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Factbox: Trump, Democrats offer clear choice on US presidential energy platforms

Washington — Given the stark differences between President Donald Trump and the field of Democratic challengers, US voters will have a clear choice on energy matters during the 2020 presidential election. The same cannot be said of the Democratic primaries, where the major players differ only by degree on the key issues surrounding fossil fuels, renewable energy, climate change and trade.

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For the Democrats, the Green New Deal has become the touchstone, the common standard by which they measure each other and slam the president. For his part, Trump unabashedly promotes fossil fuels, nuclear energy and exports of LNG and crude oil, while downplaying the need to deal with global warming and other environmental challenges.

What follows is a point-by-point rundown of the candidates' positions on key energy issues.

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**Pushed the "America First Energy Plan," which focused on an expansion of US fossil fuel production

**Pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord

**Approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines

**Proposed rolling back fuel economy and emissions standards

**Proposed expanding oil and gas drilling to nearly all federal waters

**Rolled back numerous Obama-era regulations, including limits on methane emissions from oil and gas operations

**Approved drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

**Withdrew and rewrote Obama's Clean Power Plan


Trump May 14 tweet: "The golden era of American energy is now underway."


Despite Trump's push to expand oil and natural gas production in federal waters, court decisions have caused the administration to shelve expansion plans indefinitely. S&P Global Platts Analytics sees Gulf of Mexico oil production averaging nearly 1.9 million b/d in 2019, peaking at about 2.03 million b/d in 2020 and then falling over the next five years.



**Supports 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by 2050

**Would demand legislation putting in place an enforcement mechanism to achieve climate goals

**Would rejoin the Paris climate accord and convene a climate world summit

**Plans to stop China from subsidizing coal exports, and to seek a worldwide ban on fossil fuel subsidies

**Would invest more than $400 billion over 10 years in clean energy research and innovation

**Envisions an Advanced Research Projects Agency focused on the climate, ARPA-C

**Supports research, through ARPA-C, to ensure nuclear energy safely contributes to the generation mix

**Eyes limits on methane emissions from oil and gas operations through executive order

**Backs accelerated deployment of carbon capture and sequestration technology

**Aims to use federal procurement to drive toward 100% clean energy and zero-emissions vehicles

**Would substantially increase reliance on biofuels

**Would mandate that all federal infrastructure investment consider greenhouse gas emissions and climate change before a permit is granted

**Would enact a national strategy to develop a low-carbon manufacturing sector in every state

**Plans to permanently protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other areas affected by the current administration's federal land policies


From the September 4 climate crisis town hall: "What bothers me most about what's going on in this country today is we're walking around with our heads down, like 'Oh, what are we going to do? We're in so much trouble!' This is the United States of America. There's not a damn thing we've not been able to accomplish once we set our minds to it. We have the best scientists in the world and when we resolve what we're going to do ... we can create enormous opportunity in Pennsylvania, in Ohio, in Minnesota, in California -- across the board."


Biden's campaign committee raised $22 million through June 30, according to the Federal Election Commission, and outside groups that support him have raised $2.6 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The latter organization lists $30,340 in campaign donations coming from the energy and natural resources sector, and $75,197 from agribusiness. The largest sector donating to Biden includes lawyers and lobbyists -- notably the Greenberg Traurig law firm, which has a substantial energy practice and donated $26,855.


Biden supports developing legislation with a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 -- including an "enforcement mechanism" that implies using a carbon price. However, Biden's plan to also use the Clean Air Act to regulate GHG emissions could run into legal hurdles, as was the case with the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.



**Would end US exports of crude oil, natural gas and coal, in line with his vote against lifting the crude export ban in 2015

**Would ban fracking and halt all fossil fuel leasing on public lands

**Aims to transform the US energy system away from fossil fuels by passing the Green New Deal and adopting 100% sustainable energy and energy efficiency

**Would invest in infrastructure to protect communities most vulnerable to climate impacts like wildfires, sea level rise, drought, floods and hurricanes

**Has voted in favor of antitrust legislation allowing the US Justice Department to sue OPEC members


From the September 12 Democratic presidential debate: "We will address the catastrophic crisis of climate change and transform our energy system away from fossil fuel."


