Human needs over animal rights
- Strongly Support means you believe: The earth is humankind's domain to do with as we see fit.
- Support means you believe: Human needs come first, but it's ok to account for environmental needs after human needs are accounted for.
- Oppose means you believe: We should balance animal rights with human needs, accounting for nature's value for humans as well as for other environmental benefits.
- Strongly Oppose means you believe: Animals have inherent rights, and nature has inherent value.
This question is looking for your views on environmentalism both under economic terms and " under the 5th Amendment.
However you answer the above question would be similar to your response to these statements:
How do you decide between "Support" and "Strongly Support" when you agree with both the descriptions above? (Or between "Oppose" and "Strongly Oppose").
The strong positions are generally based on matters of PRINCIPLES where the regular support and oppose positions are based on PRACTICAL matters.
If you answer "No Opinion," this question is not counted in the VoteMatch answers for any candidate.
If you give a general answer of Support vs. Oppose, VoteMatch can more accurately match a candidate with your stand.
Don't worry so much about getting the strength of your answer exactly refined, or to think too hard about the exact wording of the question -- like candidates!
- "Sustainability" is a codeword for "Socialism"
- In Gen.1:26, God promised Man dominion over the earth and all its resources.
- The "takings clause" of the Constitution prohibits eminent domain for most reasons.
- Wise Use
- There's plenty of room for animals; right next to the mashed potatoes on my plate.
- Strongly Support means you oppose the principle of environmentalism, and you believe in the principle of placing human needs first.
- Support means you believe in practical methods of natural resource use.
You prioritize people first, but goals can be accomplished with respect for nature.
- Oppose means you believe practical compromise between economic needs and environmental needs.
You might cite that Gen.1:26 properly uses the term "stewardship," implying caretaker status, rather than "dominion," implying ownership status.
You cite "sustainability" as the rationale for environmental action; and recognize that hunters and anglers are your potential allies.
- Strongly Oppose means you believe in the principle of animal rights and the principle of the value of nature for its own sake.
You support vegetarianism; take pride in the title of "tree-hugger"; and abhor hunting.
You cite morality (rather than sustainability) as the rationale for environmental action.
Environment and Energy
Energy issues have so dominated the 2012 election that all other environmental issues have fallen aside.
In fact, the term "environmental issues" in this election cycle has come to mean "energy issues."
In this section, we stick to non-energy environmental issues -- see our Energy & Oil section for the energy-based issues.
Some hot topics in the 2012 election cycle:
- Yucca Mountain:
A federally-owned mountain in Nevada which the federal government has proposed as a long-term repository for nuclear waste. Yucca Mountain was selected because, in theory, it is geologically stable enough to survive intact for the tens of thousands of years until the nuclear waste becomes harmless. The site was first proposed under President Reagan in 1985-1987; Congress approved it under President Bush in 2002; and then Congress canceled the program under President Obama in April 2011.
- Big Dig:
The "Big Dig" refers to Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel Project, conducted in large part while Mitt ROmney was governor of Massachusetts.
The Big Dig converted an elevated highway, I-93, into a 3.5 mile tunnel through central Boston, and added a third tunnel under Boston Harbor to Logan Airport. The original cost of the project in 1998 was proposed at $3 billion; it grew into a $22 billion project by the latest 2012 estimate. In addition to several construction deaths, a motorist was killed when a section of ceiling collapsed in 2006, attributed to inappropriate glue to hold up the concrete ceiling. The project was also plagued by water leaks for several years, attributed to failure to meet contract specifications.
- Conservation Easements:
Refers to land deeds which restrict future usage of the parcel of land to protect habitat, ban hunting or logging, or otherwise meet conservation goals.
Also known as "Land Trusts," they have been tremendously successful in preserving open space and wildlife habitat.
To assure that open space and habitat will be there for future generations, Congress provided targeted income tax relief to small farmers and ranchers who wish to make a charitable contribution of a qualified conservation easement.
- Green Jobs:
"Green Jobs" refers to subsidizing environmentally-friendly industries, usually alternative energy.
Every recent president, including Obama, has promised "green jobs" in their State of the Union speeches; but the only action so far has been to mention it again in the subsequent year's State of the Union message.
"Solyndra" has become shorthand for "cronyism in the name of green jobs." Solyndra declared bankruptcy in Sept. 2011 after receiving a $527 million federal loan to support commercial-scale manufacturing for its solar photovoltaic panels. Romney visited the abandoned Solyndra factory in May 2012 to criticize Obama's policy.
- Endangered Species Act (ESA): 1973 law prohibiting activities that harm endangered plants or animals or their habitats. Which species are threatened & endangered are listed or ‘delisted’ by the Secretaries of Interior & Commerce. The controversy comes from limitations on private property to protect one species.
- Takings: The federal government is allowed to take private property when it serves the public interest (via ‘eminent domain’) but must pay fair market value. When the ESA regulates private property use (such as disallowing development), the value is decreased even though the property is not fully taken. The ‘takings’ controversy concerns how much the government should pay to property owners when their property is only partially taken.
Pollution Control vs. Cost Control
- The Clean Air Act: (CAA) regulates industrial smokestacks and other sources of smog, acid rain, and other air pollutants. The CAA uses numerous market incentives, including ‘pollution permits’ that are traded on open markets, to minimize costs.
- The Clean Water Act: (CWA) regulates ‘point-source’ (sewage pipes) and ‘non-point-source’ (land and road runoff) water pollution. The EPA’s approach since the early 1990s is ‘watershed-based,’ which means cooperating across political boundaries.
- CAFE standard: The ‘Corporate Average Fuel Economy’ requires that all automobile manufacturers maintain an average of 28 miles per gallon (mpg) for all vehicles sold.
- Command-and-control: Standardized regulations with central enforcement (usually by EPA), as opposed to market-based incentives.
The federal government owns 27% of all US land (more than the combined area of Alaska, Texas, & California).
- BLM: The Bureau of Land Management owns 270 million acres of cattle grazing land.
- USFS: The US Forest Service owns 185 million acres of timber land.
- FWS: The Fish & Wildlife Service owns 90 million acres of waterways and surrounding lands.
- NPS: The National Park Service owns 75 million acres of national parks and national rivers.
- States: State and local governments own 200 million acres of land (another 9% of total US land area).
Land Use Buzzwords
- Devolution: Some candidates believe that land use decisions should ‘devolve’ from the federal government to state or local government, to encourage community involvement.
- Wise Use: A code word which means ‘stop federal land use restrictions.’ It comes from the Forest Service’s founding doctrines, which say that wise land use includes commercial use plus recreational use.
- Land Trusts: Privately-held land which has restrictions on development (e.g., wildlife sanctuaries).
- Suburban Sprawl: Uncontrolled development that fosters automobile usage rather than mass transit.
- Urban Redevelopment: Restoring inner-city ‘blighted’ communities via ‘empowerment zones,’ etc.
- Brownfields: Locating industrial development on former waste sites (versus wide-open ‘greenfields’).
- Superfund: EPA cleanup of toxic waste sites.
Amendment V to the US Constitution
...nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.(1791)