Candidate Positions On Issues Affecting You and Your Community
Below is an accurate description of the positions of the candidates on five environmental issues: climate change, use of public lands, air and water pollution, green technologies, and endangered species When possible we used the candidates’ own words taken from the response to a list of topics sent to each of them—these responses are in first person from the candidates.
When candidates did not respond we went to their voting records, public statements, websites, and sites such as OnTheIssues.org and the National Environmental Scorecard from the League of Conservation Voters for information. If, after our search, we found no public stance taken by the candidates on a topic we noted that in our description. If candidates believe we have misrepresented their positions or would like to supplement their positions, they should contact us here and we will set the record straight right away. After all, it is their positions that we want to know.
Common Cause is conducting a national survey on where candidates stand on such issues as automatic voter registration and gerrymandering, that influence people’s ability to vote and have their interests represented by their elected officials.
Phillip Price - D
- Climate Change: I believe in science. I believe the 97 percent of scientists who maintain climate change is real. And because I believe they are telling the truth, I am morally obligated to try to do something about it. We all are.
- Public Lands, Parks, and Monuments: Many of us live here and millions of tourists visit each year. And still many more are retiring here because of the unique mountain environment which boosts our construction industry. All of that depends on maintaining our environment. So I will fight against efforts backed by the current representative to reclassify “wild and scenic” designations to allow logging of pristine forests.
- Air and Water Pollution: Our tourism industry will only be as strong as our mountains are beautiful and our streams are clean.
- Green Technologies: We need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels to begin to slow down and reverse dangerous climate trends. We can do that by promoting clean energy – solar, hydro, geothermal, wind and tides. I support the OFF Act, which sets a deadline of 2035 for having our country off of fossil. Shifting to clean, renewable energy translates into better jobs and higher wages for WNC. North Carolina already produces more solar power than any state except California. But the western counties have been left behind because of a lack of support from the current congressman. By focusing on renewable energy, we can fight climate change and maintain our treasured way of life.
- Endangered Species: Unrestrained logging destroys mountainsides and leads to polluted streams and the extinction of fish and plants.
Mark Meadows - R
- Climate Change: Meadows signed the Contract from America which rejects Cap and Trade plans. Its goal is to stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness arguing that these actions will have virtually no impact on global temperatures.
- Public Lands: Parks and Monuments: Meadows co-sponsored the Federal Land Freedom Act weakening federal control over public lands. It authorizes the states to establish a program covering the leasing and permitting processes, regulatory requirements, and any other provisions by which the states would exercise their rights to develop all forms of energy resources on available federal land in the state.
- Air and Water Pollution: Meadows co-sponsored the Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act which amends the Clean Water Act to prohibit the EPA from requiring permits for the discharge of the run-off of sediment from forest roads into rivers that support salmon and resident trout. He also signed the Regulatory Overreach Protections Act which limited EPA enforcement of water standards.
- Green Technologies: From his website: “We must reduce our dependence on foreign oil by tapping into our national gas reserves, which are the largest in the world. We must also immediately open up new domestic drilling and pipeline opportunities, along with exploring ways to use renewable energy sources. I co-sponsored legislation that called for the construction of the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline.”
- Endangered species: In 2016 Meadows voted against legislation to protect sage grouse and the gray wolves.
Aaron Martin - D
- Climate Change: I believe that climate change is real and that the cost of climate change will be significant and will increase over time. 97% of actively publishing scientists agree that warming trends are “extremely likely due to human activities”. Sixteen of 17 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001. Antarctic ice loss has tripled in the last 10 years. A team of 8 scientists reported that ice sheets in Antarctica are losing 200 billion tons of ice annually. Arctic sea ice is declining at its fastest rate in 1500 years. After President Trump withdrew from the Paris agreement, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper joined with 14 other states in the U.S. Climate Alliance who have established their own policies concerning climate change. Governor Cooper stated “clean air and a healthy environment are vital for a strong economy and a healthier future.” If elected, I will follow Governor Cooper in his efforts and I will advocate that North Carolina should be taking steps now to assess our vulnerability, figure out what is at risk, help develop a plan, put it in place, and then monitor it.
- Air and Water Pollution: Laws and steps to deal with air and water pollution have been on the books for decades. Progress has been made on reducing air and water pollution. However the American Lung Association states that 40% of Americans live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone and particle pollution. As far as water pollution, the Clean Water Act has reduced water pollution. While problems still exist, I believe that maintaining practices that were installed to prevent water pollution will continue to help keep water supplies clean. North Carolina, at present, has identified over 40 watersheds across the state as priorities for restoration. If elected, I will support funding that will address these problems and eliminate the sources of pollution.
