2016 Presidential Candidates: Energy

Powering America’s future while maintaining and preserving natural resources will require increased efficiency, strong infrastructure, and an “all of the above” energy mix, including oil, gas, coal, nuclear, and renewable energy.

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Hillary Clinton (D)

"And actually -- well, that was very interesting. First of all, China is illegally dumping steel in the United States and Donald Trump is buying it to build his buildings, putting steelworkers and American steel plants out of business. That's something that I fought against as a senator and that I would have a trade prosecutor to make sure that we don't get taken advantage of by China on steel or anything else. You know, because it sounds like you're in the business or you're aware of people in the business -- you know that we are now for the first time ever energy-independent. We are not dependent upon the Middle East. But the Middle East still controls a lot of the prices. So the price of oil has been way down. And that has had a damaging effect on a lot of the oil companies, right? We are, however, producing a lot of natural gas, which serves as a bridge to more renewable fuels. And I think that's an important transition. We've got to remain energy-independent. It gives us much more power and freedom than to be worried about what goes on in the Middle East. We have enough worries over there without having to worry about that. So I have a comprehensive energy policy, but it really does include fighting climate change, because I think that is a serious problem. And I support moving toward more clean, renewable energy as quickly as we can, because I think we can be the 21st century clean energy superpower and create millions of new jobs and businesses. But I also want to be sure that we don't leave people behind. That's why I'm the only candidate from the very beginning of this campaign who had a plan to help us revitalize coal country, because those coal miners and their fathers and their grandfathers, they dug that coal out. A lot of them lost their lives. They were injured, but they turned the lights on and they powered their factories. I don't want to walk away from them. So we've got to do something for them. But the price of coal is down worldwide. So we have to look at this comprehensively." (Clinton; October 11, 2016)

CLIMATE CHANGE: "The science is real. And I think is important that we grip this and deal with it both at home and abroad. And here’s what we can do - we can deploy a half a billion more solar panels. We can have enough clean energy to power every home. We can build a new modern electric grid. That’s a lot of jobs. That’s a lot of new economic activity. So I've tried to be very specific about what we can and should do. And I am determined that we are going to get the economy really moving again. Building on the progress we've made over the last eight years but never going back to what got us in trouble in the first place." (Clinton; September 26, 2016)

"We have enormous capacity for clean energy production." (Clinton; August 11, 2016

"And let’s build a cleaner, more resilient power grid with enough renewable energy to power every home in our country as well. Some country is going to be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century and create millions of jobs and businesses. It’s probably going to be either China, Germany, or America. I want it to be us! We invent the technology, we should make it and use it and export it, which will help to grow our economy." (Clinton; August 11, 2016)

CLIMATE CHANGE: "I believe in science. I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs." (Clinton, 2016)
 
FIRST 100 DAYS: "In my first 100 days, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II. Jobs in manufacturing, clean energy, technology and innovation, small business, and infrastructure." (Clinton, 2016)

ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE: "He has no credible plan for rebuilding our infrastructure, apart from the wall that he wants to build.  Personally I’d rather spend our money on rebuilding our schools or modernizing our energy grid." (Clinton, 2016)
 
FUTURE OF COAL: “I don't think I've changed my view on what we need to do to go from where we are, where the world is heavily dependent on coal and oil, but principally coal, to where we need to be, which is clean renewable energy, and one of the bridge fuels is natural gas. And so for both economic and environmental and strategic reasons, it was American policy to try to help countries get out from under the constant use of coal, building coal plants all the time, also to get out from under, especially if they were in Europe, the pressure from Russia, which has been incredibly intense. So we did say natural gas is a bridge. 6 We want to cross that bridge as quickly as possible, because in order to deal with climate change, we have got to move as rapidly as we can. That's why I've set big goals. I want to see us deploy a half a billion more solar panels by the end of my first term and enough clean energy to provide electricity to every home in America within 10 years. So I have big, bold goals, but I know in order to get from where we are, where the world is still burning way too much coal, where the world is still too intimidated by countries and providers like Russia, we have got to make a very firm but decisive move in the direction of clean energy.” (Clinton, 2016)
 
