Trump believes climate change is a hoax ‘created by and for the Chinese’, and that the numbers fluctuate.

He wants to significantly cut back the Environmental Protection Agency. His choice to be EPA director, Scott Pruitt, opposes the EPA, has sued the EPA numerous times, believes global warming is a hoax, disregards the finding of environmentalists and other scientists of a connection between fracking and water pollution, fracking and air pollution, and fracking and earthquakes.

This article has been excerpted from: ‘Trumping the
Environment’.

Courtesy: Counterpunch.org


Advertisement

More From Opinion