What plans do you have for addressing the freshwater issue?
BO: Water quality and availability are critical issues for America and the world.
An Obama administration will put water issues—both quantity and quality—at the top of our environmental agenda.
While there’s little doubt the economy will be the defining issue in this election, the candidates’ positions on environmental issues can’t be downplayed (after all, what good are $700 billion bailouts if our coastlines are underwater).
With the goal of keeping the environment front and center during this election season, best-selling author and DISCOVER contributor Thomas Kostigen put five questions to the two candidates, on topics including climate change, the dwindling water supply, hazardous waste, alt-energy investments, and the private sector’s role in contributing to the clean-up.
As you may recall, both Obama and Mc Cain recently answered 14 questions on science policy from Science Debate 2008.
While the Obama camp’s answers concerning climate change and alt-energy investments are largely consistent with what Science Debate received, this time he includes more detail, including his plans for allocation of the revenue generated by cap-and-trade auctions as well as his proposal to create a $10 billion venture capital fund to bolster clean technology development.
Similarly, Mc Cain’s responses on energy and global warming echo what he told Science Debate, including his pledge to instate permanent alt-energy tax breaks (a promise that Obama makes as well) and a vow to “lead by example” in the “greening of the federal government.” Questions to Barack Obama TK: Ensuring an adequate water supply is a huge issue, arguably a bigger challenge than energy.
Recent estimates say we are going to have to increase our supply of freshwater by 20 percent in the next 20 years to meet world demand.
Two-thirds of the world’s population will experience water shortages by 2025.
Meanwhile, the Clean Water Act hasn’t been updated since 1972.
I understand how clean water can make a difference in people’s lives and a community’s economic health. As a result, I worked to understand and address the root causes of beach closings, including polluted runoff and sewage overflows that limit the time families can spend along some of our most treasured coasts. I am troubled by recent court rulings that have confused rather than clarified federal jurisdiction over “waters of the United States,” including environmentally sensitive wetlands critical to maintaining supplies of clean freshwater.