SEABROOK, N.H. – Presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s climate policy is viewed as a middle ground between the “extreme” positions of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump according to some of her supporters, but her approach could prove to be counteractive.

Customers welcomed Haley to a meet and greet at Brown’s Lobster Pound in Seabrook on Sunday. Supporters stood to catch a glimpse of the presidential candidate as she made a loop around the packed New Hampshire restaurant, greeting attendees.

Voters here say they are drawn to Haley because of her novelty, charm and “moderate” policies in comparison to President Joe Biden and Former President Donald Trump.

That includes her approach to the climate crisis, which Haley classifies as an “all of the above energy approach” where the energy sector becomes an “economic powerhouse,” while also bolstering “clean energy.” 

“That means nuclear, that means talking to India and China about burning coal,”  said attendee Elizabeth Childs. “It means not forcing people to make choices like, ‘you have to drive an electric vehicle,’ but helping people understand how that’s valuable as a part of the solution.”

Childs said she appreciates how Haley allows voters to make educated choices about how to approach the climate crisis as opposed to the more “extreme” mandates by the current president. Childs views climate change as a real problem, so Trump’s “hoax” claims seem extreme, too.

While Haley has said she supports environmental protection, her actions point toward a more economically-focused executive branch, should she take office. After proudly dropping out of the Paris Climate Agreement, she has said throughout her campaign that the bigger threats are international powers like India and China. 

“I think what she is saying is very rational,” Haley supporter Jennifer Nassour said. “We can do everything that we can in the United States, but unless the biggest victimizers in China and India are changing their policies, it’s not going to change anything. And so at the end of the day, we need to become energy independent.”

As the top three emitters, the United States, India and China pollute 15 times the emissions of the bottom 100 countries, with energy as the largest factor. 

Two-thirds of Americans back climate-positive policies, according to a 2020 poll, but voters differ on how strict they think the rules should be.

“I’m a mom,” Nassour added. “I want to make sure that this Earth is here for a long time for my kids and my future grandkids, but I don’t want to do it at our expense and then people around the world are not doing their part to change anything.”

Conservative-leaning voters and candidates alike are wary of forfeiting personal freedoms for environmental protection, claiming Biden’s policy is too restrictive. Haley did not address how she intends to pressure China and India to implement a more environmentally conscious policy. But the impacts of pollution are visible on a domestic scale, calling into question how much more time we can afford to wait before taking action.