How do Trump and Clinton differ on conservation?

http://www.hcn.org/articles/presidential-campaigns-offer-sneak-peeks-of-conservation-priorities?utm_source=wcn1&utm_medium=email

Presidential campaigns offer a sneak peek into natural resource policies.

While speaking at a media summit last week organized by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership in Fort Collins, Colorado, Trump Jr., an avid hunter and angler, defended keeping federal lands managed by the government and open to the public. He also reiterated his father’s strong support for U.S. energy development, proposed some corporate sponsorships in national parks, questioned humans’ role in climate change, and criticized Hillary Clinton for “pandering” to hunters with “phoniness.” U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-California, spoke for Clinton’s campaign at the summit a day later, and provided plenty of contrast between the presidential candidates.

Trump Jr. has served as an adviser to his father on natural-resources issues and has even joked with family that, should his father win, he’d like to be Secretary of the Interior, overseeing national parks and millions of acres of federal public lands. In Fort Collins, he said he’s not “the policy guy,” but repeated his frequent pledge to be a “loud voice” for preserving public lands access for sportsmen. Trump Jr. also mocked some gun-control measures, such as ammunition limits, boasting, “I have a thousand rounds of ammunition in my vehicle almost at all times because it’s called two bricks of .22 … You know, I’ll blow…through that with my kids on a weekend.”

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Donald Trump Jr. speaks with Field & Stream editor Mike Toth at the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Western Media Summit, June 23, 2016.
Joshua Zaffos

Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate, partly distinguished himself among other GOP candidates during primary season—not that that was a problem for the New York real-estate developer—by balking at the transfer of federal public lands to states or counties. While Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and others expressed support for public-land transfers, kowtowing to some Western conservatives, Trump rejected the idea. Speaking to Field & Stream in January, Trump said: “I don’t like the idea because I want to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do. I mean, are they going to sell if they get into a little bit of trouble? And I don’t think it’s something that should be sold. We have to be great stewards of this land. This is magnificent land.”

Trump Jr. reaffirmed that stance, but also supported more input for states as long as those efforts don’t jeopardize public access.

Trump, however, did attack the Bureau of Land Management and its “draconian rule,” writing in an op-ed in the Reno Gazette-Journal, also in January: “The BLM controls over 85 percent of the land in Nevada. In the rural areas, those who for decades have had access to public lands for ranching, mining, logging and energy development are forced to deal with arbitrary and capricious rules that are influenced by special interests that profit from the D.C. rule-making and who fill the campaign coffers of Washington politicians.”

Rep. Thompson called Trump’s somewhat muddled stance of federal land management a “dangerous position to take,” saying Clinton unequivocally opposes public-land transfers. As far as Clinton’s sporting cred, Thompson said the Democratic candidate doesn’t pretend to be a hook-and-bullet enthusiast, but “she gets it” when it comes to access issues.

In a campaign loud with proclamations yet nearly vacant of substantive policies, the most in-depth view into Trump’s resource agenda came during his May speechat a North Dakota petroleum conference. Trump pledged to “save the coal industry,” approve the Keystone XL gas pipeline, roll back federal controls limiting energy development on some public lands, and withdraw the U.S. from the Paris global climate agreement. A Republican National Committee spokesman recently said more details on Trump’s energy and environmental policies should be coming soon. His son reiterated the campaign’s “very pro-U.S. energy” position, although he did say agencies should have some role in regulating energy development on public lands, referring to the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed fracking rule that was recently rejected by a federal judge.

On climate change, Trump Jr. said U.S. and global policies shouldn’t penalize industries and, while acknowledging the strong scientific consensus on climate change and its causes, he added that humans’ and industries’ roles in global warming have “yet to be shown to me.”

Trump Jr. also offered mild support for the Endangered Species Act, saying it had achieved some successes, but argued the law has served as a “Trojan horse” to entirely prohibit development in some cases. He also suggested national-parks management and budgets could benefit from increased corporate partnerships. Trump’s son declared his own affinity for the backcountry and described national parks as being “a little bit too ‘tourist-ized’ for myself,” but he said, “I think there are ways you can do (corporate sponsorship) in a way that is beneficial” without installing flashing logos on natural features or commercializing the parks.

