2016 Party Platforms

In general, and particularly if you can’t find information about the climate/energy positions of your candidates, it’s important to consider the party platforms. In Congress and in the state legislatures, the party in the majority controls the agenda.

Click on the links below to open excerpts on climate and energy from the major party platforms. Click on the link again to close.

Democrat

From the nationa platform: “Climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time. Fifteen of the 16 hottest years on record have occurred this century…The best science tells us that without ambitious, immediate action across our economy to cut carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases, all of these impacts will be far worse in the future…Democrats share a deep commitment to tackling the climate challenge; creating millions of good-paying middle class jobs; reducing greenhouse gas emissions more than 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050; and meeting the pledge President Obama put forward in the landmark Paris Agreement, which aims to keep global temperature increases to “well below” two degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We believe America must be running entirely on clean energy by mid-century.”
Source: Full National Democratic Platform (PDF)

From the Minnesota platform: “[We] Support legislation to stop the release of greenhouse gases to limit climate change and the acidification of our oceans as we recognize the threat to our environment.”
Source: MN DFL 2016/2017 Action Agenda (PDF)

Green

From the national platform: “Greens want to stop runaway climate change, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions at least 40% by 2020 and 95% by 2050, over 1990 levels…Climate change is the gravest environmental, social and economic peril that humanity has ever met…The climate treaty reached in Paris in December, 2015 is inadequate to address the climate change crisis…We call for legally binding commitments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2020 and a 95% reduction by 2050 over 1990 levels. We also call for the immediate assumption of responsibility by wealthy nations to financially assist poorer countries struggling with the effects of climate change…Enact a Fee & Dividend system on fossil fuels to enable the free market to include the environmental costs of their extraction and use…The Green Party calls for elimination of subsidies for fossil fuels, nuclear power, biomass and waste incineration and biofuels. We must also acknowledge that the bulk of our military budget is, in fact, an indirect subsidy for oil & gas corporations…Transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, with at least 80 percent achieved by 2030, using wind, solar, ocean, small-scale hydro, and geothermal power. Renewable energy is technically and economically feasible. The barriers to a renewable energy economy come from economic, political and social interests, and are not technical.”
Source: Green Party Platform, Section III: Ecological Sustainability

From the state platform: “We support the phasing out of ecologically harmful sources of energy, such as non-renewable fossil fuels. Transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050, with at least 80% achieved by 2030, using wind, solar, ocean, small-scale hydro, and geothermal power…We call for legally binding commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2020 and 95% by 2050 over 1990 levels. We also call for wealthy nations to financially assist poorer countries struggling with the effects of climate change.”
Source: Green Party of Minnesota Platform

Libertarian

From the national platform: “2.2 Environment

Competitive free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Governments are unaccountable for damage done to our environment and have a terrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights and responsibilities regarding resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Where damages can be proven and quantified in a court of law, restitution to the injured parties must be required.

2.3 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.”
Source: National Libertarian Party Platform

From the state party platform: “We advocate bringing the positive benefits of free market competition to utilities; accordingly we call for privatization and deregulation of all government monopolies, such as garbage collection, electric, gas, or communication utilities, the Public Utilities Commission, fire departments, water and sewer departments, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Price Anderson Act, the Minnesota Energy Agency, and all similar regulatory agencies.”
Source: Libertarian Party of Minnesota Platform

Republican

From the national platform: Together, the people of America’s energy sector provide us with power that is clean, affordable, secure, and abundant. Their work can guarantee the nation’s energy security for centuries to come if, instead of erecting roadblocks, government facilitates the creation of an all-of-the-above energy strategy…The more we know what we will have in the future, the better we can decide how to use it. That is why we support the opening of public lands and the outer continental shelf to exploration and responsible production, even if these resources will not be immediately developed… Keeping energy in the earth will keep jobs out of reach of those who need them most. For low-income Americans, expensive energy means colder homes in the winter and hotter homes in the summer, less mobility in employment, and higher food prices. The current Administration, and particularly its EPA, seems not to care. Its Clean Power Plan — the centerpiece of the President’s war on coal — has been stayed by the Supreme Court. We will do away with it altogether. The Democratic Party does not understand that coal is an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource… Climate change is far from this nation’s most pressing national security issue. This is the triumph of extremism over common sense, and Congress must stop it…We support the development of all forms of energy that are marketable in a free economy without subsidies, including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power, and hydropower…We oppose any carbon tax. It would increase energy prices across the board, hitting hardest at the families who are already struggling to pay their bills in the Democrats’ no-growth economy…Information concerning a changing climate, especially projections into the long-range future, must be based on dispassionate analysis of hard data. We will enforce that standard throughout the executive branch, among civil servants and presidential appointees alike. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a political mechanism, not an unbiased scientific institution. Its unreliability is reflected in its intolerance toward scientists and others who dissent from its orthodoxy. We will evaluate its recommendations accordingly. We reject the agendas of both the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, which represent only the personal commitments of their signatories; no such agreement can be binding upon the United States until it is submitted to and ratified by the Senate.”
Source: National GOP Platform: America’s Natural Resources

From the Minnesota platform: “We oppose policies and mandates based on the Theory of Man-Made Global Warming, as well as any energy policies arising from it.”
Source: MN Republican 2016/2017 platform

Our future depends on it.