The Republican and Democratic Parties claim to have the best interests of the
United States and its people at heart when they make policy. Both parties purport
that their policies are the best solutions to address the environmental problems
facing the nation. Today’s Environmental Issues: Democrats and Republicans examines
the proposal and positions of the two parties—both the profound disagreements
and the areas of common ground between the two parties.
Today’s Environmental Issues: Democrats and Republicans sorts through the rhe-
torical clutter and partisan distortions that typify so many disputes between
Republicans and Democrats. The intent is to provide an accurate, balanced, and
evenhanded overview of the parties’ respective policy positions and attitudes on
the most important environmental issues and challenges facing the United States
in the 21st century.
In addition to explaining the differences between the two parties on today’s
most pressing environmental issues, this volume documents differences of opin-
ion within the parties where present. Despite the ideological stereotypes attached
to both parties, neither Republicans nor Democrats think or vote in lockstep on
a wide range of environmental issues, from sustainability to renewable energy to
water pollution. Additionally, Republican and Democratic elected officials often
do not reflect the views of Republican and Democratic voters. Most voters are not
consistently conservative or liberal, but somewhere in the middle.
Throughout the volume, the text features actual quotes from conservative and
liberal party leaders, elected officials, and media figures, as well as public opinion
poll results and other valuable information. These serve to enhance the book’s
coverage of the philosophies and records of the two parties on such diverse issues
as climate change and energy investment, endangered species and wilderness pro-
tection, CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards, fracking, freshwater
use, and public ownership of land.
Each essay in Today’s Environmental Issues: Democrats and Republicans begins with
an “At a Glance” summary of the prevailing positions and policies of the two par-
ties on the issue being discussed. This section also includes reader-friendly “bullet
points” listing the most important views of each party.