After weeks of brawling over issues – both political and personal – Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have finally found something they can agree on: They both hate President Barack Obama’s environmental policies.
The two Republican presidential candidates have pledged to undo several of Obama’s major climate initiatives and block any future work to combat global warming if they are elected in November.
Responding to a questionnaire sent out to candidates by the American Energy Alliance, Trump and Cruz both pledged to undo major Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency rules on clean water and power plant carbon emissions. Trump said that “under my administration, all EPA rules will be reviewed.”
The two also oppose a carbon tax that Obama has praised but not implemented.
“I do not support a carbon tax or using the social cost of carbon in rule-making,” Cruz wrote in the questionnaire.
Both Trump and Cruz also said they would rethink the Obama administration’s finding that carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases are harmful to the public.
“The observed temperature evidence does not support the claims that carbon dioxide is dangerous,” Cruz wrote. “More recent scientific developments indicate that a review of the endangerment finding is needed.”
American Energy Alliance, a pro-industry group, sent the questionnaire to all the major presidential candidates including Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
"The next president can either continue down a path toward expensive energy or chart a new course that provides affordable energy and gives the American people more control over their energy choices,” said Thomas Pyle, the group’s president, according to the Hill.
While Trump and Cruz agreed on numerous issues regarding environmental policies, the two did differ when it came to such topics as federal ethanol mandates (Trump is pro, Cruz anti) and federal land. Cruz believes that the federal government should sell some land to private interests or to the state, while Trump advocates a “shared governance structure” between the state and the federal government.
“This first step would allow for maintaining the aesthetics of the land while finding ways to gain revenue that would benefit both the federal and state governments,” Trump responded in the questionnaire.