Sanders had raised about $46.5 million as of July 16, with 60% of it coming from individual donations of less than $200. Donors from the energy and natural resources sector gave about $13,000, with agribusiness donors giving about $16,000. Sanders has taken no money from political action committees.


S&P Global Platts Analytics sees the Green New Deal, which does not include carbon pricing, potentially widening the spectrum for future climate negotiations in Congress, as it plants a flag at one extreme end of energy, climate and economic ambition. There is also an emerging split among Democrats over the scope of climate action. A net-zero GHG target by 2050 aligns with targets in a number of states, but is considerably less ambitious than the 2030 full decarbonization date included in the Green New Deal. The Sanders plan splits the difference, decarbonizing the two highest-emitting sectors by 2030 and the rest of the economy by 2050.



**Would eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and corporate tax loopholes to fund $2 trillion, 10-year plan for US to dominate the clean energy sector

**Believes US leadership of the clean energy sector would put a dent in global emissions and achieve targets laid out in Green New Deal

**Plan allots $400 billion for clean energy R&D, including the creation of National Institutes of Clean Energy

**Plan calls for $1.5 trillion in federal procurement of American-made clean energy technology

**Would create a new federal office with $100 billion in funding to promote the sale of American-made clean energy products abroad

**Aims to generate 10% of electricity from renewable sources offshore or on public lands

**Committed an additional $1 trillion over 10 years to achieve 100% decarbonization of buildings by 2028, of vehicles by 2030 and of electricity by 2035

**Would replace the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with a Federal Renewable Energy Commission

**Supports federal subsidies to speed clean energy adoption

**Hopes to phase out nuclear power by 2035 as has concerns about spent fuel storage

**Would put a moratorium on drilling and new fossil fuel leases offshore and on public lands

**Plans to reinstate methane pollution and clean water rules for existing oil and gas projects


From the September 4 climate crisis town hall: "We're only 20% of the problem. That's a big hunk of the problem, but there's another world out there that's 80% of this problem. So you bet that this is a moment where we better dream big and fight hard because that's how it is that we're going to make the changes we need to make."


Though initially off to a rocky start, Warren's campaign brought in $19.1 million in Q2 2019, besting Sanders and only slightly behind the $21.5 million haul brought in by frontrunner Biden. Total contributions to her campaign in the first half of 2019 came in at $25.2 million, with her total raised boosted to $35.7 million when taking into account transfers from her Senate campaign coffers, according to data from the Federal Election Commission. Early into her presidential bid, Warren pledged to run her campaign without money from lobbyists, PACs or dark-money groups, and to steer clear of the common practice that garners wealthy donors time and access to the candidates they support. Deciding not to actively seek contributions from wealthy backers, a tactic contrary to her successful Senate campaigns, Warren has stayed in the game with grassroots support. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 47.7% of Warren's presidential campaign funds have come from small individual contributions under $200. Donations to Warren's campaign committee from the energy and natural resources sector account for just $25,007, the center said.


Instead of developing a single climate plan like other candidates, Warren's climate-related proposals are interspersed throughout plans focused on manufacturing, defense policy, and public land use. Warren does not call for an explicit carbon price or GHG reductions beyond previous Paris Agreement commitments. However, her calls for companies to disclose their climate-related financial risks follows up on a bill that she sponsored in the Senate last year.



**Would implement a Green New Deal with carbon tax-and-dividend

**Plans to decarbonize transportation and industry

**Would commit the US to the Paris climate accord

**Supports investments in research and development on soil carbon sequestration


From the June 27 Democratic presidential debate: "The reality is we need to begin adapting right away, but we also can't skip a beat on preventing climate change from getting even worse. It's why we need aggressive and ambitious measures. It's why we need to do a carbon tax and dividend."


