2016 Presidential Candidates on Both Sides Support Energy Efficiency

A little more than one year before the 2016 election, presidential candidates are beginning to articulate their energy policy platforms—and the recent debates, discussions and policy proposals have given us an early opportunity to evaluate where the various candidates stand on the importance of energy efficiency in our modern energy economy. Several candidates have already shown support for energy efficiency and the Alliance stands ready to amplify the message of efficiency’s value on the national stage over the coming months.

Tuesday night, Democratic candidates taking the stage generally professed their convictions that climate change is a major threat, both environmentally and economically, and intimated a preferred shift toward sustainability, increased penetration of renewables, and of course, energy efficiency. In his introductory remarks, Senator Bernie Sanders (Vt.) claimed that “we have a moral responsibility to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy and leave this planet a habitable planet for our children and grandchildren.” Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley also cited climate change as one of the greatest threats to America’s national security, and later made a bold promise that his “first order in office” would be a goal of achieving a “100 percent clean electric grid by 2050.”

Additionally, in a fact sheet released earlier this week outlining his stance on energy issues, Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich made clear his endorsement of energy efficiency and conservation as an energy source. Governor Kasich’s fact sheet states that “efficiency and conservation are fundamentally conservative strategies for increasing energy supplies and should be pursued,” adding that “the cheapest, cleanest energy is the energy we never have to produce.” We applaud Governor Kasich for joining his fellow Republican Ohio compatriot and energy efficiency advocate, Alliance Vice-Chair Senator Rob Portman, in pursuing increased efficiency implementation.

As energy efficiency continues to prove itself as a bipartisan “sweet spot” for advancing a modern energy economy, and the election cycle gains steam, the Alliance will continue to monitor and report on the messages of the candidates as they develop their energy policy platforms. We are glad to see that several candidates have already begun to show strong support for energy efficiency, and we stand ready to amplify the importance of efficiency within the national policy debate.