What Do the Presidential Candidates Think About Oil?

February 16, 2016

With the 2016 Presidential election less than nine months away, the field of contenders is gradually narrowing down and the candidates are starting to expose more about their positions on key issues such as taxes, immigration and civil rights. However, among the issues we haven’t heard too much about yet are energy dependence and the production of both domestic and foreign oil.

For maritime oil workers in the Houston area, these are obviously key issues that could have real-life impacts for years to come. So, what do we know so far about the Presidential candidates’ thoughts on the oil industry?

Ted Cruz

We’ll start with Texas’ own Ted Cruz. Cruz is among the Republicans who favor limiting government oversight of the oil industry. He has previously proposed legislation restricting government oversight, and favors the so-called “All-of-the-Above” energy policy that would support the Keystone XL pipeline, offshore drilling and lifting the ban on oil exports.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s position on oil at least partially aligns with Cruz’s. Trump is a supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline, and he opposes the view that oil production is causing climate change. However Trump has been publicly non-committal on the issue of exporting oil overseas.

Marco Rubio

Republican Marco Rubio also backs the “All-of-the-Above” energy policy. In addition to supporting the Keystone XL pipeline and opposing the ban on oil exports, Rubio also opposes oil-unfriendly programs such as carbon taxation and cap-and-trade for emissions.

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush has called the Keystone XL pipeline a “no-brainer,” and supports dropping the ban on oil exports. Bush is also in favor of eliminating a number of environmental regulations – including hydraulic fracking standards and limits on carbon emissions – that currently affect the domestic production of oil.

Hillary Clinton

With respect to the Democrats’ views, Hillary Clinton has been outspoken in favor of alternative energy sources while opposing cap-and-trade, oil exports and the Keystone XL pipeline. She has also recently supported initiatives designed to reduce emissions that could lead to a reduction in oil drilling and production over time.

Bernie Sanders

Clinton’s main opposition for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, also supports taking action to curb climate change. In addition, Sanders has publicly supported implementation of a new carbon tax, and he supports shifting existing tax provisions designed to benefit the oil and gas industries to favor alternative sources.

We should caution that these are the candidates’ current positions as reflected in the media. They could change before election time comes in November. Before you vote, you should be sure to research all of the issues that matter to you so that you can make an informed decision.

Morrow & Sheppard LLP | Lawyers for Injured Maritime Oil Workers in Houston, TX

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