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A presidential election rundown: green energy

Written by Caitlin Ritchie

Last updated August 12, 2020

A presidential election rundown: green energy


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The 2020 presidential election season is in full swing and this means millions of Americans are deciding which candidate will gain their vote. There are many important issues and policies that will be discussed in the next few months – including the candidates’ green energy, climate change, and environmental policies.

With all of the information available, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s why SaveOnEnergy compiled a guide to the 2020 presidential candidates and a rundown of their green energy policies.

Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden is the Democratic candidate for the upcoming election. Biden’s platform revolves around his policy plan, called “Build Back Better,” which pledges to invest $2 trillion into clean energy innovation and rebuilding infrastructure. This plan also aims to:

  • Reach net-zero carbon emissions in the U.S. by 2050
  • Create a carbon-free power industry by 2035
  • Upgrade four million buildings and weatherize two million homes to make them more energy efficient
  • Encourage cities to invest more in public transportation

Environmental and green energy policies remain at the forefront of Biden’s campaign as he promises to “lead the world to address the climate emergency and lead through the power of example.”

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump is the Republican candidate running for reelection in the 2020 presidential election. President Trump’s policies regarding environmentalism and green energy are scarce. In fact, the Trump administration has received criticism from the renewable energy industry and climate experts for the president’s commitment to advancing the fossil fuel industry rather than investing in clean energy.

During his presidency, President Trump has:

  • Announced he intends to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement
  • Reversed or rolled back nearly 70 environmental regulations implemented by the Obama administration, including the Clean Power Plan
  • Rescinded regulations limiting carbon emissions for power plants
  • Signed legislation allowing for energy production on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Trump administration remains committed to the oil and gas industry over green energy expansion. His campaign website states, “President Trump has approved the infrastructure and provided the resources needed to unleash oil and gas production in the U.S.”

Jo Jorgensen

Jo Jorgensen is the 2020 candidate for the Libertarian Party. As a whole, the Libertarian Party’s primary platform is an opposition to government interference into personal, family, and business decisions. This platform factors into Jorgensen’s green energy policies, which include:

  • Removing government barriers to replacing coal-burning and oil-burning power plants
  • Replacing these power plants with non-polluting, high-tech nuclear power plants
  • Allowing off-grid use of solar power

Aside from green energy, Jorgensen plans to cut government spending across the board and reduce taxes. Additionally, she has expressed plans to reconfigure social security and the healthcare system, to name a few.

Howie Hawkins

Howie Hawkins is the Green Party candidate for this year’s presidential election. The Green Party is “an independent political party that is connected to American social movements and is part of a global Green movement.” For his part, Hawkins has outlined policies in a plan he calls the Ecosocialist Green New Deal, which includes:

  • Plans to reach zero to negative carbon emissions by 2030
  • Bans fracking and new fossil fuel infrastructure
  • Introduces policies for regenerative organic agriculture
  • Implements zero-waste manufacturing and recycling policies

On his campaign website, Hawkins explains that he plans to pay for the Ecosocialist Green New Deal by cutting military spending, reducing tax loopholes, and imposing progressive and ecological taxes.


Caitlin Cosper is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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