Platforms on Energy
compiled by Democracy
The 2008 Democratic National Platform "Renewing America's Promise"
New American Energy
In the local
Americans talked about the importance of energy to the economy, to
national security, and to the health of our planet. Speaking loud
and clear, they said that America needs a new bold and sustainable
energy policy to meet the
challenges of our time. In the past, America has been stirred to action
when faced with new threats to
our national security, or new competitive conditions that undercut our
The energy threat we face today may be less immediate than threats from
dictators, but it
is as real and as dangerous. The dangers are eclipsed only by the
opportunities that would come
with change. We know that the jobs of the 21st century will be created
in developing new energy
solutions. The question is whether these jobs will be created in
America, or abroad. We
should use government procurement policies to incentivize domestic
production of clean and renewable energy. Already, we’ve seen countries
like Germany, Spain and Brazil reap the
benefits of economic growth from clean energy. But we are decades
behind in confronting
For the sake of our security–and for every American family that is
price at the pump–we will break our addiction to foreign oil. In
platform hearings around the
country, Americans called for a Manhattan or Apollo Project-level
commitment to achieve energy
independence. We hear that call and we Democrats commit to fast-track
of dollars over the next ten years to establish a green energy sector
that will create up to
five million jobs. Good jobs, like those in Pennsylvania where workers
manufacture wind turbines, the
ones in the factory in Nevada producing components for solar energy
the jobs that will be created when plug-in hybrids start
rolling off the assembly line in Michigan. This transition to a
clean-energy industry will
also benefit low-income communities:
we’ll create an energy-focused youth job program to give disadvantaged
youth job skills for
It will not be easy, but neither was
getting to the moon. We know we can’t drill our way to energy
independence and so we must summon all of our ingenuity and legendary
hard work and we must invest in research and development, and
deployment of renewable energy technologies—such as solar, wind,
geothermal, as well as technologies to store
energy through advanced batteries and clean
up our coal plants. And we will call on businesses, government, and the
American people to make America 50 percent more energy efficient by
2030, because we
know that the most energy efficient economy will also gain the
for new manufacturing and jobs that stay here at home. We will
help pay for all of it by dedicating a portion of the revenues
generated by an
economy-wide cap and trade program- a step that will also dramatically
greenhouse gas emissions and jumpstart billions in private capital
investment in a new energy economy.
dramatically increase the fuel efficiency of automobiles, and we’ll
help auto manufacturers
and parts suppliers convert to build the cars and trucks of the future
their key components in
the United States. And we will help workers learn the skills they need
to compete in the green economy. We are committed to getting at least
of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Building on the
of the private sector,
states, cities, and tribes across the country, we will create new
to scale the success and deployment of new energy solutions, install a
build more efficient buildings, and use the power of federal and
to jumpstart promising new markets and technologies. We’ll invest in
like cellulosic ethanol which will provide American-grown
fuel and help free us from the
tyranny of oil. We will use innovative measures to dramatically improve
lower the price of gasoline, we will crack down on speculators who are
up prices beyond
the natural market rate. We will direct the Federal Trade Commission
Department of Justice to
vigorously investigate and
prosecute market manipulation in oil futures. And we will help those
who are hit hardest by high energy prices by increasing
low-income heating assistance and weatherization programs, and by
providing energy assistance
to help middle-class families make ends meet
in this time of inflated energy prices.
plan will safeguard our economy, our country, and the future of our
This plan will create good jobs
that pay well and can’t be outsourced. With these policies, we will
protect our country from the national
security threats created by reliance on foreign oil and global
to climate change. And this is how we’ll solve the problem of
gas—with a comprehensive plan and investment in clean energy.
2008 Republican Platform
Independence and Security
All Americans are acutely aware of the energy crisis our nation faces.
Energy costs are spiraling upward, food prices continue to rise, and as
a result, our entire economy suffers. This winter, families will spend
for heat what they could have saved for college, and small businesses
will spend for fuel what could have covered employee health insurance.
