published : 2023-09-25

Where do the GOP presidential candidates stand on energy policies?

Republican presidential hopefuls call for reversing President Biden's energy regulations they say constrain production of oil and gas

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis discussing his energy plan during a press conference. (Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)

Americans and prospective Republican primary voters will be tuning in this week as candidates take the stage for the second debate of this election cycle, which will occur against the backdrop of high energy prices.

Consumers are facing relatively high oil and gas prices, which has fueled criticism of the Biden administration’s energy policies from the GOP contenders over the president’s moves to restrict oil and gas drilling on federal lands through a series of executive actions.

Oil prices surged recently to their highest levels in 2023 to date following announcements of production cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Gas prices have ticked up as well, causing pain at the pump for consumers.

The second Republican presidential debate is set to be held on Wednesday, Sept. 27 in Simi Valley, California. The debate will be hosted by FOX Business and Univision from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently unveiled his energy plan which focuses on reducing federal regulations to boost domestic production of oil and gas with the goal of cutting the price of gas to $2 per gallon in 2025.

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy addressing a crowd at an energy policy event. (Taken with Nikon D850)

DeSantis also said he would withdraw the U.S. from international climate commitments like the Paris Accords that aim to achieve 'net-zero' greenhouse gas emissions. The governor has criticized power grid failures and said that he would prioritize more reliable energy sources from fossil fuels like natural gas and coal in addition to nuclear power and hydropower.

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has called for increased domestic drilling and fracking for fossil fuels like oil and natural gas, as well as burning coal to provide reliable energy.

His platform also calls for the U.S. to 'abandon the climate cult' and Ramaswamy has pledged to reverse President Biden’s green energy policies.

Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley has said she wants to pursue 'an all-of-the-above energy plan that makes America energy dominant' as part of an economic proposal she is calling 'The Freedom Plan.'

Haley wants to empower domestic energy producers by expanding oil and gas production and reining in the regulatory bureaucracy that stands in the way.

Former Vice President Mike Pence has a platform that calls for setting a goal of overtaking China as the world’s leading energy producer by reducing burdensome regulations and eliminating preferences for certain types of energy through a source-neutral approach.

Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley delivering a speech on energy independence. (Taken with Sony A7R III)

If elected, Pence would immediately take executive actions to review and remove President Biden’s regulations that reduced energy production, impeded economic growth, or raised consumer prices while aiming to cut energy permit approval times in half.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott has said that if elected president, he will stop the war on fossil fuels by reversing President Biden’s executive actions and regulations related to U.S. energy development.

He would also accelerate federal permitting processes that regulate the development of oil and natural gas resources and set a goal of doubling nuclear energy production within a decade.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has called for an 'all-of-the-above strategy' on energy policy that includes a mix of fossil fuel, nuclear power, and renewables.

He has called for increased domestic production of oil and gas, which he views as a necessary component of the U.S. energy portfolio until nuclear energy output is increased and renewable sources like solar and wind are more developed.