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The Candidates on Energy Policy

September 11, 2008

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Issue Trackers trace the positions of candidates from the 2008 presidential campaign on major issues related to foreign policy.

The remaining presidential candidates agree that increasing energy independence is critical to national security. Both have co-authored legislation related to conservation, such as improving auto gasoline efficiency, developing alternative energies, such as ethanol, or expanding fossil-fuel exploitation, such as offshore drilling. As natural resources become depleted, and relations between the United States and some important oil-producing countries become increasingly strained, energy policy has emerged as a crucial campaign issue.

Democratic Ticket on Energy Policy

Barack Obama
Democratic Party Nominee - President

Obama has been critical (AP) of President Bush's energy policy. "Saying that America is addicted to oil without following a real plan for energy independence is like admitting alcoholism and then skipping out on the twelve-step program," Obama said in 2006. In August 2008, Obama unveiled his "New Energy for America" plan, which includes measures to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and to provide "short-term relief to American families facing pain at the pump" due to high gas prices. According to the plan, Obama would impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies and use the proceeds to provide a $1,000 tax rebate for married couples and a $500 tax rebate for individuals. Those rebates would "offset the entire increase in gas prices for a working family over the next four months; or pay for the entire increase in winter heating bills for a typical family in a cold‐weather state," Obama said.

Obama also said in August 2008 that he supports the sale of 70 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve "for less expensive crude, which in the past has lowered gas prices within two weeks." This statement signaled a shift of position for Obama, who in July 2008 said he did not believe the United States should use that reserve supply.

Obama says he will attempt to reduce oil consumption by 7.64 million barrels a day by 2025 from current levels. He also says he would invest $150 billion over 10 years (PDF) toward new alternative energy technology, and to "accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial scale renewable energy, invest in low emissions coal plants, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid."

Obama has said Americans will have to change their behavior (AFP) to reduce energy consumption. "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times...and then just expect that other countries are going to say okay," Obama said at a May 2008 campaign rally in Oregon.

Obama has also said that he supports tax breaks and loan guarantees for users of clean energy sources like ethanol and blended fuel E85. More controversially, Obama, whose home state of Illinois has a large coal-mining industry, supported coal- to-liquid (CTL) fuel legislation under consideration in Congress, even though some experts say CTLs might cause even more carbon dioxide pollution than gasoline. He explained his support for CTLs, saying they "will create jobs and lessen our dependence on foreign oil." Obama broke ranks from many of his fellow Democratic senators voting for the 2005 Energy Policy Act. He believes that a "strong carbon cap" (Grist) is better than a freeze on development on a particular type of energy.

At a debate in January 2008, Obama said he would support more nuclear power if it could be made cost-efficient and safe, and the waste stored effectively. He noted, if that can be done, "then we should pursue it because what we don't want is to produce more greenhouse gases."

In June 2008, Obama said he would close the "Enron loophole," a legislative provision pushed through Congress by Enron lobbyists in 2002 that Obama says allows oil speculators to escape federal regulation and gouge fuel prices. Obama said that loophole prevents the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from effectively overseeing the oil futures market and investigating "cases where excessive speculation may be driving up oil prices."

Obama has also said he would implement a windfall profits tax on oil companies. Revenue from that tax would be invested in "mechanisms to reduce the burden of rising prices, such as expanding resources for the federal Weatherization Assistance Program, increasing federal support for state and local-level efforts to relieve the burden of rising energy prices on low and moderate-income families, and helping permanently expand the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps families pay their heating and cooling bills," the Obama campaign said in June 2008.

Obama has criticized proposals for a gas-tax holiday, which he says would "take $3 billion a month out of the Highway Trust Fund and hand it over effectively to our oil companies." Obama also opposes domestic oil exploration (CNN), arguing that it will not immediately lower gas prices for American consumers. Still, in August 2008, Obama said he might be willing to support some offshore drilling as part of a broader compromise on energy policy. "My interest is in making sure we've got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices," Obama said (AP). "If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage - I don't want to be so rigid that we can't get something done."

Obama co-authored the Fuel Economy Reform Act with Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), among other senators. The act, which did not reach a vote, would have made all automobiles manufactured for 2012 meet the fuel economy standard of 27.5 miles per gallon. He did not attend the vote on the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007. That bill passed.

Obama's energy plan can be viewed here.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Democratic Party Nominee - Vice President

Sen. Biden (D-DE) has called energy security his "first priority." In spring of 2007, Biden called the energy crisis the "single most consequential problem we can solve."