Our current dependence on foreign fossil fuels threatens both our
national security and our economy and could also force drastic changes
in the way we live. The ongoing transfer of Americans' wealth to
OPEC–roughly $700 billion a year–helps underwrite
terrorists' operations and creates little incentive for repressive
regimes to accept democracy, whether in the Middle East or Latin
It didn't have to be this way, and it must not stay this way. Our
nation must have a robust energy supply because energy drives
prosperity and increases opportunity for every American. We reject
the idea that America cannot overcome its energy challenges–or that
high gasoline prices are okay, as long as they are phased in gradually.
We reject half-measures and believe "No, we can't" is not a viable
Together we can build a future around domesticenergy sources that are
diverse, reliable, and cleaner. We can strengthen our national
security, create a pathway to growing prosperity, and preserve our
environment. The American people will rise to this challenge.
Growing Our Energy Supply
We must aggressively increase our nation's energy supply, in an
environmentally responsible way, and do so through a comprehensive
strategy that meets both short and long term needs. No amount of
wishing or hoping can suspend the laws of supply and demand. Leading
economists agree that any actions that will increase future energy
supplies will lead to lower energy prices today. Increasing our
production of American made energy and reducing our excessive reliance
on foreign oil will:
In the long run, American production should move to zero-emission
sources, and our nation's fossil fuel resources are the bridge to that
- Bring down the high cost of gasoline and diesel fuel.
- Create more jobs for American workers.
- Enhance our national security.
Growing American Energy
If we are to have the resources we need to achieve energy independence,
we simply must draw more American oil from American soil. We support
accelerated exploration, drilling and development in America, from new
oilfields off the nation's coasts to onshore fields such as those in
Montana, North Dakota, and Alaska. The Green River Basin in Colorado,
Utah, and Wyoming offers recoverable shale oil that is ready for
development, and most of it is on federal lands.
To deliver that energy to American consumers, we will expand our
refining capacity. Because of environmental extremism and regulatory
blockades in Washington, not a single new refinery has been built in
this country in 30 years. We will encourage refinery construction and
modernization and, with sensitivity to environmental concerns, an
expedited permitting process.
Any legislation to increase domestic exploration, drilling and
production must minimize any protracted legal challenges that could
unreasonably delay or even preclude actual production. We oppose any
efforts that would permanently block access to the coastal plain of the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Nuclear Power: the Earth’s
Nuclear energy is the most reliable zero-carbon-emissions source of
energy that we have. Unwarranted fear mongering with no relationship to
current technologies and safeguards has prevented us from starting
construction of a single nuclear power plant in 31 years. Meanwhile,
the U.S. Navy has for decades relied upon nuclear-powered vessels, and
other nations have harnessed nuclear power to provide a major portion
of their energy consumption. There is no reason why the United States
cannot catch up and do the same. Confident in the promise offered by
science and technology, Republicans will pursue dramatic increases in
the use of all forms of safe, affordable, reliable–and clean–nuclear
As new plants are constructed using the highest safety and operation
standards, the nationís industri- al and manufacturing base will be
rejuvenated. The labor force will expand, with nearly 15,000 high
quality jobs created for every new nuclear plant built–and
those workers will lead the nation away from its dependence on foreign
Solar, Wind, Geothermal,
Alternate power sources must enter the mainstream. The technology
behind solar energy has improved significantly in recent years, and the
commercial development of wind power promises major benefits both in
costs and in environmental protection. Republicans support these and
other alternative energy sources, including geothermal and hydropower,
and anticipate technological developments that will increase their
economic viability. We therefore advocate a long-term energy tax credit
equally applicable to all renewable power sources.
Republicans support measures to modernize the nation's electricity grid
to provide American consumers and businesses with more affordable,
reliable power. We will work to unleash innovation so entrepreneurs can
develop technologies for a more advanced and robust United States
transmission system that meets our growing energy demands.
