Basic Briefing

The Energy Debate

The debate on energy focuses on the costs and benefits of increasing domestic energy and/or renewable energy. How much money should we devote to renewable energy research & development? Should producing more energy domestically be a priority? Should the US allow oil drilling in national parks? Should the US expand hydraulic fracturing (fracking)?

Official Democratic position

The Democratic Party supports “clean energy leadership and collaborative stewardship of our natural resources … while developing clean fuels that will grow our economy, lower our energy bills, combat climate change, and make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.” They believe in “getting 50 percent of our electricity from clean energy sources within a decade, with half a billion solar panels installed within four years and enough renewable energy to power every home in the country.” They oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.

Official Republican position

“The Republican Party reaffirms the moral obligation to be good stewards of the God-given natural beauty and resources of our country. We believe that people are the most valuable resources and that human health and safety are the proper measurements of a policy’s success.” The Party supports “the development of all forms of energy that are marketable in a free economy without subsidies, including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power, and hydropower.” The Party also supports finishing the Keystone XL pipeline.

Institutional framework

The US Department of Energy works with the President to decide energy policies and priorities. The President works with Congress to allocate money to energy Research and Development.

The US gives energy subsidies to many producers to support the energy industry. These are meant to keep prices down for consumers while keeping the industry profitable.

States can allocate resources to promote energy production in their states. 30 states have Renewable Portfolio Standards, which require energy producers to supply a set portion of their electricity from renewable sources.

Most Vocal on Energy

These are the candidates who focus on this issue the most, with the most liberal on this issue on the left and the most conservative on this issue on the right. Click on the circles to see more information.


Tammy Duckworth | Candidate for U.S. Senate, 2022 Primary Election in Illinois (IL) | Crowdpac Thom Tillis | Candidate for U.S. Senate, 2020 Primary Election in North Carolina (NC) | Crowdpac Cory Gardner | Candidate for U.S. Senate, 2020 Primary Election in Colorado (CO) | Crowdpac Don Beyer | Candidate for 8th Congressional District, 2018 in Virginia (VA) | Crowdpac Ryan Zinke | Candidate for At-Large Congressional District, 2018 Primary Election in Montana (MT) | Crowdpac Paul Clements | Candidate for 6th Congressional District, 2018 Primary Election in Michigan (MI) | Crowdpac Kyrsten Sinema | Candidate for U.S. Senate, 2018 Primary Election in Arizona (AZ) | Crowdpac Joe Kaufman | Candidate for 23rd Congressional District, 2018 Primary Election in Florida (FL) | Crowdpac Ed Markey | Candidate for U.S. Senate, 2020 Primary Election in Massachusetts (MA) | Crowdpac James Risch | Candidate for U.S. Senate, 2020 Primary Election in Idaho (ID) | Crowdpac

The Spectrum on Energy

These are the candidates who are most liberal, most conservative, and most moderate on this specific issue. Click on each candidate to see more information.

Relevant Committees