Biden opposes offshore drilling. In a July 2008 op-ed, Biden argued that the oil companies are not drilling on a large portion of the leases they already have access to. "Assuming oil companies drilled in new areas, it would take at least a decade for new production to begin," Biden wrote. Biden said tax breaks for oil companies should be rescinded, and has called for a windfall profits tax "to fund everything from mass transit to high-speed rail to the next generation of safe, efficient cars."

In 2006, Biden voted against the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which allowed for new drilling for oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico. That bill passed. Early in 2007, Biden, with Barack Obama (D-IL) and several other senators, reintroduced the Fuel Economy Reform Act, which is aimed at annually increasing fuel economy standards by four percent for cars built between 2009 and 2011. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (PDF) was voted on twice in the Senate. Although Biden initially supported it, he voted against the act the second time it was introduced. The act included provisions for tax credits for fuel cell vehicles, certain energy saving household appliances, and increased use of biofuels. The act, which also calls for the extension of Daylight Savings Time, passed in Congress.

In a September 2007 interview with Grist.org, Biden said he does not think clean-coal or coal-to-liquid technologies would be preferable in the United States, "because we have other, cleaner alternatives." He also says automobiles should reach a 40 miles-per-gallon fuel efficiency standard within ten years.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

Republican Ticket on Energy Policy

John McCain
Republican Party Nominee - President

Sen. McCain (R-AZ) has said the next president "must be willing to break with the energy policies not just of the current administration, but the administrations that preceded it, and lead a great national campaign to achieve energy security for America." McCain says he supports an "all of the above" approach to energy security, meaning he will "support the development of alcohol-based fuels, establish a permanent research and development tax credit to support energy innovation, and will encourage an even-handed system of tax credits for renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and biomass," McCain campaign foreign policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin wrote in an August 2008 memo (Chicago Sun-Times). Under a McCain presidency, the United States will "stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much" in exchange for oil, McCain said in his September 2008 speech at the Republican National Convention.

In June 2008, McCain unveiled his "Lexington Project" energy plan. The Lexington Project, named for the site of the first battle in the Revolutionary War, calls for the expanded use of the U.S. domestic oil supply, among other proposals. He said he would lift federal restrictions on domestic oil exploration in the United States. Although he has stressed the importance of refuges like the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, he said in June 2008 that the "stakes are high for our citizens and for our economy." As a result, he said, a "broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. And I believe it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use." .

McCain is a strong proponent of nuclear energy, and pledged in a November 2007 Foreign Affairs article to "greatly increase the use of nuclear power." According to the Lexington Project, McCain will "put his administration on track" to build 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030 "with the ultimate goal of eventually constructing 100 new plants. He is in favor of storing nuclear waste at Nevada's Yucca Mountain site. "I have supported storage but I also am cognizant and respectful about the environmental and other provisions that have to be met in order for Yucca Mountain to be a suitable place for storage of spent nuclear fuel,'' McCain said in June 2008. McCain also says he would help create an international nuclear waste repository, but has not indicated where it would be located.

He also supports federal subsidies (WSJ) for the nuclear industry, although he opposes similar subsidies for solar energy or ethanol. McCain, alongside Joe Lieberman (I-CT), proposed the Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship Act. The act, which would have established a "market-driven system of greenhouse gas tradeable allowances," aimed to limit emissions and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. That act was never passed. In early 2007, McCain and Lieberman reintroduced the act (BosGlobe), saying that it would "harness the power of the free market and the engine of American innovation to reduce the nation's greenhouse gas emissions substantially enough and quickly enough to forestall catastrophic global warming." Later versions of the McCain-Lieberman legislation included billions of dollars in subsidies for nuclear energy companies.

McCain opposes proposals to impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies. "All a windfall profits tax will accomplish is to increase our dependence on foreign oil, and hinder exactly the kind of domestic exploration and production we need," he said in June 2008. In spring 2008, McCain called for a suspension of the gas tax (MSNBC) between Memorial Day and Labor Day. He has called high gas prices "a regressive tax," disproportionately affecting the "lowest income Americans."

In June 2008, McCain said he planned to issue a "Clean Car Challenge" to encourage U.S. automakers to create a car that does not emit carbon. He said he would offer a $5000 tax credit to each consumer who purchases such a car, when it exists.

McCain also proposed a $300 million "prize" for the development of a car battery that "has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars," he said in June 2008.

