Now that the results from Super Tuesday are in, we can officially pivot to considering Donald Trump as the most likely Republican presidential nominee. November will see a Trump v. Clinton or a Trump v. Sanders face-off, barring a few, impressively over-analyzed scenarios.
With that in mind, ThinkProgress wanted to revisit our climate and energy candidate chart, where we help voters understand where candidates stand.
We have updated the Democratic candidates, now whittled to only Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, by breaking out Atlantic and Gulf offshore drilling and including new data on fossil fuel donations, and we added a few lines that reflect some of Trump’s more aggressive energy and climate positions.
The Republican candidate has been remarkably mum on climate issues — perhaps because, as he has repeatedly Tweeted, Trump believes climate change is a hoax. (He also may or may not believe that the hoax is perpetrated by the Chinese.)
CREDIT: DYLAN PETROHILOS/THINK PROGRESS
Of course, taken in the aggregate, Trump’s positions are pretty much in line with much of his party. While polls show that the majority of Republican voters favor carbon reductions, the mere idea of climate change is largely met with ridicule by Republican leaders.
None of the remaining Republican candidates accept the scientific consensus that humans are contributing to global warming that, left unchecked, will be devastating for life as we know it, raising sea levels, disrupting weather patterns, and triggering increased drought and flooding.
It will also be terrible for the economy.
But in recent months, there appears to have been some thawing (no pun intended) on the fringes of the Republican party. Eleven Republican House representatives sided with the pope and signed a resolution to act on climate last fall. Then, this winter, one Democratic and one Republican representative launched the bipartisan House Climate Caucus. As pundits are widely predicting a renewed self-evaluation by the Republican party following the impressive outsider juggernaut Trump has become, it’s worth considering the idea that, perhaps, the party’s divergence from science and technology will soften in years to come. Ironically, this would be a return to form. Former President George H. W. Bush’s administration considered climate change an urgent and important issue — and one that offered an opportunity for the United States to lead.
At the moment, opposition to the mere idea of climate change is so ingrained in some corners of the party, Republican candidates and supporters also can use climate denial as a campaign point.
The platforms of both Democratic candidates, meanwhile, actively pursue climate change action — through legislation, regulation, and investment.