Environmental issues have been framed mostly as economic issues during this election campaign: How can we bring down gas prices? Can we create jobs with a new oil pipeline? Does the Environmental Protection Agency cost jobs? But these issues impact both our bank accounts and the environment. Here's some highlights of their records so far.
Candidate: President Obama
Is global warming real? Yes.
Is it caused by people? Yes.
Green policy: Obama pushed for subsidies for alternative energy in the stimulus package, but it's gotten him into a bit of trouble. In 2009, Solyndra got a huge $535 million loan guarantee the solar energy tech got from the government, and went bankrupt in 2011. It's fueled conservatives' critique of the policy that the government shouldn't try to encourage clean energy because it shouldn't "pick winners" and let the market be free. The president supports fracking to as a safe way to increase domestic production of natural gas, but as Bloomberg reports, environmentalists say the process pollutes ground water. (This can been seen to dramatic effect in the documentary Gasland, in which water from a tap catches on fire.) During the 2008 election, he backed "clean coal," which most of his supporters would say is an oxymoron. And that is why the EPA's proposed new rules to regulate carbon dioxide emissions of power plants "effectively prohibit" new coal plants from being built, Bloomberg reports. The State Department has blocked the creation of the Keystone XL pipeline that would have moved oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, passing through the Nebraska aquifer.