Both the Democratic and Republican parties have released their platforms, each offering a vision of the American energy landscape in the coming years. Both parties promote distinct visions of an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy. The end goal for both parties is U.S. energy independence, with the GOP’s vision seeming to rely primarily on the development of America’s fossil fuel resources and a business-friendly regulatory regime, while the Democrats’ platform promotes a “move towards a sustainable energy-independent future” that would allocate resources between fossil fuel and renewables development, alongside to a variety of “green” initiatives.



Fossil Fuels Supports “new, state-of-the-art coal-fired plants” as well as “[encouraging] research and development of…coal-to-liquid, coal gasification, and related technologies for enhanced oil recovery.”

Supports approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and likely other gas and oil pipelines.

Promotes natural gas, oil, and coal development, “both on and offshore.” Expand drilling off the East Coast, and open the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration.

Seeks to deliver energy independence, employment, and domestic manufacturing through greater fossil fuel development.

Supports “clean coal,” and “continue to advocate for the use of [natural gas].”

Supports expediting “the approval process to build out critical oil and gas lines.”

Supports “preserving sensitive public lands from exploration, like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Pacific West Coast, Gulf of Maine, and other irreplaceable national landscapes.”

Seeks to eliminate subsidies to “Big Oil.”

Renewables and “Green” Initiatives Encourages “cost-effective development of renewable energy,” through a “market-based approach” and “partnerships between traditional energy industries and emerging renewable industries.” and adds “taxpayers should not serve as venture capitalists for risky endeavors.” Encourages “extending clean energy incentives“ and promote America as an exporter of “clean energy technologies.”

Seeks to achieve energy independence in part through initiatives such as energy efficiency, fuel economy standards, and “green vehicles.”

Nuclear Supports finding solution to issue of spent nuclear fuel disposal and storage.

Encourages “timely processing of new reactor applications currently pending at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

Although “nuclear” is listed as one of the energy resources to be developed under an “all-of-the-above” approach, nothing more specific about nuclear energy is found in the platform.
Climate Change Although the platform does not specifically mention climate change, it does allude to the GOP position that climate change is not yet understood, saying “the causes and long-range effects of a phenomenon are uncertain. We must restore scientific integrity to our public research institutions and remove political incentives from publicly funded research,” and “oppose any and all cap and trade legislation.” States climate change is “one of the biggest threats of this generation.”

In addition to addressing domestic emissions through “regulations and market solutions,” Democrats pledge to show “international leadership on climate change, working toward an agreement to set emission limits in unison with other emerging powers.”

Regulation Calls for “reining in the EPA” whose rules are “creating regulatory uncertainty, preventing new projects from going forward, discouraging new investment, and stifling job creation.” Argues that “federal agencies charged with enforcing environmental laws must stop regulating beyond their authority,” and that “the Republican Party supports appointing public officials to federal agencies who will properly and correctly apply environmental laws and regulations, always in support of economic development [and] job creation.”

Alongside requiring more transparency from the EPA, the GOP would ask Congress to prohibit the agency from “moving forward with new greenhouse gas regulations.”

Will “respect the States’ proven ability to regulate the use of hydraulic fracturing” and “restore the authority of States in environmental protection.”

While not naming the EPA, the Democrat’s platform supports recent EPA rules and the regulation of air pollutants such as “nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and mercury.”

Also supports “emissions and fuel efficiency standards” and “safeguards” to protect against potential damage from natural gas development.

How does each party’s platform reflect economic, environmental and supply security policy goals? What issues, if any, are missing from these platforms?