As new technology develops, energy is an increasingly controversial and increasingly important issue. Democratic views on energy revolve around the concept of preserving our energy sources and our environment for future generations. Democrats believe in balancing environmental protection with resource development. They wish to see America energy independent, and do not believe this is possible through the use of oil as a main energy source. Therefore, Democrats support the development of alternate energy sources and more energy efficient machinery.
Environmentally Sensitive Areas
Democrats believe in protecting environmentally sensitive areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. They believe that landscapes such as this should not be opened for public exploration, as the resources they contain are irreplaceable. The 2012 Democratic Party Platform states, “building a clean energy future means that new exploration and production needs to be approached safely and responsibly. Democrats are committed to balancing environmental protection with development, and that means preserving sensitive public lands from exploration, like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Pacific West Coast, Gulf of Maine, and other irreplaceable national landscapes.”
Democrats firmly stand behind America achieving energy independence, stating “We will create a cleaner, greener and stronger America by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, eliminating billions in subsidies for oil and gas companies and use the savings to provide consumer relief and develop energy alternatives, and investing in energy independent technology.” They also believe that being energy independent will allow the U.S. to more easily pursue alternate and clean energy sources. They believe in giving Americans incentives and rebates to use clean energy sources in their homes. This is because using green energy sources will further the country’s chances of energy independence and further save Americans money on energy bills. The party states that, “our plan begins with commonsense investments to harness the natural world around us-the sun, wind, water, geothermal and biomass sources, and a rich array of crops-to create a new generation of affordable energy for the 21st century. We support tax credits for private sector investment in clean, renewable sources of energy, and we will make ethanol credits work better for farmers.” Democrats also believe in improving fuel standards, stating, “we support improving fuel standards, and because of the challenges this poses, we will offer needed incentives for consumers to buy efficient vehicles, and for manufacturers to build them. We are also committed to developing hydrogen as a clean, reliable domestic source of energy. Our economy cannot convert to hydrogen overnight, so we will fund research to overcome the obstacles to hydrogen fuel and continue our other efforts to achieve energy independence.”
Barack Obama on Energy
Obama believes that energy is an issue that should be at the forefront of American concerns. The Obama administration has stated, “our addiction to foreign oil doesn’t just undermine our national security and wreak havoc on our environment — it cripples our economy and strains the budgets of working families all across America.” Because of this, Obama plans to crack down on excessive energy speculation, swap oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to cut fuel prices, increase fuel economy standards, create tax benefits for purchasing energy efficient vehicles, and several other energy-oriented reforms that are outlined in The Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for America plan.
Hillary Clinton on Energy
Clinton believes that a major concern in American energy issues is that we need to get tougher with OPEC. When asked how she planned to do so, she responded, “I actually have a four-part program that I would put into effect were I president today to deal with these rising gas prices. I would go after the energy traders and speculators. I would close the “Enron loophole.” I voted to quit filling up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. I have advocated a gas tax holiday that is paid for, out of the record profits of the oil companies. And it’s an enormous burden on people who drive any considerable distance.” She would like to see an investigation into gas prices, as she believes that market manipulation is a large factor in high energy prices. She also hopes to provide a stimulus plan for families that are suffering from high energy costs, stating, “I have a package of $110 billion; $70 billion of that would go towards dealing with the mortgage crisis. I would have a moratorium on home foreclosures for 90 days to try to help families work it out so that they don’t lose their homes. I want to have an interest rate freeze for 5 years. Then, I think we need to give people about $650, if they qualify–which will be millions of people–to help pay their energy bills this winter. There are so many people on fixed incomes and working people who are not going to be able to afford the spike in energy costs. And then we will have money for rebates, but let’s make them the right rebates. A lot of our seniors on fixed incomes don’t pay income taxes. But that doesn’t mean they’re immune from the energy costs.”
Democrats vs. Republicans on Energy
Republicans believe in pursuing American gas and oil resources, both on and offshore. They also believe there needs to be a balance between resource development and environmental issues. However, Republicans believe that the financial opportunity and necessity associated with the energy industry is too valuable to entirely cut out fossil fuels at this point in time. They believe that not pursuing oil resources is hindering American job opportunities. They believe in opening the Outer Coastal Shelf for energy exploration and development, as well as opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for exploration and production of oil and natural gas. Republicans also support initiatives to allow greater exploration and development of energy resources on federal land. They do believe in reducing emissions, as well as developing alternative and renewable energy sources, but oppose all mandatory carbon emissions controls. This is because they believe that these controls hinder the growth of the economy and destroys American jobs. Democrats view this mentality as wasteful, stating “We are saving consumers money on their energy bills–both at home and at the pump–but Republican energy policy is full of empty rhetoric and bad ideas that would make their Big Oil donors even richer at the expense of the middle class. Republicans would keep giving billions of taxpayer dollars a year to profitable oil companies and increase costs on consumers. Democrats will fight to cut tax subsidies for Big Oil while promoting job growth in the clean energy sector, so we can cut the deficit and increase jobs and growth in America.”
- Democratic Party on Energy & Oil – On The Issues
- The Obama-Biden Plan – Change.gov
- Hillary Clinton on Energy & Oil – On The Issues
- Republican Party on Energy & Oil – On The Issues
- Republican Views on Energy
- Republican Views on the Environment
- Republican Views On Global Warming
- Democratic Views On Global Warming
- Democratic Views on Foreign Aid
- Democratic View on Health Care
- Democratic Views on The Economy
- What Is A Republican? Republican Definition
- Democratic Views on the Military
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