Energy Policies of the Next President

Energy policy, which is closely tied to the politics of climate change, is one area, among many, where the two presidential candidates differ significantly.

President Donald Trump’s policy positions focus on terms like traditional energy, growth and innovation, affordable energy prices, and energy independence. He says a strong economy is vital to maintaining a healthy environment and seeks to protect jobs and industries from what he sees as onerous regulation. He says he’s not against renewable energy but doesn’t think it’s sufficiently mature to meet America’s energy needs. During his term, he withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, which he said would have cost up to 2.7 million US jobs by 2025 according, citing the National Economic Research Associates.Trump also pushed forward the stalled Dakota Access and Keystone XL gas pipeline projects, and he has promoted fracking as key to America achieving energy independence.

Former vice president Joe Biden’s policy positions focus on terms like sustainable infrastructure, clean energy revolution, environment justice, climate crisis. He promises to invest $2 trillion in energy and environmental policies and to rejoin the Paris Agreement. And he wants to make bilateral US-China agreements on carbon mitigation. He says he will create 10 million new good-paying jobs in clean energy, retrofit 4 million buildings to increase energy efficiency and weatherize 2 million homes.

We talk to two policy experts to understand the implications of these policy alternatives: Dr. Takeshi Kuramochi, a climate policy researcher for the NewClimate Institute; and Charles Hernick, vice president of policy and advocacy at the Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) Forum.