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Climate Change

 

MARTHA McSALLY

 

MARK KELLY

Causes and Impacts

McSally has repeatedly denied human involvement in climate change, saying that a human element is only "likely."  McSally has voted against individual bills to protect natural resources and against clean air acts. She has recognized the need for Arizona to reduce and conserve water use, and supported the Farm Bill that will allow the state to use federal resources to invest in water storage solutions. She has advocated for Arizonians to receive a share of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help at-risk citizens receive funds to help with cooling and efficiency costs.  
 
Kelly believes that left unchecked, climate change has the potential to drastically threaten economy and the well-being of citizens. As an astronaut for NASA, Kelly has witnessed the effects of climate change from his view in space. Climate predictions have the number of above-100 degree days in AZ rising, causing more intense droughts and increased health risks. As an astronaut, Kelly has seen the impacts of climate change first hand and views it as an opportunity to invest in more renewable sources of energy, such as solar, which can create thousands of new jobs as well as have Arizona lead the rest of the country in technological innovation. 

Economy

Recently McSally added her name to a letter with other Republican Senators, urging Mitch McConnell to provide corona-virus relief funding to clean energy jobs. In 2019, she introduced legislation (Nuclear Energy Renewal Act) to improve nuclear technologies and bolster the economic competitiveness of U.S. nuclear power. She also advocates for mining as a way to boost the state's clean energy goals. McSally does not support the U.S. commitment to the Paris Accords and has repeatedly voted against allowing the government to consider climate change in policy decision-making.
 
Mark Kelly sees the challenge of confronting climate change as an opportunity for economic growth. The switch from fossil fuels towards investment in sustainable energy sources (such as solar) and advanced job training would provide thousands of new jobs, eventually lower energy costs and require investment in technology development and research. Kelly is also a firm advocate for the US rejoining the Paris Agreement, to help strengthen the economy as well as help protect the planet. 

Mining

Martha McSally believes that the key to developing green technology is through further investment in mining infrastructure, and on May 6, 2019, McSally introduced new legislation that would strengthen mineral security. According to the Federal Election Commission, McSally has broadly defended the mining industry and has received at least $31,500 from mineral extraction interests since 2018. McSally has remained surprisingly silent about her stance on the ban on uranium mining around the Grand Canyon. 
 
Kelly has also advocated against the the proposed mining of uranium near the Grand Canyon, stating: "I certainly don’t think we should be mining uranium in the Grand Canyon. You know the Grand Canyon is a treasure not only for the state of Arizona but also for this planet.” He also recently spoke out against the confirmation of William Pendley's confirmation as the head of Bureau of Land Management, citing his desire to open up the Grand Canyon to uranium mining. Kelly stated: "Pendely's nomination to lead the Bureau of Land Management is clearly a threat to the goal of protecting Arizona’s public lands and keeping them accessible for everyone." 

Endorsements and Condemnations

The League of Conservation Voters has given McSally a lifetime score of 7. They list her as a member of the 2018, "“Dirty Dozen” politicians: 12 members most friendly with polluter industries, such as oil and gas extraction. McSally has also voted to protect subsidies for Big Oil and overall neglected Arizona’s clean energy future, all while taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel industry
 
The League of Conservation Voters officially endorsed Mark Kelly for senate in July 2019. They cite his career as an astronaut, engineer and veteran and his reputation for investing in climate solutions and advocating for under-represented and low-income communities.  Mark Kelly has also received backing from Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter, 314 Action Fund.