Where do the Presidential Candidates Stand on Environmental Issues?

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Blooming tulips in front of the White House in Washington D.C.

From global warming and renewable energy to corn ethanol and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the environment is a hot-button topic in the 2008 presidential race. And in the wake of record gas prices, rising energy costs, food recalls and increasing awareness of climate change, voters’ concerns about these issues are at a new level.

So where do the presidential candidates stand on these issues? Which candidate promises to be the fiercest protector of our national resources and truest steward of the health of our beautiful blue planet? Which candidate has actual plans for green collar jobs or transitioning our energy economy to renewable sources?

Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to help you learn who has real concerns and who is just blowing hot air. The League of Conservation Voters is an excellent starting point. Rating each candidate based on his or her environmental voting record (at the state and federal levels), here are their respective LCV ratings, by the numbers (from 0 to 100, 100 being best):

League of Conservation Voters Ratings:

  • Mike Huckabee:None. Huckabee did not return the LCV’s 2008 Presidential Questionnaire and, as governor, doesn’t have a state or federal voting record.
  • Mitt Romney:None. Romneydid not return the LCV’s 2008 Presidential Questionnaire and, as governor, doesn’t have a state or federal voting record.
  • John McCain: 26. Read McCain’s complete Questionnaire.
  • Hillary Clinton: 90. Read Clinton’s complete Questionnaire.
  • Barack Obama: 96. Read Obama’s complete Questionnaire.

You can find an environmental overview for each of the candidates, their complete responses to the LCV’s 2008 Presidential Questionnaire, and the records behind their ratings here.

Additional Resources

  • Search by candidate or by issue to find an extensive look at the candidates’ voting records and current goals at Issue2008 or The New York Times Election Guide 2008.
  • Read thorough interviews with each of the candidates about their environmental policies from Grist, including an easy-to-read chart.
  • Take the quizzes from SpeakOut.com and USA Today to find out which candidate best matches your positions.
  • Whatever your opinion on these issues, it’s important to vote so it can be heard. Register here and find out where you can go to vote in the primary elections.

Do you have an opinion about which candidate will truly walk the eco-walk? Of course you do. Sound off in the comments section below.

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