McCain did not attend the vote on the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007. That bill passed.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

Sarah Palin
Republican Party Nominee - Vice President

Gov. Sarah Palin emphasizes U.S. energy security and advocates domestic drilling for oil to help free the United States from dependence on foreign energy sources. "With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers," Palin said in her September 2008 speech before the Republican National Convention. "To confront the threat that Iran might seek to cut off nearly one-fifth of world energy supplies, or that terrorists might strike again at the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia, or that Venezuela might shut off its oil deliveries, we Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas," she said.

Palin supports drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [ANWR]. In an August 2008 interview with Business Week, Palin said she thinks some members of Congress "have misconceptions” about ANWR, and described the area of energy focus as “a swath of land that's about 2,000 acres in size—and that's out of a 20 million-acre plain that has been set aside." Palin also said the wildlife in the area would not be harmed by drilling because the state of Alaska has stringent oversight and would "even ramp up that oversight to a greater degree if people would understand the importance of unlocking that swath of land and let the development begin."

From 2003 to 2004, Palin chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. She resigned from that position amid concerns (FOX) about ethical violations by her fellow Republicans on the commission.

In August 2008, the Alaska Senate authorized the TransCanada Corporation to build a 1,700-mile natural gas pipeline that will cost an estimated $30 million. Palin had pushed for the pipeline’s approval, saying it will allow Alaskan gas to "provide aid to those in the Lower 48, who are turning to Alaska, waiting and wanting Alaska to help."

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

Democratic Primary Candidates on Energy Policy

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Democratic Primary Candidate

Sen. Clinton's energy policy focus has been reducing U.S. consumption of foreign oil. In May 2006, Clinton said that the United States should decrease its foreign oil consumption by 50 percent (WashPost), or eight million barrels per day, by 2025. In 2001, she voted against the Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) Act. That bill passed, allocating $15 billion for tax incentives for fuel production and conservation and creating an energy program for Native American tribal lands. Clinton initially supported the 2005 Energy Policy Act, but voted against it after it was revised in a conference report, saying that the bill "ignores our biggest energy challenges, subsidizes mature energy industries like oil and nuclear, and rolls back our environmental laws."

Clinton has proposed the creation of a $50 billion "Strategic Energy Fund" that would provide increased funding for clean coal technology and tax breaks for fuel efficient hybrid and clean diesel vehicles. The fund would be paid for by removing $50 billion in tax subsidies from the gas and oil industry. Clinton did not attend the vote on the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007. That bill passed.

Clinton advocates a 20 percent renewable energy standard for power companies by 2020. She says all federal buildings should be carbon neutral by 2030. In a Foreign Affairs article, she said there needed to be "formal links" created between the International Energy Agency and China and India to create an 'E-8' international forum modeled on the G-8.

Clinton called for a suspension of the gas tax (BosGlobe) during the summer months, and says oil companies should be required to pay an "excess profits tax."

Editor's Note: Sen. Clinton withdrew her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on June 7, 2008.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

Christopher J. Dodd
Democratic Primary Candidate

Sen. Dodd (D-CT) supports fuel cell technology as an alternative energy source, and in 2006 he hailed the announcement of a $10 million Department of Energy grant to a Connecticut venture researching fuel cells. He also supports tax incentives for gas stations that provide biofuels. Dodd voted against the Gulf of Mexico Security Act, saying the legislation “does nothing in the short term to rein in the soaring fuel and energy prices because of the lag time it will take to extract the allowed oil and gas.” He also voted against the final version of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

In an August 2007 interview with Grist.org, Dodd called for a 50-mile-per-gallon standard on automobiles by the year 2017. He also said he opposes coal-to-liquid fueltechnology.

Editor's Note: Sen. Dodd withdrew his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on January 3, 2008.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

John Edwards
Democratic Primary Candidate

Edwards has released an extensive energy plan, which includes the creation of a $13 billion-a-year “New Energy Economic Fund.” This fund, his campaign says, would be funded through the sale of emissions permits and by “ending taxpayer giveaways for big oil companies.” In turn, the fund would finance new energy technologies and “provide transition assistance to workers in carbon-intensive industries.” The plan also requires U.S. power companies to use renewable sources for 25 percent of their energy output by 2025, and allocates $1 billion for U.S. automakers to “apply the latest technology,” including biofuels, hybrid and electric cars, and hydrogen fuel cells. Edwards says that he would also raise fuel economy standards to forty miles per gallon on all cars and trucks by 2016. He also says "development of corn-based ethanol production (Grist) and use now lays the foundation for the use of cellulosic ethanol in the future."

