GOP Presidential Debate: Energy Efficiency Wish List

With the election season in full swing, the Alliance has its own wish list for upcoming Republican presidential debates. As the Republican presidential candidates are articulating and building out their energy policy platforms, several have specifically promoted energy efficiency. Here are some points we would like to hear in the upcoming debate:

“The U.S. should be the world leader in energy efficiency, the cheapest, most reliable and cleanest energy resource.”
  • During an interview with Fox News anchor Greta van Susteren, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said, “Let’s lead the world in energy efficiency; let’s lead it through technological advances.” The Alliance to Save Energy would like to see the presidential hopeful hammer this point home in the next debate, and highlight some policies he would put in place to achieve that goal.
“Energy efficiency empowers consumers and businesses to better manage energy consumption and keep bills low.”
  • Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition on December 9th. He discussed the importance of keeping energy bills down, stating, “I'm trying to keep power with the American people. I'm trying to keep power with the single mom waiting tables – not to drive up her energy bills.” We think energy efficiency is the best way to achieve this aim because the cheapest kilowatt-hours are those never consumed in the first place.
“Investment and innovation in energy-efficiency technologies will help lead to lower monthly energy bills for consumers and businesses.”
  • When Senator Rubio served as Speaker of the House in the Florida House of Representatives, he authored a piece entitled 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future, which outlines several programs and policies that would bolster energy efficiency in the state, including the creation of an energy efficiency loan fund for public-sector projects and tax incentives for energy efficiency appliances. We would like to hear the Senator’s thoughts on a federal version of his Florida proposal.
“We must all work together, across all sectors, to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030. By doubling our energy productivity we will power more homes, deliver more goods, and operate more manufacturing plants with less energy. This means a more competitive U.S. economy.”
  • When asked by reporters in October if he would support 50 percent clean energy in the U.S. by 2030, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson replied, “I want more than 50 percent.” Carson added, "I don't care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, a liberal or a conservative, if you have any thread of decency in you, you want to take care of the environment because you know you have to pass it on to the next generation.” Carson’s comments are a step in the right direction. We hope Dr. Carson considers endorsing the Alliance’s goal of doubling U.S. energy productivity by 2030, which would make our country more competitive in global markets.
“U.S. government investments in fundamental energy research are critical and will lead to next-level, game-changing energy efficiency technologies.”
  • Both Jeb Bush (R-Texas) and Senator Rubio have called for a renewed focus on government-sponsored basic energy research in their respective energy plans. We would like to see Republican presidential hopefuls make commitments to fund and support basic energy research, such as the work performed at the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).