2012 Presidential Candidates on Environmental Issues

POTUS Candidates and the Environment: How do they stack up? Politics is often a very tricky game that many of us “common folk” tend to shy away from for a variety of reasons, whether it’s the lack of unbiased information in the media or confusing legal jargon. We know what we care about, but how do our beliefs stack up against the candidates of the 2012 presidential election? We all have our particular vested interests that we are inherently passionate about, but I would be willing to bet that we all care, even if it’s just a smidgen, about the environment.

Michele Bachmann (R, Minnesota)


  •  Voted NO to financially extending the Cash-for-Clunkers program.
  •  Voted NO to protecting free-ranging horses and burros.
  •  Voted NO to environmental education grants.
  •  Opposes cap-and-trade regulations.
  •  Touts global warming as a “hoax”.
  •  Supports oil exploration in ANWR.
  •  Opposes carbon dioxide regulation by the EPA.

Opinion: Even with Tea Party support, she may be too extreme to win a majority vote.

Quote: “The big thing we are working on now is the global warming hoax. It’s all voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax. The tax cap and trade system for limiting emissions is just another tax on businesses.” March, 2008

Rick Perry (R, Texas)

  • Helped push Texas to become the leading state in producing wind energy.
  • Opposes carbon dioxide regulation by the EPA.
  • Does not believe in man-made global warming.
  • Supported and failed in building massive super highway and energy corridor, the Trans-Texas Corridor.
  • Supports the current building of 7 coal power plants while other states are no longer issuing permits for coal power plant construction because of pollution concerns.
  • Stopped declaring reservoirs as wildlife sanctuaries.

Opinion: Many don’t realize that Perry is not as conservative as he is now portraying himself, even though he will have to actively compete against Bush stereotypes.

Quote: In response to BP oil spill: “From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented.” May, 2010

Mitt Romney (R, Massachusetts)

  • Supports state-regulated emission standards.
  • Cut funding for Massachusetts state parks by one third.
  • Supports nuclear energy.
  • Supports oil exploration in ANWR.
  • Opposed initiatives to expand public transportation.
  • Supports fuel efficiency standards for automakers.

Opinion: Most members of the GOP wish Romney were from a more conservative state than Massachusetts.

Quote:  “I side with states to be able to make their own regulations with regards to emissions within their own states. I side with states being able to make their own decisions, even if I don’t always agree with the decisions they make.” January, 2008

Sarah Palin (R, Alaska)

  • Opposes placing the polar bear and beluga whale on the endangered species list.
  • Supports greater investment in mass transportation.
  • Supports oil exploration in ANWR.
  • Supports nuclear energy.
  • Appointed an Energy Coordinator as Alaskan governor to explore alternative energy possibilities.
  • Neutral on whether man can be attributed to global warming.

Opinion: I can’t think of a more accurate portrayal of the American spirit than shooting bears from a helicopter as the golden sun sets below the distant Russian horizon while shadows of drilling rigs are cast upon the frozen ground of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Quote: “We are suing the federal government recognizing that the Endangered Species Act is not aplace to mess around with in terms of listing a species that is right now very very healthy.” September, 2008

Barack Obama (D, POTUS, Illinois)

  • Opposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage.
  • Supports the notion that man significantly contributes to global warming.
  • Voted YES in disallowing oil exploration leases in ANWR.
  • Strongly supports investment in public transportation.
  • Strongly supports fuel-efficiency standards for automakers.
  • Neither supports nor opposes nuclear energy.
  • Supports cap-and-trade policies.
  • Flip-flopped on support of offshore drilling.

Opinion: He began with nearly everything stacked against him and he only seems to have increased the stacks. Finding Osama bin Laden can’t save your job.

Quote: “We’ll make sure that public transportation is both available and affordable for low-income workers, because no one should be denied work in this country because they can’t get there.” July, 2007

Joe Biden (D, VPOTUS, Delaware)

  • Opposes subsidies for oil companies.
  • Voted NO on funding forest roads and fish habitat.
  • Voted YES on including smoke stacks in mercury regulation.
  • Strongly supports the Kyoto Protocol.
  • Voted to require ethanol in gasoline.

Opinion: 78% of Americans cannot locate Delaware on a map. (statistic not cited)

Quote: “Barack and I have a bill to make sure that every automobile sold in the US is a flex-fuel automobile; every gas station in America, by the year 2009, has to have 10% of it’s pumps pumping E85 ethanol.” April, 2007




  1. I can’t seriously consider a candidate who doesn’t think global warming(severe climate change) can be attributed to human influences. Although I was surprised Palin is Neutral on the subject.

    Sorry Mr. Biden, ethanol in gasoline is just insane, its a negative feed-back loop. It takes gas to produce corn, then energy to refine it!!

    Of course further research is required to gain the entirety of their views but this was a much appreciated summary for comparison.

  2. Thanks Travis!!

    It’s nice to see how candidates actual vote, and the summary was very helpful! So, who are you leaning towards? I know Alex is in love with Michele. I personally am still struggling, because each of them represent things I do and don’t like. Not one stands out for me.

  3. Great post! thanks for summarizing the candidates stand on certain issues. I know I get confused with all the information out there and wish I was more educated on the subject because I actually care and make sure I am registered to vote wherever I am. Keep it coming!

  4. […] had previously written article of some of the candidate’s position on environmental issues, so below is an update. Most of the […]

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