Energy Plans: Which Candidates Have One?

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We should elect the President of the United States based on more than some sound bites and commercials, so I want to start of the year with something meaty, such as a little exploration of where the 2008 presidential candidates stand on the issues. There are a lot of issues to consider, some more charged that others, but I think it is probably better to concentrate on the ones that really make a difference to everyone, rather than those that are only really of concern to certain minorities. (For a nice little widget that gives general coverage— not analysis — see my Election Summary.)

For starters, I think energy policy is certainly a priority topic. We all know that we are facing a looming energy crisis as worldwide demand outstrips supply, probably leading to the ultimate depletion of global stocks of the oil and natural gas at some point in the next 10 to 50 years.

Energy policy is highly complex and there are numerous experts working on it, so I’m not going to be able to go into the gory details of it right now. But, let’s face it, very few of us want that. What we do want is to be able to figure out which candidate has a better handle on this pressing problem, and even that is quite difficult to figure out.

For starters, I think a good rule of thumb would be Does the Candidate Have an Energy Plan? My criteria for establishing whether a given candidate does indeed have an energy plan would be 1) it is written and 2) posted on their website. This is a criteria I use with my consulting clients: If the plan isn’t written down, it doesn’t exist. For candidates, I’m willing to go with something even approximating a plan, like video statement. But it has to be at least mildly comprehensive.

The goal here as the Citizen CEO is to get the candidates in the habit of reporting to us in a way we can make sense of it, not by snowballing us which is what is going on now. So here’s a list of who does and does not have an energy plan on their website:

Hillary Clinton Yes
Barack Obama Yes
John McCain Yes
John Edwards Yes
Rudy Giuliani Yes-1
Mitt Romney Yes
Mike Huckabee Yes
Fred Thompson No-2

Notes
1-Giuliani has more like a set of videos of his speeches. I would rather see text though, because its hard to study and think about a video.
2-To be honest, Thompson actually has a paragraph and a few bullet points. But by comparison to the others, it really doesn’t measure up.

Just for counterpoint, here is the White House’s National Energy Plan.

So, the good news is that most of the candidates have a plan. Next, we’ll take a look at how those plans can be meaningfully compared.

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