Buttigieg had raised $32 million as of June 30, and 49% of this came from individual contributions under $200, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The campaign committee for Buttigieg has brought in $65,444 from the energy and natural resources sector, the center said. Buttigieg has pledged not to take contributions from the fossil fuel industry.


Carbon taxes have historically not been popular with voters. However, Buttigieg's call for a Green New Deal could result in directing raised revenue towards at-risk communities, a political compromise that has helped pass state-level climate legislation in California and New York.



**Would implement a Green New Deal

**Would return the US to the Paris climate accord

**Plans to restore the Clean Power Plan and fully implement the Clean Car Standards


From the June 27 Democratic presidential debate: "I don't call it climate change. It's a climate crisis. It represents an existential threat to us as a species. And the fact that we have a president who has embraced science fiction over science fact will be to our collective peril."


Harris' campaign says it will not accept donations from political action committees or from oil and gas interests. According to the Federal Election Commission, in the current cycle, Harris has raised $25.09 million and disbursed $11.82 million. Top donors to Harris' Senate races and presidential bid have included lawyers and law firms, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.


Harris' climate plan shares many targets with other candidates, including a net-zero GHG target by 2045, and a 2030 clean electricity target. She also targets a 50% share of electric vehicles in new car sales by 2030 and 100% by 2035. She would extend existing tax credits for renewables and EVs, an important driver of new technology penetration to date, as well as an EV-focused "cash for clunkers" program.




The former two-term Colorado governor appeared to be the friendliest 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to the oil and gas industry. As a former geologist who worked in the industry, he was able to reach across the aisle and create regulations that were generally viewed favorably by both industry representatives and environmental groups. However, his name recognition outside the state was low and he became the first contender to drop out of the race. Part of the reason behind his exit, besides low polling numbers, was increasing pressure from Democrats for him to make a run against incumbent US Senator Cory Gardner in 2020.


During the August 20 Colorado Oil and Gas Association Energy Summit: "I think it is relevant that we've worked very hard in Colorado to make sure that we are protecting property rights and people's access to the resources they own, but at the same time continually moving toward cleaner air, cleaner water and holding ourselves to the highest environmental standards. We've tried to stay focused on facts, on listening, on collaboration, and I think we've gotten a lot done."


Using the Colorado regulations that he helped implement, addressing methane emissions was a key aspect of Hickenlooper's climate proposal. That proposal also included a carbon tax and revisiting the Social Cost of Carbon, which was revised downward by the Trump administration. In addition to rejoining the Paris Agreement, Hickenlooper wanted ambitious and enforced targets, a prerequisite for future international trade agreements, and to implement a carbon border adjustment for imports.



The incumbent Democratic governor from Washington state evolved into the most outspoken opponent on climate change in the presidential race. A core piece of his platform was the "Evergreen Economy Plan." He said the plan could create 8 million new jobs over the next decade while leading a transition away from fossil fuels in industries such as manufacturing, infrastructure, skilled labor and new technology. However, Inslee's polling numbers were too low for him to qualify for either CNN's climate change town hall or the next DNC debate. He dropped out of the race in late August.


August 19 statement on campaign website: "Our campaign has experienced a surge of support since the July debates, because voters are responding to our clear call for climate action. Voters are demanding real action on climate, not platitudes, half-measures, or empty promises. I will make defeating climate change our nation's top priority."


Inslee's climate-focused presidential campaign included a number of platforms, targeting climate through a number of lenses of economic growth, social equality, and foreign affairs. Inslee's platform proposed a net-zero GHG target by 2045, similar to what he successfully passed for Washington state as governor. However, it also included a call for an explicit carbon tax, which his state notably rejected in a ballot initiative last year.

Editors/Contributors: Rocco Canonica, Chris Newkumet, Jasmin Melvin, Mark Watson, Kate Winston, Brian Scheid, Meghan Gordon, Brandon Evans, Jim Magill

Platts Analytics: Jeff Berman, Roman Kramarchuk

-- Staff,

-- Edited by Rocco Canonica,