At a debate in Las Vegas on January 15, 2008, Edwards noted his opposition to more nuclear power plants, saying they are “dangerous, they’re great terrorist targets and they’re extraordinarily expensive.” He also called for a “moratorium” on building new coal-fired plants.

Editor's note: Edwards dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination on January 30, 2008.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

Mike Gravel
Democratic Primary Candidate

On his campaign website, Gravel calls for legislation that caps emissions. In 1973, while senator of Alaska, he introduced an amendment allowing Congress to decide whether or not to construct the Alaska Oil Pipeline. The amendment passed and the pipeline, which was built soon after, has since provided for more than 15 billion barrels of oil. He also says he is "prepared to impose a carbon tax, at the barrel of oil and at the lump of coal."

Editor's Note: Mike Gravel ended his bid for the Democraticnomination on March 26, 2008. He then ran for the LibertarianParty's presidential nomination before announcing the end ofhis political career on May 25, 2008.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

Dennis Kucinich
Democratic Primary Candidate

Rep. Kucinich (D-OH) voted for the Clean Energy Act of 2007, which stipulates increased investment in clean alternative energy sources. That bill passed in the House and the Senate is working on its own version. He also opposed efforts in 2005 to repeal a moratorium on drilling for oil and natural gas in the Outer Continental Shelf.

Kucinich notably did not vote on the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act in August 2007. The act, which passed, requires that utilities get at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. He supports phasing out nuclear power and coal use. He also would "break up the monopolies in utilities" and closely (Grist) regulate thier activities.

Kucinich cosponsored the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007, which passed.

Editor's Note: Rep. Kucinich withdrew his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on January 25, 2008.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

Bill Richardson
Democratic Primary Candidate

Former Energy Secretary Richardson has called energy security (Albuquerque Tribune) the most important issue facing the United States. He calls for “a massive public and private investment to develop new technologies, particularly renewable technology.” The New Mexico governor once said (Billings Gazette) that he wants his state to be "the Saudi Arabia of Wind, Solar, and biomass." In December of 2006, he signed an executive order requiring state vehicles to use renewable fuels and state offices to have energy efficient appliances (PDF). In this interview with Tavis Smiley, Richardson says that the United States needs to reduce the amount of imported oil to ten percent of its total from the current 65 percent. He suggests achieving this by "getting the 100 mile per gallon (mpg) car into the marketplace," according to his campaign. He also says the CAFE standards should reach 50 mpg by 2020. Richardson says as president, he would push for legislation requiring a 20 percent improvement in energy productivity by 2020. He also believes "carbon clean coal" (Grist) wil play a role in the United States' energy future.

Editor's Note: Richardson withdrew his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on January 10, 2008.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

Republican Primary Candidates on Energy Policy

Sam Brownback
Republican Primary Candidate

Sen. Brownback (R-KS), like most presidential candidates, has called for a reduction of foreign oil dependency. In 2001, Brownback sponsored the National Energy Security Act and the Energy Security Tax Policy Act, which would have attempted to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil by 50 percent by 2011. These bills, however, were never passed. More recently, Brownback supported the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006, saying “We won’t fix high gas prices by stifling oil exploration or adding new taxes or expensive regulations. What we can do is embrace a basic principle of economics—the best way to keep energy prices down is to increase supply.” Brownback voted for the 2005 Energy Policy Act and cosponsored the Renewable Fuels Standard amendment, which requires that “gas sold in the United States contain 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel by 2012.” That amendment passed.

Editor's Note: Sen. Brownback withdrew his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination on October 19, 2007.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

James S. Gilmore
Republican Primary Candidate

If elected, Gilmore plans to create a program called “American Energy Freedom,” which he calls “a NASA-like effort to motivate and stimulate American ingenuity and technology using research and development tax incentives to help free our nation from its dependence on foreign oil within twenty-five years.”  He also plans to boost the size of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Gilmore supports alternative fuels and the use of hydrogen power.

Editor's note: Gilmore withdrew his candidacy for the Republican nomination in July 2007.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

Rudy Giuliani
Republican Primary Candidate

Through his Giuliani Partners consulting firm, the former New York City mayor has advised various energy companies, many of which are fossil fuel-oriented. Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, Giuliani’s law firm, has represented energy companies like Duke Energy Corp., the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, Valero Energy Corp, and FPL Energy. Whether these ties will be problematic for Giuliani’s campaign remains to be seen (CBS). Giuliani has supported increased use of nuclear power. In November 2006, in his role as a consultant for Entergy Nuclear Northeast, Giuliani backed a plan (New York Post) to keep open the controversial Indian Point power plant, just north of New York City.

