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Energy is the lifeblood of our economy. It powers everything we do from work to home and makes modern life possible.

Donald Trump

Like other policy areas, Donald Trump has not provided a great deal of specifics on his plans concerning energy policy. When he has taken a position, such as his support for the wind Production Tax Credit or Renewable Fuel Standard, he is often unclear and lacks detail. It is difficult at this time to determine if he would be a strong advocate for American families in the White House on this policy area. At this time we consider him an American Energy Doubter. He should provide more details as other candidates have in recents weeks with their comprehensive plans…




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Hillary Clinton

A review of Hillary Clinton’s record and statements makes it clear that she would be an American energy villain who consistently opposes free market energy policies. In addition, she would routinely advocate big government policies designed to significantly increase the cost of energy in every aspect of people’s lives.

She has indicated that not only will she defend President Obama’s unconstitutional “Clean Power Plan” regulations, but she would work to expand them…




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Issues

Federal Electricity Grid Takeover

Donald Trump


Not enough information.


Hillary Clinton


Plans to increase Clean Power Plan regulations and expand them throughout North America. “The entire North American continent must accelerate the clean energy transition and develop more comprehensive approaches to cutting carbon pollution. As President, Clinton will immediately launch negotiations with the leaders of Canada and Mexico to secure a North American Climate Compact that includes ambitious national targets, coordinated policy approaches, and strong accountability measures to catalyze clean energy deployment, reduce energy costs, cut greenhouse gas emissions, guide infrastructure investment, and make our integrated energy and vehicle markets cleaner and more efficient.” (“Hillary Clinton’s Vision for Modernizing North American Energy Infrastructure,” Campaign Website, Factsheet, accessed 9/23/2015)

Would subject states to a “Clean Energy Challenge” to build on the Clean Power Plan’s regulations. “Of course, the Clean Power Plan standards set the floor, not the ceiling. We can and must go further. As President, I will launch a Clean Energy Challenge to give states, cities and rural communities that are ready to lead the tools and resources to succeed.” (Hillary Clinton, “Statement from Hillary Clinton on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan,” Press Release, 8/2/2015)

Vowed to protect Obama’s Clean Power Plan if elected. “The Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan is a significant step forward in meeting the urgent threat of climate change… It will need defending.” (Hillary Clinton, “Statement from Hillary Clinton on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan,” Press Release, 8/2/2015)

Promised to pass even more energy-prohibitive regulations. “As President, I will build on the work of this Administration and make America a clean energy superpower and a global leader in the fight against climate change. That’s a promise.” (Hillary Clinton, “Statement from Hillary Clinton on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan,” Press Release, 8/2/2015)

Wind Production Tax Credit

Donald Trump


Said he was “ok” with wind PTC. “Trump began by saying, “Well, I’m okay with it.” (He then said that he “know[s] a lot about wind,” prompting some tittering in the audience.) He noted that it can be hard for wind to be competitive in energy production particularly when prices for fossil fuels are so low, so “you need subsidies.”” (Philip Bump, “Donald Trump hated wind farms – until an Iowa voter asked,’” Washington Post, 11/19/2015)


Hillary Clinton


Supports extending the wind PTC. “Clinton said [at a campaign stop in Iowa that] she would continue the wind production tax credit and recalibrate other tax incentives that are ‘too heavily weighted … toward fossil fuels.’” (Alana Wise, “Hillary Clinton sets renewable energy goals to spur more wind, solar power,” , 7/26/2015)

Voted to extend the wind PTC multiple times. (Roll Call Vote 188, Passed 92-3, 9/23/2004, Clinton Voted Yea; Roll Call Vote 279, Passed 79-9, 12/9/2006, Clinton Voted Yea)

Previously promised to make tax credits for wind and solar permanent. “As President, to help us reach 25% by 2025, I will make the production tax credit for wind and solar permanent.”(Hillary Clinton, “Hillary Clinton’s Speech on Energy and Climate Change,” Council on Foreign Relations, 11/5/2007)