FRACKING: "I have long been in favor of states and cities within states making up their own minds about whether or not they want to permit fracking. I have been supportive of that." (Clinton, 2016)
 
FRACKING: : "I have said repeatedly that we are going to move from fossil fuels to clean energy. We’re going to have to do it in a quick, but thoughtful way … What the government does have the authority to do is to impose very strict regulations on the chemicals being used; closing the Halliburton loophole; on the methane release. There’s a lot we can do…" (Clinton, 2016)
 
KEYSTONE PIPELINE: On whether she flip flopped on supporting Keystone XL Pipeline. "You know, we know that if you are learning, you're gonna change your position.  I never took a position on Keystone until I took a position on Keystone. But I have been on the forefront of dealing with climate change, starting in 2009, when President Obama and I crashed (ph) a meeting with the Chinese and got them to sign up to the first international agreement to combat climate change that they'd ever joined." (Clinton, 2015)
 
KEYSTONE PIPELINE: Opposes the Keyston XL Pipeline: "I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone pipeline as what I believe it is -- a distraction from important work we have to do on climate change. And unfortunately from my perspective, one that interferes with our ability to move forward with all the other issues. Therefore I oppose it." (Clinton, 2015)
 
CLIMATE CHANGE: “"The science of climate change is unforgiving, no matter what the deniers may say, sea levels are rising, ice caps are melting, storms, droughts and wildfires are wreaking havoc.  The political challenges are also unforgiving, there is no getting around the fact the kind of ambitious response required to effectively combat climate change is going to be a tough sell at home and around the world at a time when so many countries including our own are grappling with slow growth and stretched budgets.” (Clinton, 2014)
 
KEYSTONE PIPELINE: Has declined to say whether she supports or opposes. (CNN, 2015)

 

 

Donald Trump (R)

"Absolutely. I think it's such a great question, because energy is under siege by the Obama administration. Under absolutely siege. The EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, is killing these energy companies. And foreign companies are now coming in buying our -- buying so many of our different plants and then re-jiggering the plant so that they can take care of their oil. We are killing -- absolutely killing our energy business in this country. Now, I'm all for alternative forms of energy, including wind, including solar, et cetera. But we need much more than wind and solar. And you look at our miners. Hillary Clinton wants to put all the miners out of business. There is a thing called clean coal. Coal will last for 1,000 years in this country. Now we have natural gas and so many other things because of technology. We have unbelievable -- we have found over the last seven years, we have found tremendous wealth right under our feet. So good. Especially when you have $20 trillion in debt. I will bring our energy companies back. They'll be able to compete. They'll make money. They'll pay off our national debt. They'll pay off our tremendous budget deficits, which are tremendous. But we are putting our energy companies out of business. We have to bring back our workers. You take a look at what's happening to steel and the cost of steel and China dumping vast amounts of steel all over the United States, which essentially is killing our steelworkers and our steel companies. We have to guard our energy companies. We have to make it possible. The EPA is so restrictive that they are putting our energy companies out of business. And all you have to do is go to a great place like West Virginia or places like Ohio, which is phenomenal, or places like Pennsylvania and you see what they're doing to the people, miners and others in the energy business. It's a disgrace." (Trump; October 9, 2016)
 
"She talks about solar panels. We invested in a solar company, our country. That was a disaster. They lost plenty of money on that one. Now look, I’m a great believer in all forms of energy. But we’re putting a lot of people out of work. Our energy policies are disaster. Our country is losing so much in terms of energy, in terms of paying off our debt." (Trump; September 26, 2016)
 
"The first step will be to undo the damage of the last eight years. By 2030, the Obama-Clinton energy restrictions will eliminate another half a million manufacturing jobs, reduce economic output by $2.5 trillion, and reduce incomes by $7,000 per person." (Trump; September 22, 2016)
 
"We will support coal production. We will support safe hydraulic fracturing. We will allow energy production on federal lands in appropriate areas. We will also open up vast areas of our offshore energy resources for safe production." (Trump; September 22, 2016)
 
