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

“We can move towards a sustainable energy-independent future if we harness all of America’s great natural resources. That means an all-of-the-above approach to developing America’s many energy resources, including wind, solar, biofuels, geothermal, hydropower, nuclear, oil, clean coal, and natural gas.” The Democratic Party supports efforts to increase renewable energy production in the US and to end subsidies for oil producers.

Official Republican position

“Republicans advocate an all-of-the-above diversified approach, taking advantage of all our American God-given resources.” The party supports opening the Outer Continental Shelf for oil drilling, opening the Keystone XL Pipeline, and opposes the Department of Energy’s renewable energy project Loan Guarantee Program. The party also wants to expand coal production.

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.


Tom MacArthur | Candidate for 3rd Congressional District, primary (2018) in New Jersey (NJ) | Crowdpac Alma Adams | Candidate for 12th Congressional District, primary (2018) in North Carolina (NC) | Crowdpac Ed Markey | Candidate for US Senate, primary (2020) in Massachusetts (MA) | Crowdpac Pete Aguilar | Candidate for 31st Congressional District, primary (2018) in California (CA) | Crowdpac John Katko | Candidate for 24th Congressional District, primary (2018) in New York (NY) | Crowdpac John Hoeven | US Senate (2016) in North Dakota (ND) | Crowdpac Kathleen Rice | Candidate for 4th Congressional District, primary (2018) in New York (NY) | Crowdpac David McKinley | Candidate for 1st Congressional District, primary (2018) in West Virginia (WV) | Crowdpac James Risch | Candidate for US Senate, primary (2020) in Idaho (ID) | Crowdpac Bonnie Coleman | Candidate for 12th Congressional District, primary (2018) in New Jersey (NJ) | 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