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Energies 2016, 9(12), 1000;

American’s Energy Future: An Analysis of the Proposed Energy Policy Plans in Presidential Election

Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010, USA
Department of Political Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Vincenzo Dovì and Antonella Battaglini
Received: 26 August 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change 2016)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3207 KB, uploaded 30 November 2016]   |  


As the leader of the largest economy, President of the United States has substantive influence on addressing climate change problems. However, a presidential election is often dominated by issues other than energy problems. This paper focuses on the 2016 presidential election, and examines the energy plans proposed by the leading Democrat and Republican candidates. Our data from the Iowa caucus survey in January 2016 suggests that voters were more concerned about terrorism and economic issues than environmental issues. We then compare the Democratic and Republican candidate’s view of America’s energy future, and evaluate their proposed renewable energy targets. We find that the view on renewable energy is polarized between Democratic and Republican candidates, while candidates from both parties agree on the need for energy efficiency. Results from our ordinal least squares regression models suggests that Democratic candidates have moderate to ambitious goals for developing solar and other renewables. The Republican candidates favor fossil fuels and they choose not to provide any specific target for developing renewable energy. In addition, this trend of party polarization has grown more significant when compared with the past three presidential elections. Our observation suggests that energy policies need to be discussed more often regarding the diversification and decarbonization of the nation’s energy system. View Full-Text
Keywords: president election; renewable energy; party polarization; energy future; public opinion president election; renewable energy; party polarization; energy future; public opinion

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Cheng, M.-H.; Yang, M.; Wang, Y. American’s Energy Future: An Analysis of the Proposed Energy Policy Plans in Presidential Election. Energies 2016, 9, 1000.

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