2016 candidates and their energy views
Once every four years something extraordinary happens this time of year and I don’t mean Leap Year’s Feb. 29. I’m referring to Oklahoma’s primary election and what’s commonly referred to as “Super Tuesday.”
According to Wikipedia: “In the United States, “Super Tuesday,” in general, refers to the Tuesday in February or March of a presidential election year when the greatest number of states hold primary elections to select delegates to national conventions at which each party’s presidential candidates are officially nominated. And depending on your opinion of the candidates and how they perform on Tuesday, your definition of “super” may be something different. The reality for these candidates is that on Super Tuesday, more delegates can be won that day than any other single day in the primary election season.
And for us Oklahomans, as one of America’s leading energy states, it might be helpful to know where these top remaining candidates stand on issues of importance to our energy futures. This information is made available on Ballotpedia.org.
• Hillary Clinton (www.hillaryclinton.com): Advocates for wind and solar, exporting natural gas; opposes drilling in the Arctic National Refuge; and pledged to power at least half of U.S. energy needs with renewable sources by 2030.
• Bernie Sanders (www.berniesanders.com): Introduced legislation to block offshore drilling; opposes Keystone XL and drilling in the Arctic National Refuge; has pushed for federal carbon policies; and pledged to power at least half of U.S. energy needs with renewable sources by 2030.
• Ted Cruz (www.tedcruz.org): Opposes all energy subsidies, including oil, gas, wind and ethanol; proposes to revoke the offshore drilling moratorium; co-sponsored legislation to block the federal government from regulating power plant carbon; has hosted hearings denouncing the existence of climate change; and claims satellite data refutes climate change.
• Marco Rubio (www.marcorubio.com): Voted to lift the ban on crude-oil exports; prefers local regulation of energy production vs. feds; has been a strong advocate against carbon policy and the Environmental Protection Agency; introduced legislation against EPA regulating American land or waterways; and has stated opposition to climate change policies that hinder business.
• Donald Trump (www.donaldjtrump.com): Has described the Marcellus Shale as “the mother lode of natural gas” and believes it can help buy time for innovation of cheaper and cleaner energies; has attacked President Obama’s denial of the Keystone XL pipeline; has described wind turbines as “an environmental and aesthetic disaster”; has claimed climate change is a “hoax”; and has claimed that global warming was created by the Chinese to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
As candidates for public office have many diverse positions and public statements, please do some research of your own on issues that are important. It is impossible to capture all of the many nuances of the many complicated facets of energy and environmental policies, but for a state like Oklahoma it is especially important.
So whether your candidate for president of the United States is in the list above or not, please vote. That would be super.
Jim Roth, a former Oklahoma corporation commissioner, is an attorney with Phillips Murrah PC in Oklahoma City, where his practice focuses on clean, green energy for Oklahoma.