Although alternate fuels will shape our energy future, coal–America's
most affordable and abundant energy resource and the source
of most of our electricity–remains a strategic national
resource that must play a major role in energy independence. We look to
innovative technology to transform Americaís coal supplies into clean
fuels capable of powering motor vehicles and aircraft. We support
coal-to-liquid and gasification initiatives, just as we support
investment in the development and deployment of carbon capture and
storage technologies, which can reduce emissions. We firmly oppose
efforts by Democrats to block the construction of new coal-fired power
plants. No strategy for reducing energy costs will be viable without a
commitment to continued coal production and utilization.
Natural gas is plentiful in North America, but we can extract more and
do a better job of distributing it nationwide to cook our food, heat
our homes, and serve as a growing option as a transportation fuel. Both
independently and in cooperation with alternative fuels, natural gas
will be an essential part of any long-term energy solution. We must
ensure it gets to consumers safely and quickly.
We embrace the open energy cooperation and trading relationship with
our neighbors Canada and Mexico, including proven oil reserves and
vast, untapped Canadian hydroelectric generation.
Reducing Demand for Fossil Fuels
While we grow our supplies, we must also reduce our demand–not by
changing our lifestyles but by putting the free market to work
and taking advantage of technological breakthroughs.
Increase Conservation through
Conservation does not mean deprivation; it means efficiency and
achieving more with less. Most Americans today endeavor to
conserve fossil fuels, whether in their cars or in their home heating,
but we can do better. We can construct better and smarter buildings,
use smarter thermostats and transmission grids, increase recycling, and
make energy-efficient consumer purchases. Wireless communications, for
example, can increase telecommuting options and cut back on business
travel. The Republican goal is to ensure that Americans have more
conservation options that will enable them to make the best choices for
New Technologies for Cars and
We must continue to develop alternative fuels, such as biofuels,
especially cellulosic ethanol, and hasten their technological advances
to next-generation production. As America develops energy technology
for the 21st century, policy makers must consider the burden that
rising food prices and energy costs create for the poor and developing
nations around the world. Because alternative fuels are useless
if vehicles cannot use them, we must move quickly to flexible fuel
vehicles; we cannot expect necessary investments in alternative fuels
if this flexibility does not become standard. We must also produce more
vehicles that operate on electricity and natural gas, both to reduce
demand for oil and to cut CO2 emissions.
Given that fully 97 percent of our current transportation vehicles rely
on oil, we will aggressively support technological advances to reduce
our petroleum dependence. For example, light-weight composites could
halve the weight and double the gas mileage of cars and trucks, and
together with flex-fuel and electric vehicles, could usher in a
renaissance in the American auto industry.
Libertarian Party 2010
Energy and Resources
While energy is needed to fuel a modern society, government should
not be subsidizing any particular form of energy. We oppose all
government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production.
2.3 of 4.0)
Green Party of the
United States 2010 Platform
from III. Ecological Sustainability
The United States has a
economy based mainly on fossil energy. The extraction, refining, and
of fossil fuels have proved extremely harmful to the environment, and
are rapidly being depleted. Over the past century, the infrastructure
civilization has become utterly dependent on plentiful oil, coal, and
gas: vast land, air, and sea transportation networks; increasing
imported goods; industrialized food production dependent on fertilizer
biocides; and sprawling, car-dependent neighborhoods and workplaces.
electric grid depends on fossil fuels for two-thirds of its energy.
Dirty and dangerous energy sources have
generated an unparalleled assault on the environment and human rights.
U.S., low income communities and communities of color bear the greatest
of health impacts due to exposure to emissions from coal and gas-fired
plants. Native American communities have been devastated by uranium
the people of Appalachia watch helplessly as their ancient mountains
destroyed for coal-fired electricity. Regional and global peaks in
driving up costs and threatening wars and social chaos. (See separate
on catastrophic Climate Change from excess release of carbon dioxide.)
Since 1859 when the first commercial oil
was drilled in Pennsylvania, the global community has consumed about
nature generated over hundreds of millions of years. Although coal is
abundant than oil, it is inherently dirtier than oil, is limited in
its use as a vehicle fuel, and demand is skyrocketing globally for use
electricity generation. Natural Gas is also in high demand for power
and is ultimately finite. We must plan and prepare for the end of
now, while we still have energy available to build the cleaner, more
sustainable energy infrastructure that we will soon need.
