Environmental Faceoff: College Republicans: Fresh strategies from candidates to clean up Earth

By Josh Hursa

Ask any outdoor enthusiast why he or she loves going for walks and I am certain you will receive some similar answers. The beauty of nature is unparalleled. Most Americans agree that the government has a responsibility to protect our natural resources. Sen. John McCain plans to push a strong, pro-environment agenda once elected president.

The best way to attack climate change is to do so by encouraging people, through tax cuts, to do the right thing. Incentives encourage businesses to invest in renewable fuels as well as promote the purchase of these items by the public.

One plan McCain has to incentivize businesses to lower their greenhouse gas emissions is to implement a cap and trade policy. Under a cap and trade policy, businesses would be allotted certain pollution credits that they can use up during production. These credits are transferable, so if one business finds a way to create a cleaner, more efficient process, then the business may sell its credits to another business. This plan will put the industry on the right path to reducing the nation’s carbon footprint.

The best way we can ensure a clean environment is to invest in nuclear power. Nuclear power provides a clean burning energy source that many countries around the world — such as France — rely on. Discontinuing the service of coal and natural gas burning sources of energy will allow the United States to be an environmental leader.

McCain also plans to encourage the United Nations to engage with climate change. The United States will lead negotiations to create a worldwide solution that will lessen our carbon footprint.

A plan in the United States is useless without a global commitment on climate change. Considering the emerging markets for oil in China and India, we need to make sure that they play by the same rules. Climate change is not a national problem, it’s a planetary problem and requires a great deal of participation with countries around the world.

Market forces have created the greatest drive for “green” products. The bestselling vehicle on the road is the Toyota Prius hybrid. Demand for solar panels and wind mills have skyrocketed.

The American people know what it takes both to save them money and save the environment at the same time. Investment in alternative sources of energy is essential for national survival. We owe it to emerging businesses who are trying to break into this market to provide them with tax incentives. Considering the direction of the current market, anything we can do to promote the growth of business must be done.

There is no bigger friend of the environment than McCain. In the Senate, he has been a leader for environmental change. He now asks you to join him in the White House where he can bring that leadership to the world.

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