Renewable Fuel Standard

Donald Trump


Says he would fully support the RFS. (when asked if he would support the Renewable Fuel Standard) “Yes, and I’m a very strong yes. There is no reason not to. We need it, we need every form we can get. Ethanol is terrific, especially with the new process. And…I am totally in favor of ethanol 100%, and I will support it.” (Donald Trump supports Renewable Fuel Standard, YouTube, 9/20/2015)

Would encourage EPA follow statutory RFS levels set in 2007, which are higher than current EPA mandates. ““The EPA should ensure that biofuel … blend levels match the statutory level set by Congress under the [renewable fuel standard],” Trump said. (Timothy Cama, “Trump calls for higher ethanol mandate,” The Hill, 1/19/2016)


Hillary Clinton


Unveiled a plan to “strengthen” the RFS by shifting the program to look more like a national low carbon fuel standard. “Strengthen the Renewable Fuel Standard so that it drives the development of advanced cellulosic and other advanced biofuels, protects consumers, improves access to E15, E85, and biodiesel blends, and provides investment certainty.” (Hillary Clinton, “Hillary Clinton’s Plan for a Vibrant Rural America, Factsheet)

Voted for Energy Policy Act of 2005 which, among other things, created the RFS. (H.R.6, Roll Call Vote 158: Passed 85-12-3: R 49-5-1, D 35-7-2, I 1-0-0, 6/28/2005, Clinton Voted Yea)

But Clinton had previously opposed ethanol mandates on the Senate floor. “I dare predict that voting for this bill, which will raise gas prices in 45 of our States, will be a political nightmare for people who end up voting for it. Higher gas prices at the pump, reduced Federal assistance for much-needed transportation projects, possible negative air quality, and public health impacts, to say nothing of raiding the Federal Treasury to give this giveaway to these large producers, makes it impossible to understand why any pro-consumer, pro-health, pro-environment, anti-government mandate Member of this body would vote for this provision.” (Marlo Lewis Jr., “Ethanol Mandate Sparks Democrats’ Opposition,” Heartland Institute, 7/1/2002)

In fact, she voted against the ethanol industry 17 times while in the Senate. (Robert Bryce, “Corn Ethanol Is Worse Than Keystone,” Bloomberg View, 6/2/2015)

Other Energy Issues

Donald Trump


– Says America doesn’t need Canadian oil, but supports approval of Keystone XL. “Frankly, we don’t need Canada. We should just be able to drill our own oil. But as long as it’s there, we certainly should have approve it. It was jobs and it was cheaper oil… But it’s absolutely terrible. And it’s not an environmental problem at all, in any way, shape, or form.”(“Trump on Obama and Keystone: ‘Absolutely Disgraceful,’” Fox News, 1/18/2012)

– Yet stated that Keystone should be approved only under certain conditions. “At a Tuesday rally in Iowa, the GOP presidential front-runner complained that the United States is “not really getting anything” in return for the controversial project, which President Obama is considering whether to approve seven years after TransCanada Corp. first applied to build it, the Toronto Star reported…“So I would approve it, because I love the jobs of building it, I love the jobs of building it, but I may just say, ‘Maybe we should get 10 percent, 15 percent, maybe 20 percent as that oil flows.’” (Timothy Cama, “Trump: US needs ‘better deal’ before approving Keystone pipeline,” The Hill, 10/28/2015)

– Wants to tax profits from Keystone 25%. “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday called for a 25% or greater tax on profits from the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S.The morning after the fourth Republican primary debate, which focused on tax and economic policy, the celebrity developer told a Manchester, N.H., audience, “I want a piece of the profits. Let’s make a good deal.”” (Heather Haddon, “Donald Trump: I Want a Piece of Keystone XL Profits,” Wall Street Journal, 11/11/2015)