To simply substitute better energy
place of fossil fuels is not the answer for two main reasons. First,
no energy sources (renewable or otherwise) capable of supplying energy
cheaply and in such abundance as fossil fuels currently yield in the
we need them to come online. Second, we have designed and built our
infrastructure to suit the unique characteristics of oil, natural gas,
The energy transition cannot be
with a minor retrofit of existing energy infrastructure. Just as our
fuel economy differs from the agrarian economy of 1800, the post-fossil
economy of 2050 will be profoundly different from all that we are
now. Changes would occur if we wait for the price of fossil fuels to
scarcity, forcing society to adapt; however, lack of government
result in a transition that is chaotic, painful, destructive, and
The Green Party advocates a rapid
energy consumption through energy efficiency and a decisive transition
from fossil and nuclear power toward cleaner, renewable, local energy
Toward these goals, we advocate:
THE GREEN PARTY
Conservation and a Significant
Decrease in our Energy Consumption, Institute National Energy
With five percent of the world's
U.S residents consume twenty-six percent of the world's energy. U.S.
consumption of electricity is almost nine times greater than the
the rest of the world. These are not sustainable levels.
a. The U.S. must retrofit its building
for energy efficiency. Most U.S. residents live in homes that require
during the winter, and most are inadequately insulated. Buildings in
require air conditioning during the summer. Fuel shortages, power
energy price hikes could bring not just discomfort, but a massive
mortality from cold and heat. Millions of buildings can and must be
super-insulated and, as much as possible, provided with alternative
sources (passive solar, geothermal, or district heating).
b. Energy efficiency standards similar to
in California must be adopted nationally. The energy efficiency
adopted there in the late 1970s have resulted in overall
remaining flat over the past three decades while the population has
increased. During the same time period electricity use in the rest of
has climbed along with population growth.
c. There are many different ways to
energy efficiency and the best path for one region of the country might
from that of another. We will need concerted effort to increase
every sector of our economy. Technologies exist that, if widely
can result in huge energy savings.
d. Cogeneration and use of waste heat to
generate electricity should be encouraged.
e. A carbon tax, which the Green Party
supports, would serve as an important market incentive to increase
2. Move Decisively to
an Energy System Based on
Solar, Wind, Geo-Thermal, Marine, and other Cleaner Renewable Energy
The development of Earth-gentle,
energy sources must be a cornerstone of any plan to reduce reliance on
conventional fossil fuels. The Green Party advocates clean renewable
sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, marine-based, and other
renewable sources as the long-term solution.
a. Many other solutions being pushed,
nuclear power, coal, industrial-scale biofuels, and low-grade fossil
as oil shale and tar sands, create more problems than they solve.
b. Further research with increased
support is needed into new energy storage technologies, as well as new
and non-toxic photovoltaic materials and processes, and new geothermal
ocean power technologies.
c. Policy tools to directly support the
development of renewable energy sources, such as Renewable Portfolio
(RPS) and Feed-in Tariffs, should also be reviewed for effectiveness.
general, a feed-in tariff is legislation enacted by the government that
requires the large electric utilities to guarantee a price for the
renewably-generated electricity fed into the grid. When done right,
such as in
Germany, this policy appears to succeed in harnessing entrepreneurial
d. State-level financing policies like
California's AB 811 can help homeowners install expensive renewable
where the county pays the up-front cost and the system is paid for via
homeowner's property taxes.
e. Greens support voluntarily purchase of
tradable renewable energy certificates; however, voluntary approaches
f. Greens support research into advanced
when the purpose of the research is to develop a fuel that in its full
does not create more problems than it solves. We support the use of
an energy storage medium; however we oppose the use of nuclear
carbon-based feedstocks for hydrogen production.
g. We call for a ban on the construction
large-scale and inappropriately-located, hydroelectric dams.
