Preprint Article Version 1 NOT YET PEER-REVIEWED

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

  1. Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
  2. Department of Political Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
Version 1 : Received: 30 August 2016 / Approved: 31 August 2016 / Online: 31 August 2016 (08:34:50 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

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. 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.

Journal reference: Energies 2016, 9, 1000
DOI: 10.3390/en9121000

Abstract

As the leader of the largest economy, President of the United States has substantive influence on addressing the global climate change problem. However, presidential election is often dominated by issues other than energy problems. This paper focuses on the on-going 2016 presidential election, examining the energy plans proposed by the leading Democrat and Republican candidates. Our data from the Iowa caucus survey in January 2016 suggests that voters are more concerned about terrorism and economic issues than environmental relative issues. We then compare the Democratic and Republican candidate’s view of American’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 suggest that Democratic candidates have moderate to ambitious goals for developing solar and other renewable energy. The Republican candidates favor fossil fuel and they neglect to provide any plan for renewable energy. In addition, this trend of polarization has grown more significant when compared with the past three presidential elections. Our observation suggests that energy issues need to be discussed more to draw broader attention to salient issues of diversifying and decarbonizing the nation’s energy system.

Subject Areas

president election; renewable energy; energy future; public opinion; polarization

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