The Environmental Platform
of the Republican, Democratic, and Green Parties
The Environment has become a hot topic in political platforms as of late. With noticeable changes in weather patterns such as El Nino, La Nina, and the steady increase in the average daily temperatures, environmentalist group's views and values have become the views and values of more of the general public. This topic has even resulted in more support of the Green Party and its leader Ralph Nader, who some environmentalists believe may have cost Al Gore the presidency. Although clean air, water, and global warming are all valid issues it is the belief of some political scientists that the reason for the recent environmental swell is due to the current surging economy and rock-bottom unemployment rate. Thus, when Americans have jobs and are able to make a descent living their concerns turn elsewhere. As far as where each political party stands in their environmental policy one should look towards said parties current leader and his/her current policy and past record on environmental issues. The Democratic and Republican Party's, Al Gore, and George W. Bush seem to be on somewhat of the same level concerning the environmental policy, with Gore of course getting more backing from environmentalists based on his track record. In contrast, Ralph Nader and the Green Party place the environment on a whole new level of importance.
The Republican Party tends to be a bit more conservative concerning the environmental policy, as they do on most every issue. Although Bush seldom spoke of environmental issues on the campaign trail, he and the Republican Party propose a plan to decentralize environmental control. During a speech at Sand Harbor State Park on Lake Tahoe, Bush said, "As president, I will speak for that great national goal. It is our duty to use the lands well, and sometimes not to use them at all. It is our responsibility as citizens, but more than that it is our calling as stewards of the earth." "We have a national consensus," Bush continued "but problems arise when leaders reject partnership, and rely solely on the power of Washington on regulations, policies, and dictation from afar. The federal government and the states, local communities, and private land owners must respect and work with one another to preserve our national heritage, to promote flexibility, decentralization and positive incentives to involve more Americans in the responsibility of conservation" (Lazaroff). Bush also proposed that fifty percent of the Land and Water Conservation Fund be given to state and local conservation efforts each year. This fund uses the royalties of offshore oil and gas exploration to fund experimental projects. Although the fund is authorized for funding at 900 million a year, less than half of those funds have been appropriated by congress in recent years. Bush again emphasizes responsibility in the private sector by introducing a...