3. End the Use of Dirty
and Dangerous Energy
The Green Party advocates the phase-out
nuclear and coal power plants. All processes associated with nuclear
dangerous, from the mining of uranium to the transportation and
disposal of the
radioactive waste. Coal is the largest contributor to climate change
estimates as high as 80%.
a. The generation of nuclear waste must
halted. It can remain hazardous for thousands of years and there is no
isolate it from the biosphere for the durations of its toxic life. We
public subsidies for nuclear power. Cost is another huge factor making
unfeasible, with each new nuclear power plant costing billions of
b. The Green Party calls for a formal
moratorium on the construction of new nuclear power plants, the early
retirement of existing nuclear power reactors, and the phase-out of
technologies that use or produce nuclear waste, such as nuclear waste
incinerators, food irradiators, and all uses of depleted uranium.
c. The Green Party calls for a ban on
mountaintop removal coal mining. With limited supplies and in the
commercially viable "clean coal" carbon sequestration, which is many
decades away, coal is neither an economically nor environmentally
d. Greens call for the cessation of
of fuels produced with polluting, energy-intensive processes or from
unsustainable or toxic feedstocks, such as genetically-engineered
and waste streams contaminated with persistent toxics.
e. We oppose further oil and gas drilling
exploration on our nation's outer continental shelf, on our public
the Rocky Mountains, and under the Great Lakes. Enact
a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing
("fracking") until its damaging effects on water and air quality are
fully studied and understood. Permanently ban high volume hydraulic
in sensitive watersheds. Regulate hydraulic fracturing under the Safe
Water Act, Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act, and
public disclosure of the chemicals used in fracturing fluids.
f. Due to serious negative impacts on
soil, and water, Greens oppose biofuels production except for
production such as that from used vegetable oils. Further, we oppose
the use of
biomass as an energy source on a large scale because of the adverse
will have on our forests, soils, and natural habitats. Biomass from
may pose problems of air pollution if incinerators are used.
4. Plan for
Electricity Generation and Distribution.
Decentralized power systems are likely to
more resilient in the face of power disruptions and will cut
losses, assure citizens greater control of their power grids, and
massive ecological and social destruction that accompanies production
electricity in mega-scale projects.
a. We support "smart grid" upgrades.
The federal government must step in to set goals and standards and to
capital. This effort must not favor commercial utilities over municipal
b. The Green Party supports net-metering
make decentralized energy production economically viable.
c. Greens support tax-exempt bonds to
public ownership of utilities and to allow publicly owned utilities to
conservation and renewable energy projects.
d. We oppose deregulation of the energy
5. De-Carbonize and
Re-Localize the Food System
Our national industrial food system is
overwhelmingly dependent upon oil and natural gas for farm-equipment
fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and the transport. It is
over 12% of all greenhouse gases from human activities in the U.S. New
methods, new farmers, and a re-localization of production and
needed. These will require land reform, an investment in revitalizing
areas and the creation of local food processing plants and storage
Laws and incentives affecting the food system (including food safety
farm subsidies) will need to be rewritten to provide preferential
small-scale, local, low-input producers.
6. Electrify the
Our enormous investment in highways,
cars, buses, trucks, and aircraft is almost completely dependent on
oil, and it
will be significantly handicapped by higher fuel prices, and devastated
actual fuel shortages. The electrification of road-based vehicles is a
will require at least two decades to fully deploy and we must move to
Earth-gentle electricity generation to charge the vehicles. Meanwhile,
private automobiles must be put to use more efficiently through
car-sharing, and ride-sharing networks. (See Transportation section for
including need for dramatic increase in CAFE or gasoline efficiency
7. Requirements for
a. Investment: Enormous amounts of
will be needed to accomplish the energy transition, much more than the
of $150 billion for renewable energy over ten years, and must now come
b. Coordination: The energy transition
complex and comprehensive, and its various strategies will be mutually
impacting. For example, efforts to redirect transport away from
toward rail service will need to be coordinated with manufacturers,
retailers, and employers. An independent federal Energy Transition
should track and manage the transition.
c. Education: Community colleges should
workers for new job opportunities, e.g., sustainable food production,
energy installation, grid rebuilding, rail expansion, public transport
and home energy retrofitting. Grade school curriculum should include
programs in all schools and increased emphasis on energy conservation.
d. Public Messaging & Goal Setting:
leaders must instill in the nation a sense of collective struggle and
of a long
journey toward a clear goal. The success of a project of this scope
require public buy-in at every stage and level, including the use of
and images to continually underscore what is at stake, to foster a
cooperation and willing sacrifice.