"The Trump Administration will ensure a reliable, streamlined regulatory and permitting process for energy infrastructure projects, and will work with their sponsors to find workable solutions so that worthy energy infrastructure projects can be completed on time and on budget." (Trump; September 22, 2016)

"Lifting unnecessary restrictions on all sources of American energy—such as coal and onshore and offshore oil and gas—will (a) increase GDP by more than $100 billion annually, add over 500,000 new jobs annually, and increase annual wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years; (b) increase federal, state, and local tax revenues by almost $6 trillion over 4 decades; and (c) increase total economic activity by more than $20 trillion over the next 40 years." (Trump; September 22, 2016)

"The Trump Administration will not be in the business of government picking winners and losers. We need to allow the free market and the innovative spirit of the American people to produce the new energy technologies of tomorrow and encourage America's energy independence." (Trump; September 22, 2016)

DOMESTIC ENERGY: "It will be American hands that rebuild this country, and it will be American energy - mined from American sources - that powers this country." (Trump, 2016)
 
ENERGY REFORM: "The Obama-Clinton Administration has blocked and destroyed millions of jobs through their anti-energy regulations, while raising the price of electricity for both families and businesses. As a result of recent Obama EPA actions coal-fired power plants across Michigan have either shut down entirely or undergone expensive conversions. The Obama-Clinton war on coal has cost Michigan over 50,000 jobs. Hillary Clinton says her plan will “put a lot of coal companies and coal miners out of business.” We will put our coal miners and steel workers back to work. Clinton not only embraces President Obama’s job-killing energy restrictions but wants to expand them, including going after oil and natural gas production that employs some 10 million Americans. According to the Heritage Foundation, by 2030, the Obama-Clinton energy restrictions will eliminate another half a million manufacturing jobs, reduce economic output by $2.5 trillion dollars, and reduce incomes by $7,000 dollars per person. A Trump Administration will end this war on the American worker, and unleash an energy revolution that will bring vast new wealth to our country. According to the Institute for Energy Research, lifting the restrictions on all sources of American energy will: Increase GDP by more than $100 billion dollars annually, add over 500,000 new jobs annually, and increase annual wages by more than $30 billion dollars over the next 7 years; Increase federal, state, and local tax revenues by almost $6 trillion dollars over 4 decades; Increase total economic activity by more than $20 trillion dollars over the next 40 years." (Trump, 2016)
 
DOMESTIC ENERGY EXPLORATION: "Then we are going to deal with the issue of regulation, one of the greatest job killers of them all. Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year, and we will end and it very quickly. We are going to lift the restrictions on the production of American energy. This will produce more than $20 trillion in job-creating economic activity over the next four decades. My opponent, on the other hand, wants to put the great miners and steelworkers of our country out of work and out of business. That will never happen with Donald J trump as president. Our steelworkers and are miners are going back to work again." (Trump, 2016)
 
COAL: “Hillary Clinton wants to shut down energy production and shut down the mines, and she wants to shut down – she said it just recently – she wants to shut down the miners. I want to do exactly the opposite.” (Trump, 2016)
 
FRACKING: ""Fracking is something that we need, fracking is something that's here whether we like it or not. "But if a municipality or a state wants to ban fracking, I can understand that... I'm in favor of fracking, but I think voters should have a big say in it. I mean, there's some areas that maybe they don't want to have fracking and I think if the voters are voting for it, that's up to them." (Trump, 2016)
 
FIRST 100 DAYS: "Here is my 100-day action plan:
  • We’re going to rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.
  • We’re going to save the coal industry and other industries threatened by Hillary Clinton’s extremist agenda.
  • I’m going to ask Trans Canada to renew its permit application for the Keystone Pipeline.
  • We’re going to lift moratoriums on energy production in federal areas
  • We’re going to revoke policies that impose unwarranted restrictions on new drilling technologies. These technologies create millions of jobs with a smaller footprint than ever before.
  • We’re going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.
  • Any regulation that is outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers, or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped. We will also eliminate duplication, provide regulatory certainty, and trust local officials and local residents.
  • Any future regulation will go through a simple test: is this regulation good for the American worker? If it doesn’t pass this test, the rule will not be approved." (Trump, 2016)

