By Reilly Butz
Since the second Presidential Debate featured a memorable question from the self-made legend Ken Bone, clean, efficient energy has become the topic of discussion. Ken’s question was perfect. It included how each candidate would try to improve efforts for clean and efficient energy, while preventing mass job loss. While neither candidate provided a valuable answer to the question, it is a question that needs to be answered before the election in November. Here’s the biggest problem: Neither candidate has provided voters with any evidence that this question can be solved in the future. Donald Trump, on one side, wants to reward coal miners and save thousands of jobs throughout the Appalachian region, solving the second part of Ken Bone’s concern. However, he has failed to give any positive insight on how he plans to limit fossil fuel emissions and invest toward new and cleaner energy sources, which is arguably the biggest issue of this question. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton, hasn’t given a concrete answer on how to solve either side. She has built up clean energy, but shows no plan(s) to utilize it more if she is to be voted into office. She claims to not want to start a war on coal, but much of what she has said says otherwise.
Here’s the biggest issue regarding energy and the 2016 election, the Republicans have demised the importance of climate change and the Democrats have often placed it at the top of their list of importance. There is certainly something wrong with both of those stances. Climate change is something that needs to be taken seriously, yes it largely has to do with the natural cycle of the planet in which we inhibit, but we as humans are speeding up the process, exponentially. With that said, the United States is in trouble, and climate change, isn’t the biggest threat at this particular point in time. National security and the economy (most notably the national debt) should be at the top of the radar for the future president.
I know I am not alone when it comes to discontent with the political process thus far in 2016, but there are a few things that people need to know. None of the candidates that are featured this election year, including third party candidates, have been able to show the slightest of proof that they can even scratch the surface of Mr. Bone’s question.
Trump’s disregard for climate change can prove to be extremely detrimental to our future on this planet. Hillary’s disregard to the economic impact of over-regulation of fossil fuels could destroy communities and leave thousands of workers jobless. On top of that, cleaner energy is significantly more expensive to produce and much of the population wouldn’t be able to afford it. Gary Johnson wants to weaken the EPA and change the direction that Washington is taking to change that way people consume energy. This has the potential of success, but privatizing the energy industry could turn it into the current healthcare system, significantly driving up the prices for individuals. Jill Stein, similar to Hillary, would significantly increase environmental regulations and, on her website, just states that she plans to have “100 percent clean renewable energy by 2030.” All this said without showing how she will create jobs and make this revolutionary type of energy affordable for the American people. The choice is up to us as voters. Since none of the candidates have provided the voters with a valuable option, a vote casted will be a notion of blind faith for that particular candidate.