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The Power of We

It’s Blog Action Day – and this year’s theme is ‘The Power of We’. So, what does this mean to me? With election day fast approaching in America, we are inundated with commercials, flyers, debates, banners, and public conversation in general about who are the right candidates to represent us.

For me, politics – and politicians – are one of the most frustrating aspects of America. They come from money, and they follow the money. Those with the deepest pockets, corporations and the wealthy, are more likely to sway the course of government. So when it comes down to taking time out of my day on November 4th to vote – will it really matter? The answer is, I’m not really sure…but HELL YES I WILL VOTE! I will not squander what opportunity is offered to make a difference.

For each of us, one political issue may stand out more than the rest; the economy, healthcare, women’s rights, foreign affairs, education, etc. Each of these items are on surveys conducted occasionally in my neighborhood. To my great disappointment, I have yet to see the environment on any of these surveys. Why is this not a top button issue? Policies in how we treat the environment certainly affect the job market, not to mention the health and well-being of future generations.

But maybe, using ‘The Power of We’, we can make this a top priority for our politicians, no matter who wins the elections. For those of you who still remain undecided over our presidential candidates, here is a short list of their commitment to the environment;

Romney is criticized for flip-flopping on the environmental question. He was blamed for subjecting his will to the likes of big companies.

Obama said, “So we have a choice to make. We can remain one of the world’s leading importers of foreign oil, or we can make the investments that would allow us to become the world’s leading exporter of renewable energy. We can let climate change continue to go unchecked, or we can help stop it. We can let the jobs of tomorrow be created abroad, or we can create those jobs right here in America and lay the foundation for lasting prosperity.”

Romney, at the Republican National Convention, declared: “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans,” pausing for the audience to laugh at the absurdity, “and to heal the planet. My promise … is to help you and your family.”

Obama believes that carbon pollution can be put at check through a market based cap. This is not only an environmentally friendly measure, but will address certain energy challenges too. The income that is generated in the process of closing the carbon loophole will be returned to the people, especially those families, communities and business which are vulnerable.

Romney ‘s detailed plans include stripping the Environmental Protection Agency of the power to regulate carbon dioxide, eliminate the production tax credit for wind projects, open all federal lands and waters for drilling, including the entire Pacific and Atlantic coasts as well as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and keep tax incentives and tax breaks for oil and gas drilling.

Obama ‘s detailed plans include raising federal standards for fuel efficiency of cars and light trucks, maintain the EPA’s power to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels because of climate change concerns, maintain incentives for renewable energy; wind and solar-powered generation has doubled in size during his administration, eliminate the $4 billion a year of oil and gas tax breaks.

You can probably tell who gets my vote simply by the blurbs I selected. Please keep in mind both candidates are open for more offshore drilling, and support drilling on existing leases in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska. Both also support the use of hydraulic fracturing in drilling, whether it is controlled by federal or state safety standards.
So how, specifically, can ‘The Power of We’ help make the environment a top priority with our politicians? Here are just a few ideas:

  • petition the private sector to do their part
  • write your representatives – tell them what is important to you and your community and why!
  • share this post
  • VOTE!

So tell me – what does ‘The Power of We’ mean to you?

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