Business leaders, advertising agencies
Hollywood must be enlisted, a quid pro quo for government bail out of
corporations. Grassroots initiatives, such as the Transition Towns
could lead the way toward voluntary community efforts. A sophisticated,
interactive, web-based program would inspire action and provide
Ratepayers should get full disclosure of the specific electric
facilities used to produce their electricity.
A series of challenging yet feasible
should be set, with the ultimate goal - complete freedom from fossil
dependency - to be achieved by 2050. The federal government should take
lead by setting targets for federal facilities. Achievement of annual
should be cause for public celebration.
C. NUCLEAR ISSUES
1. The Green Party
recognizes that there is no such thing as nuclear waste “disposal.” All
the “low-level” nuclear waste dumps in the United States have leaked.
no technological quick fixes that can effectively isolate nuclear waste
the biosphere for the duration of its hazardous life. Therefore, it is
essential that generation of additional nuclear wastes be
2. The Green Party calls
for the early retirement of nuclear power reactors as soon as possible
more than five years), and for a phase-out of other technologies that
produce nuclear waste. These
technologies include non-commercial nuclear reactors, reprocessing
nuclear waste incinerators, food irradiators, and all commercial and
uses of depleted uranium.
3. Current methods of
underground storage are a danger to present and future generations. Any
waste management strategy must be based on waste containers being
aboveground and continuously monitored, and the containers must be
and capable of being repackaged. All such strategies must also minimize
transportation of wastes.
4. The Green Party
strongly opposes any shipment of high-level nuclear waste across the
the proposed Nevada waste repository at Yucca Mountain, or any other
centralized facility. The Green Party believes that this proposal is
part of a
move to re-fire a fast-track, commercial nuclear industry by providing
for “safe disposal.” We deny there is such a thing as safe disposal of
We propose making spent
reactor fuel and other high level wastes safer by vitrification at the
where it is produced or now stored.
5. We call for cancellation
of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the nation's first weapons
nuclear dump in southern New Mexico.
6. We call for
independent, public-access radiation monitoring at all nuclear
7. We support applicable
environmental impact statements (EIS) and National Environmental Policy
(NEPA) analysis with citizen participation at all nuclear sites.
8. We support an
immediate and intensive campaign to educate the public about nuclear
including disposal, clean-up, and long-term dangers.
9. We oppose the export
of nuclear technologies or their wastes to other nations.
10. We oppose public
subsidies for nuclear power, including Price-Anderson insurance caps
stranded cost recovery bailouts.
11. We oppose the development
and use of new nuclear reactors, plutonium (MOX) fuel, nuclear fuel
reprocessing, nuclear fusion, uranium enrichment, and the manufacturing
plutonium pits for a new generation of nuclear weapons.
12. We oppose the
deregulation of radioactive materials and wastes, which is allowing
to be recycled into consumer products and to enter municipal waste
and incinerators. We call for the strict regulation, tracking,
recapturing of radioactive materials and wastes.
13. We call on the
military to clean up depleted uranium contamination from testing ranges
and to fully compensate exposed veterans and civilians who have been
by depleted uranium exposure in the U.S. and elsewhere.
James Madison said: “The powers delegated by the proposed
Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.”
(Federalist Papers #45) The powers not delegated to the United
States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are
reserved to the States respectively, or to the people (Amendment X).
We call attention to the continuing need of these United States for a
sufficient supply of energy for national security and for the immediate
adoption of a policy of free market solutions to achieve energy
independence for these United States. We call for abolishing the
Department of Energy.
Private property rights should be respected, and the federal government
should not interfere with the development of potential energy sources,
including natural gas, hydroelectric power, solar energy, wind
generators, and nuclear energy.