With all the mudslinging and controversy surrounding this election, it may feel like it doesn’t matter who you vote for. But when it comes to energy policies, not all candidates are created equal.
The energy policies proposed by the current presidential candidates can have a long-lasting impact on your life and the environment. Your electric and gas costs are influenced by the president’s decisions and views, so it’s important to understand what the candidates have in mind if they take office.
Donald Trump’s energy plan focuses on encouraging energy companies to explore new production technology and expand operations. He plans to:
✔ Establish America’s energy independence from hostile countries and stop imports of many foreign fuel sources.
✔ Withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, a global consensus on addressing climate change.
✔ Pursue all forms of energy, including renewable energies such as nuclear, wind and solar energy – but not to the exclusion of coal and fossil fuels, as he doesn’t believe the government should “pick winners or losers.”
✔ Supports the Keystone XL Pipeline.
✔ Supports fracking, but thinks local governments should be able to ban it.
✔ Decrease energy costs and reduce regulations on energy companies; rescind Environmental Protection Agency regulations enacted during President Obama’s tenure.
✔ Has tweeted that the concept of global warming was created by the Chinese to interfere with American business.
“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” – Donald Trump tweet, November 6, 2012
Hillary Clinton’s energy policies revolve around positioning the United States as a clean energy superpower and reducing carbon pollution. She will:
✔ Launch a $60 billion Clean Energy Challenge to partner with states, cities, and rural communities to cut carbon pollution and expand clean energy.
✔ Deliver on the pledge President Obama made at the Paris climate conference.
✔ Install half a billion solar panels capable of powering all residential buildings in America, reducing energy waste by 30 percent and replacing 30 percent of oil consumption with clean energy sources.
✔ Does not support the Keystone XL Pipeline.
✔ Supports fracking with “smart regulations,” provided no local bans exist.
✔ Divert oil and gas company tax subsidies to many climate and environmental improvement plans, such as cleaning up 450,000 toxic brownfields.
✔ Has a strong belief in the damage climate change is causing the environment.
“I won’t let anyone take us backward, deny our economy the benefits of harnessing a clean energy future, or force our children to endure the catastrophe that would result from unchecked climate change.” –HIllary Clinton, November 2015
What Is “Fracking”?
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a process that drives liquids and chemicals into shale rocks at high pressure and fractures them for natural resource extraction. While the EPA considers shale gas to be clean energy, environmentalists are concerned about methane leaks, earthquakes, and other environmental consequences of the fracking process.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton aren’t the only candidates in the race. Here is where third-party candidates stand on environmental issues.
✔ Jill Stein’s platform centers on preventing further damage from climate change and limiting worldwide temperature increases.
✔ She wants to make oil obsolete and put the U.S. on track to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2030.
✔ Her policies would eliminate fracking, fossil fuel power plants and oil pipelines.
✔ Gary Johnson wants to limit government regulation of energy, as he feels renewable energy should not receive subsidies while other forms get fined.
✔ However, he wants to keep EPA regulations in place as needed in order to protect the environment from pollution and other harm.
✔ His free-market stance promotes competition between companies to drive innovation.
What Is the Keystone XL Pipeline?
The Keystone Pipeline is an oil pipeline system between the United States and Canada. Currently, phases I through III are operational. Phase IV, rejected by the Obama administration, would run from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska. Proponents of the pipeline believe increasing our supply of oil from Canada reduces our dependency on the Middle Eastern market and creates jobs. Adversaries are concerned about industrial chemicals seeping into the groundwater and damage to local communities. In addition, increasing fossil fuel production fails to curb global warming.
When you head out to vote in November, make sure to keep each candidate’s energy policies and the potential long-term impact in mind when you make your selection. For more information on solar energy, check out our FAQs page, or contact us today to learn more!