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY: “It’s so expensive. And honestly, it’s not working so good. I know a lot about solar. I love solar. But the payback is what, 18 years? Oh great, let me do it. Eighteen years. The wind kills all your birds. All your birds, killed. You know, the environmentalists never talk about that.” (Trump, 2016)

KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE: “If I Am Elected President I Will Immediately Approve The Keystone XL Pipeline. No Impact On Environment & Lots Of Jobs For U.S.” (Trump, 2015)

CLIMATE CHANGE: "Well, first of all, I’m not a believer in global warming. And I’m not a believer in man-made global warming. It could be warming, and it’s going to start to cool at some point. And you know, in the early, in the 1920s, people talked about global cooling. I don’t know if you know that or not. They thought the Earth was cooling. Now, it’s global warming. And actually, we’ve had times where the weather wasn’t working out, so they changed it to extreme weather, and they have all different names, you know, so that it fits the bill. But the problem we have, and if you look at our energy costs, and all of the things that we’re doing to solve a problem that I don’t think in any major fashion exists. I mean, Obama thinks it’s the number one problem of the world today. And I think it’s very low on the list. So I am not a believer, and I will, unless somebody can prove something to me, I believe there’s weather. I believe there’s change, and I believe it goes up and it goes down, and it goes up again. And it changes depending on years and centuries, but I am not a believer, and we have much bigger problems."  (Trump, 2015)


 

 

Gary Johnson (L)

CLIMATE CHANGE: "Yeah, I do. But back to the large risk to human society, we’re what, 16 percent of the world’s population, we’re 16 percent contributor to global warming, and I think that the free market has really addressed this in a big way, that we as consumers are demanding less carbon emission. And if you look at coal, coal has been bankrupted. All the marginal coal assets in this country are bankrupted; they’re not being utilized. Thirty-seven percent of the U.S. load is – I mean, that’s the number one contributor to CO-2 is coal, and as low as the prices for coal today, natural gas is even less, so there are just no new coal facilities that are going to be built, and then this boondoggle in Mississippi, clean coal, and it rages on. What is the cost of that facility up to now, 6 billion dollars? And I think these things are in the cards and that from a consumer standpoint we are driving that way beyond government regulation, and I would not be – I would not be supporting government regulation that ends up with us losing jobs. And I say that there’s also the rest of the world. Yeah, we lead by example, but do we get ahead of the world to the point that we lose jobs here in this country as a result of it?" (Johnson, 2016)
 
CLIMATE CHANGE: “The environment is a precious gift and needs to be protected. Gov. Johnson believes strongly that the first responsibility of government is to protect citizens from those who would do them harm, whether it be a foreign aggressor, a criminal — or a bad actor who harms the environment upon which we all depend. Consistent with that responsibility, Gary Johnson believes it is the proper role of government to enforce reasonable environmentalprotections. He did so as Governor, and would do so as President. However, Gov. Johnson also believes that it is NOT the proper role of government to engage in social and economic engineering for the purpose of manipulating the energy marketplace or creating winners and losers in what should be a robust free market. Such efforts have failed in the past, and are doomed to continue to fail. Preventing a polluter from harming our water or air is one thing. Deciding in Washington, DC, that one source of energy should be subsidized and others penalized is a different matter. In a healthy economy that allows the market to function unimpeded, consumers, innovators and personal choices will ultimately bring about the environmental restoration and protection society desires. Conversely, destroying prosperity and innovation through government intervention will only harm the environment. When it comes to global climate change, Gov. Johnson believes too many politicians are having the wrong debate. Is the climate changing? Probably so. Is man contributing to that change? Probably so. The important question, however, is whether the government’s efforts to regulate, tax and manipulate the marketplace in order to impact that change are cost-effective — or effective at all. Given the realities of global energy and resource use, there is little evidence that the burden being placed on Americans is making a difference that justifies the cost” (Johnson, 2016)