Why Millennials Are Crucial to our Clean Energy Future
As the largest generation in America, millennial voters will have an enormous ability to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Whether they turn out – and who they vote for – will be a key factor in determining America’s clean energy future.
In a new USA TODAY poll, 80 percent of millennials surveyed said the U.S. should convert to mostly clean energy by 2030. This ambitious plan won’t be achievable without the next president’s support. The election, which energy expert Nick Butler calls “the most important event of the year for the climate agenda,” will also determine if we have the political will necessary to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
The leading GOP candidates have expressed doubt about climate science and made clear their desire to dismantle the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. If elected, their energy agenda would be very different from the one millennials favor. That’s why it’s important to help millennials understand the huge value of their vote. Electing a candidate with a good climate plan will not only aid the transition to clean energy – it will also provide benefits in other areas millennials care about, such as health care, security, and the economy.
Susan Page and Paul Singer, contributors to USA TODAY
Millennials have a message for the next president.
Get serious about converting to renewable energy, the under-35 generation says by an overwhelming margin, and require every gun buyer to undergo a background check. They endorse putting body cameras on police officers and accepting refugees from war-torn countries such as Syria.
A USA TODAY/Rock the Vote Millennial Poll finds an emerging generation that is more pragmatic than ideological and not yet firmly aligned with either political party. Donald Trump leads the Republican field among millennials, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders the Democratic one — especially among millennial women.
Across partisan lines, millennials have reached a generational consensus on some of the major issues that have proved divisive for their elders.
Image credit: AP