Editor's note: Giuliani dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination on January 31, 2008.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

Mike Huckabee
Republican Primary Candidate

Huckabee said sending his comprehensive plan for energy reform would be his first act as president. As Arkansas governor, Huckabee adopted the National Governors Association policy on global climate change, which recommends continued research on climate change and the development of emissions-reducing technology. That policy did not commit Arkansas to emissions controls, however. On the National Political Awareness Test, Huckabee said he supports increased use of alternative fuel technologies as well as the use of “state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.” He thinks the United States should extend the role of nuclear power and supports government subsidies for the acceleration clean energy technology. He also supports drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve.

Editor's Note: Huckabee withdrew his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on March 4, 2008.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

Duncan Hunter
Republican Primary Candidate

Rep. Hunter (R-CA) voted against the Clean Energy Act of 2007. He also voted for the Gasoline for America's Security Act of 2005, which allowed for the construction of new oil refineries. Hunter voted in favor of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Hunter voted against the Clinton did not attend the vote on the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy EfficiencyAct of 2007, which passed.

Editor's note: Hunter dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination on January 19, 2008.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

Ron Paul
Republican Primary Candidate

Rep. Paul (R-TX) said in 2006: "The last thing we need is centralized government planning when it comes to our precious energy supplies." Paul voted against the Clean Energy Act of 2007. He has also called for an end to "all subsidies and special benefits to energy companies." Paul voted against the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

Paul voted in favor of the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act, which was hailed by environmentalists for its measures promoting clean energy. Paul is against government subsides for ethanol (Grist) and pro-nuclear power.

Editor's Note: Rep. Paul withdrew his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on June 12, 2008.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.

Mitt Romney
Republican Primary Candidate

Romney said in April 2007 that the United States should "end our strategic vulnerability to an oil shut-off by nations like Iran, Russia, and Venezuela." In late February 2007, Romney spoke at a New Hampshire solar energy-manufacturing plant, saying that the United States needs to become energy self-sufficient (Eagle-Tribune) within the next couple of decades. He has expressed support for drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Romney presented an energy policy in August of 2006 that required state buildings to increase energy efficiency and state vehicles to use more biofuels (AP). That plan also outlined the potential creation of a "negawatts" program that would require utility companies to offset their power usage by repaying customers who cut their energy use.

In September 2007, Romney released a report advocating increased funding for research into clean energy. He also called for accelerated construction of new nuclear power facilities.

Editor's note: Romney dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination on February 7, 2008.

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Tom Tancredo
Republican Primary Candidate

Rep. Tancredo (R-CO) voted against the Clean Energy Act of 2007. The Colorado congressman has also said he supports drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. “Had responsible development in ANWR not been vetoed by President Clinton in 1995, that energyand the jobs it would have created across the countrymight be helping to provide fuel for the American economy today,” he says. Tancredo voted for the Energy Policy Act of 2005. He supports nuclear power and finding a nuclear repository outside Yucca Mountain, and he would remove (Grist) subsidies for fossil fuel industries.

Editor's Note: Congressman Tancredo formally withdrew his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination on December 20, 2007.

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Tommy Thompson
Republican Primary Candidate

As governor of Wisconsin, Thompson said that his state needed “a balanced course of building more power plants and erecting more transmission lines.” As governor, Thompson initiated a partnership with the private sector to reduce energy consumption in state buildings through the use of renewable fuels, efficient lighting, cogeneration and recycling. Thompson also adopted the National Governors Association policy on Global Climate Change.

Editor's note: Thompson dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination on August 12, 2007.

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Fred Thompson
Republican Primary Candidate

Thompson’s energy policy plans are rather vague, but he has indicated support for a “balanced approach to energy security that increases domestic supplies, reduces demand for oil and gas, and promotes alternative fuels and other diverse energy sources.” In a November 2007 Bloomberg TV interview, Thompson said he opposes higher vehicle fuel economy standards. He also said believes nuclear power should be “put back on the table.” Thompson has not indicated his position on a cap-and-trade emissions policy or on the use of liquid coal. (USA Today)

Editor's note: Thompson dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination on January 22, 2008.

Click here for this candidate's position on other top foreign policy issues.