- Public Lands: Parks and Monuments: Parks are indicators of the quality of life. They offer education, recreation, and conservation of the environment. Parks make a considerable economic contribution to North Carolina’s economy. They have a considerable impact on the personal income of local residents. North Carolina has a growing urban population. Parks are needed so that children in these urban areas can experience the natural world. North Carolina does not have dedicated funding for the state parks here. If elected I will support and work for the dedicated funding needed for the maintenance of all our state parks.
- Green Technologies: I know that green technologies are going to bring significant changes in our daily life. It appears to me that these changes could be of the same magnitude that were brought about by info technology. The first thing that comes to my mind is energy. We are seeing energy coming from wind turbines. solar panels and bio-fuels. Indicators are that power from these sources will ultimately be affordable.To show the difficulty in transition to the use of more green technology, I point to the Bio-Fuels center in Oxford, North Carolina. This center was a non-profit that was supported by funds from the North Carolina legislature. While I was the State Director of the Farm Service Agency, I invited Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to come and tour this facility. This was at the time that USDA had established a BioMass Crop Assistance Program as an incentive for farmers to grow crops easily converted to bio-fuels. I set up meeting with farmers in Eastern North Carolina to explain the program and discuss the plans of a company who was planning to build a facility to produce bio-fuels in Sampson County, North Carolina. Since that time the North Carolina legislature eliminated all funds to support the bio-fuel center in Oxford.If elected and knowing how difficult it will be, I will continue to support ways to make green technologies useful and affordable.
- Endangered Species: In North Carolina, the Wildlife Resource Commission is responsible for listing and conserving endangered and threatened species in North Carolina. Under the federal Endangered Species Act, the Secretary of the Interior allocates fund to state to assist with the recovery of endangered and threatened species.Form all that I have seen, this program is well managed and efforts to preserve these species are successful. If elected, I will support continuing these efforts.
Kevin Corbin - R - (Incumbent)
Bobby Kuppers - D
Jim Davis - R - Incumbent
- Climate Change: No public stance.
- Public Lands: Parks and Monuments: In Senate Bill 545 Davis voted with the majority to remove certain lands from the State Nature and Historic Preserve.
- Air and Water Pollution: In Senate Bill 434, Davis voted to relax requirements for discarding wastes with implications for riparian buffers.
- Green Technologies: No public stance.
- Endangered Species: No public stance.
Josh McCall -D
- Climate Change: invest boldly in emerging carbon-neutral technologies and in established industries like solar and wind in every district.
- Public Lands: Parks and Monuments – save them all. We will never get them back once we sell them to private interests.
- Air and Water Pollution: increase standards for emissions on a reasonable timetable and offer tax subsidies and federal contracts for support.
- Green Technologies: expand training in technical schools with federal grants
- Endangered Species: aggressively protect endangered species.
Doug Collins - R - Incumbent
- Climate Change: Collins’ main interest in environmental issues concerns “Georgia’s thriving agricultural industry” and most of his efforts to protect it involve the need for “relief from burdensome federal regulations.” He regularly sides with business interests and in 2017 voted against every bill that would protect the environment, receiving a 0% annual score on the National Environmental Scorecard compiled by the League of Conservation Voters. Collins has been willing to meet with members of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby (which shares members with PPN) but in an email after such a meeting Collins wrote that he favors a fair tax on goods purchased and believes a carbon tax would not fit his views.
- Public Lands: Parks and Monuments: Collins voted against environmentalists in 8 out of 8 bills last year involving forest lands. These included bills to open drilling in the Arctic refuge, to undermine sustainable forest management policies, and to allow local input in the use of land.
- Air and Water Pollution: Collins voted against environmentalists on every bill in 2017 involving air and water pollution. He also signed the Waters of the U.S. Regulatory Overreach Protection Act which prohibited the EPA director from “developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering, or enforcing the proposed Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act (April 21, 2014).”
- Green Technologies: Collins supports domestic on-and off-shore drilling and signed a letter encouraging the President to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The letter argued that “the positive impact on our economy would be felt almost immediately. Keystone XL would create an estimated 20,000 new jobs directly, and 200,000 indirectly. Keystone XL would also advance our national security, by providing secure access to petroleum from Canada.”
- Endangered Species: In 2016 Collins voted against protections for the sage grouse and gray wolves.
Stacey Abrams - D
- Climate Change: no stance on the record
- Public Lands: Parks and Monuments: no stance on the record
- Air and Water Pollution: Abrams has worked to protect our natural resources and communities from hazardous waste that often has gone unchecked. Abrams sponsored legislation to ensure funds for hazardous waste clean-up actually went to that purpose, and to require landfills to alert the public in the event of a leak.
- Green Technologies: Abrams has supported greater oversight for petroleum pipelines.
- Endangered Species: no stance on the record
Brian Kemp - R
- Email: http://www.kempforgovernor.com/contact
- Phone: 404 228 6851