+ Supports nuclear energy. “I’m in favor of nuclear energy, very strongly in favor of nuclear energy.” (“Trump: We Do Need Nuclear Energy,” Fox News, 3/15/2011)

+ Supports hydraulic fracturing. “Fracking will lead to American energy independence. With price of natural gas continuing to drop, we can be at a tremendous advantage.” (Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter, 5/3/2012)

+ Supports lifting the ban on crude oil exports. “We can be the number one energy producer in the world. But we have archaic laws.” (Lauren Aguirre, “Election 2016: Donald Trump Visits Dallas,” The Daily Campus, 9/14/2015)

+ In favor of cutting EPA funding. “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Sunday that he would cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency. “Environmental Protection,” Trump said on Fox News Sunday after host Christ Wallace asked if there were any federal departments he’d cut. “What they do is a disgrace. Every week they come out with new regulations. They’re making it impossible.”” (Alan Klein/Bloomberg, “Trump would cut Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Education, he said,” The Orange County Register, 10/18/2015)

+ Has been a critic of cap and trade in the past. “Here’s another one: Cap and Tax (or as they called it, Cap and Trade). Remember that? When he was campaigning to be president, Obama outright admitted that his plan to tax businesses on carbon emissions that exceeded his arbitrary cap would drive energy prices sky high…” (Donald Trump, “Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again,” pg. 15, 2011)


Hillary Clinton


– Voted for a resolution disapproving of an EPA rule removing coal plants from a list of major sources of air pollutants. (S.J.Res.20, Roll Call 225, Rejected 47-51: R 9-44-1, D 37-7-1, I 1-0-0, 9/13/2005, Clinton Voted Yea)

+ Voted to open the Gulf of Mexico to offshore drilling. (S.3711, Roll Call Vote 219, Passed 71-25: R 52-1-1, D 19-23-3, I 0-1-0, 8/1/2006, Clinton Voted Yea)

– Voted for an act to increase renewable fuels and mandate increased efficiency standards in buildings and vehicles. (H.R.6, Roll Call Vote 226, Passed 65-27: R 19-23-5, D 44-4-2, I 2-0-0, 6/21/2007, Clinton Voted Yea)

– Proposed two goals if elected President: install 500 million solar panels by 2020 and generate enough renewable energy to power every American’s home by 2027. “Through these goals, we will increase the amount of installed solar capacity by 700% by 2020, expand renewable energy to at least a third of all electricity generation, prevent thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of asthma attacks each year, and put our country on a path to achieve deep emission reductions by 2050.” (Hillary Clinton, “Taking on the global threat of climate change,” Factsheet, 7/26/2015)

– Signed a letter to then-commissioner of the EPA Michael Leavitt, urging the agency to enact strict regulations on power plants. (Letter to EPA Administrator Michael O. Leavitt, votesmart.org, 4/1/2004)

– Initially refused to take a position on the Keystone XL pipeline. “I was involved in this process and my assessment is that it is not appropriate, nor fair, for me to prejudge in a public arena what Secretary Kerry and President Obama eventually have to decide, and therefore I will not do it.” (Gabriel Debenedetti, “Clinton dodges Keystone pipeline question,” POLITICO, 7/28/2015)

– But opposes the Keystone XL Pipeline. ““I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone pipeline, as what I think it is, as a distraction to the important work we have to do on climate change,” Clinton said Tuesday at a campaign event in Iowa. “And unfortunately, from my perspective, on that interferes with our ability to move forward with all the other issues.”

“Therefore I oppose it,” she said. “I don’t think it’s in the best interest to combat climate change.”

