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The Politics of U.S. Energy and Environmental Policy. Professor Marilyn Brown School of Public Policy Georgia Tech Energy Club October 26, 2012. Sources Studied. Democratic and Republican Platform Statements

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the politics of u s energy and environmental policy

The Politics of U.S. Energy and Environmental Policy

Professor Marilyn Brown

School of Public Policy

Georgia Tech Energy Club

October 26, 2012

sources studied
Sources Studied
  • Democratic and Republican Platform Statements
  • + statements in Presidential debates and surrogate energy debates (e.g., Joe Aldy and Oren Cass at MIT) (in italics)


Thanks to Bob Shelton (Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy, UT-Knoxville)

for the analysis of GOP and DNC platforms.

oil gas coal
Oil & Gas & Coal

GOP Advocates an “All-of-the- Above” Policy for Energy

  • The Republican Party is committed to domestic energy independence.
  • Republicans advocate an all-of-the-above diversified approach, taking advantage of all our American God-given resources.
  • Decline in gas production on federal lands.
  • Over-reaching in giving DOE credit for shale gas technology & tight oil.
  • Coal is not a four-letter-word.
  • Supports the keystone pipeline.
oil gas coal1
Oil & Gas & Coal

The DNC Also Favors an “All-of-the-Above” Policy for Energy

  • 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.
  • Domestic production of oil is at a 15-year high.
  • Increase in gas production on federal lands.
  • Will wait to evaluate the Keystone pipeline.
renewable energy
Renewable Energy

The GOP Believes in a Market-Based Approach for Energy

  • We encourage the cost-effective development of renewable energy, but the taxpayers should not serve as venture capitalists for risky endeavors.
  • It is important to create a pathway toward a market-based approach for renewable energy sources and to aggressively develop alternative sources for electricity generation such as wind, hydro, solar, biomass, geothermal, and tidal energy.
renewable energy cont
Renewable Energy (cont.)
  • Private sector innovation is more effective than playing venture capitalist in the White House.
  • Should invest in basic & applied research that is pre-competitive, not specific companies.
  • Does not support extension of the production tax credit for renewable energy(indefinite extension of oil and gas subsidies).
renewable energy1
Renewable Energy

The DNC would ramp up R&D for clean energy and create incentives for markets in clean energy.

  • Supports an 80% clean energy standard.
  • Significant role for government to work with industry.
  • Supports extension of the Production Tax Credit.
  • Wind power has doubled in the U.S. over the past several years.
energy efficiency
Energy Efficiency

The GOP is silent on energy efficiency

  • Energy efficiency is mostly a solution in search of a problem.
  • If it saved consumers money, they would do it any way.
  • The market will bring forth energy efficiency in vehicles naturally, if that is desired by consumers.
  • Would roll back fuel economy standards.
energy efficiency1
Energy Efficiency

The DNC advocates for greater energy efficiency

  • We can cut our reliance on oil with increased energy efficiency in buildings, industry, and homes, and through the promotion of advanced vehicles, fuel economy standards, and the greater use of natural gas in transportation. 
  • Credits Obama for fuel economy standards.
  • Supports tax credits and standards for more efficient appliances, consistent with cost-benefit analysis.
  • Energy Orbs signal expensive & inexpensive times to use energy
gop silent on global warning
GOP Silent on Global Warning
  • Acknowledges that the climate is changing & humans are affecting it, but there is uncertainty about magnitudes so we must continue scientific inquiry.
  • We also call on Congress to take quick action to prohibit the EPA from moving forward with new greenhouse gas regulations that will harm the nation’s economy and threaten millions of jobs over the next quarter century.
  • Further, we oppose any and all cap and trade legislation.
  • The Clean Air Act should not focus on CO2, but on pollutants that are more important to human health.
the dnc clearly believes that global warming is a threat
The DNC Clearly Believes That Global Warming is a Threat
  • We know that global climate change is one of the biggest threats of this generation—an economic, environmental, and national security catastrophe in the making.
  • We affirm the science of climate change, commit to significantly reducing the pollution that causes climate change, and know we have to meet this challenge by driving smart policies that lead to greater growth in clean energy generation and result in a range of economic and social benefits.