Clinton has shared several detailed policies on the environment and energy so far, including a white paper on land management and conservation that lays out support for a national park management fund and increased renewable energy development on public lands. Those proposals signal Clinton will “double down” on protecting public lands and preserving access, Thompson said.

Thompson also lauded Clinton for taking “a risky public position” on energy development—referring to her previous statement that she will put lots of coalmines “out of business”—but “she hasn’t backed away from it,” he said. “She understands there are better ways to generate the energy resources that we need.”

Joshua Zaffos is an HCN correspondent in Fort Collins, Colorado. Follow him@jzaffosHomepage image from Flickr user Gage Skidmore

6 thoughts on “How do Trump and Clinton differ on conservation?

  1. Trump Jr. needs to be kept out of any land management positions. Head of Interior? No way. I can just see him opening national parks to trophy hunters.

  2. We already have mega corporations essentially running the country. The only good thing I can say about Trump is that he seems to be against TPP while Hillary was for it, is now against it, and will probably have an epiphany after the election and be for it again. I don’t want either one in the White House.

  3. Republicans are generally anti-environment and anti-wilderness and anti-wildlife. They are generally anti-science, anti-logic, arti-fact, alternative universe party, make believe what -they-want party. They are the the party of climate change denial, the only free world major party this obtuse and paranoid (believing climate change a leftist conspiracy). The GOP has voted against the environment 90% o the time in the past 15 years. Examples: MT Senator Steve Daines ® has voted against the environment 99% of the time, Congressman Ryan Zynke ® of MT 97%of the time. GOP capitalistic, self-centered greed is no doubt a major factor. But many on the GOP far right believe in creationism. It is basically a party that is anti-logic, anti-science, anti-facts when it conflicts with capitalistic short-term, self-centered greed (no concern for the environment, let’s make a buck now). Their thinking may have a genetic basis. It is somewhat of a worldwide manifestation of conservative thinking. They staunchly resist change and progress. They stubbornly stand by failed economic-political ptheories (trickle down economics, unfettered/unregulated capitalism, states’ rights over federal general public rights, neoconservative militaristic meddlesomeness). They are the party of “No”. They repeatedly, annually, try to sneak through their anti-environment, anti-wilderness agendas on riders to must pass bills, like the defense bill. They are the Grand Obstructionist & Paranoid Party. They are the party that wants to devvy up what is left of public lands and wilderness to corporate interests. They are trying end runs, flank attacks on public land. Watch out for forest “management” tactics or other attempts at opening up Pandora’s Box on local/state management of forest or other public land. They are the unfettered commerce party of let’s have it now now wanton greed. Sit down republicans when little thoughts start rambling, round them up, sit down before you hurt yourselves or the rest of us.

    References:
    http://missoulian.com/news/opinion/columnists/george-ochenski-collaborators-paint-themselves-into-a-corner/article

    https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/5-reasons-we-cant-afford-to-ignore-the-issue-of-animal-rights-any-longer/

    http://www.examiner.com/article/anti-wildlife-pro-hunting-act-reaches-u-s-senate-you-can-help-stop-it

    https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/anti-wildlife-pro-hunting-act-reaches-u-s-senate-you-can-help-it

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/never-hillary-unites-republicans-squeamish-trump-173740202–election.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=ma

    https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/never-satisfied/

    http://missoulian.com/news/opinion/columnists/who-will-follow-trump-off-the-cliff/article

    http://sacb.ee/6jz0 Who are the good peoplehttp://missoulian.com/news/opinion/columnists/republicans-can-t-be-concerned-about-environment/article

    https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/the-fires-of-climate-change-are-burning-the-himalayas

    http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/brain-difference-democrats-republicans

  4. There is a huge difference in the parties. Republicans have been voting against wildlife and the environment 90-99 % of the time for the past 15 years. They are trying to gut and ndermine ESA and EPA and move such matters to state control. They are trying to turn public land “management” over to states. They emphasize hunting and trapping “rights” and “sportsmen” heritage. They emphasize cutting down national forest as “management”, hunting and trapping as “management”. In summary they mean disaster for environment, wildlife, public land, national forests and wilderness.

    • There is a difference between the parties on climate change and some other environmental issues, but not on wildlife. Democrats representing the Mountain West in the U.S. Senate (Heinrich, Tester et. al.) are just as pro-hunting as their Republican colleagues, while most other Democrats ignore wildlife.

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