(Timothy Cama, “Clinton comes out against Keystone XL,”  The Hill, 9/22/2015)

+ Plans to improve America’s pipeline infrastructure if elected president. “Repair or replace thousands of miles of outdated pipelines to improve safety and reduce methane leaks by the end of her first term in office.” (“Hillary Clinton’s Vision for Modernizing North American Energy Infrastructure,” Campaign Website, Factsheet, accessed 9/23/2015)

– Only supports lifting the crude oil ban with concessions. “Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Friday she would support lifting the 40-year-old U.S. ban on crude exports only if the measure included concessions from the oil and gas industry to move toward cleaner energy. Clinton said she had not yet seen any legislation on lifting the ban that included concessions from the fossil fuel industry, In the absence of that, ‘I don’t think the ban should be lifted,’ Clinton told reporters.” (Amanda Becker & Timothy Gardner, “Clinton would support end to oil export ban only with concessions,” , 9/18/2015)

– Supported a cap-and-trade program. “I advocate a cap-and-trade system. What I want to do with the auction of pollution permits is to take a lot of that money and invest it in new technologies, new ways of getting to our objectives that I’ve outlined in my energy plan.”(Des Moines Register Presidential Debate – Democrats, CNN, Transcript, 12/13/2007)

– Against drilling in the Arctic. “The Arctic is a unique treasure. Given what we know, it’s not worth the risk of drilling. –H.” (Hillary Clinton [@HillaryClinton], Twitter, 8/18/2015)

– Disapproves of Obama’s decision to approve offshore drilling in the Arctic.  “‘I have been to the Arctic. I have been to Barrow, [Alaska],’ she said, adding: “And I think we should not risk the potential catastrophes that could come about from accidents in looking for more oil in one of the last remaining pristine regions of the world.” (Elana Schor, Katie Glueck, and Andrew Restuccia,  “Clinton breaks with Obama on Arctic drilling,” POLITICO, 8/18/2015)

– Plans to increase spending on “green” initiatives. “Clinton will galvanize the  investment needed to help cities, states, and rural communities upgrade and repair existing energy infrastructure and build the new infrastructure we will need for a clean energy future.” (“Hillary Clinton’s Vision for Modernizing North American Energy Infrastructure,” Campaign Website, Factsheet, accessed 9/23/2015)

– Advocated for a coalition of developed countries to spend $100 billion a year to mitigate the impacts of climate change in developing nations. “…the US was prepared to lead a collective effort by developed countries to mobilize $100 billion annually by 2020 from a combination of public and private sources to help the most vulnerable nations mitigate the damage from climate change–if we could also reach a broad agreement on limiting emissions.” (Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hard Choices, Simon & Schuster, 4/28/2015)

+ Claimed to support nuclear power during the 2008 campaign season. “I think nuclear power has to be part of our energy solution, I think we have to do a better job of how we deal with the waste…but I don’t have any preconceived opposition.” (The Heat is On, “Clinton on Nuclear Energy,” YouTube, 2/21/2007)

– But voted against a motion to proceed on legislation providing a safe repository for nuclear waste. (S.J. Res. 34, Roll Call Vote 167, Passed 60-39: R 45-3-1, D 15-35-0, I 0-1-0, 7/9/2002, Clinton Voted Nay)

– Her coal community revitalization plan will destroy jobs and increase spending on the taxpayers’ dime, all under the auspice of helping coal families. “Hillary Clinton is committed to meeting the climate change challenge as President and making the United States a clean energy superpower. At the same time, she will not allow coal communities to be left behind—or left out of our economic future. That’s why today Clinton announced a $30 billion plan to ensure that coal miners and their families get the benefits they’ve earned and respect they deserve, to invest in economic diversification and job creation, and to make coal communities an engine of US economic growth in the 21st century as they have been for generations.” (Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s Plan for Revitalizing Coal Communities, 11/2015)

– Stated that banning “extraction” on public lands would be a “done deal” under her administration.” (discussing oil and natural gas drilling with an activist) ACTIVIST: “Perhaps banning extraction on public lands?” CLINTON: “Yeah, I…yeah, thats a done deal.” (350 Action, “Hillary Clinton Thinks Banning Fossil Fuel Extraction on Public Lands is a “Done Deal”,” YouTube, 2/4/2016)