Clean energy should not be a partisan issue, but too often it is.
A scorecard of gubernatorial candidates’ positions on clean energy issues published today by trade group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) shows a stark partisan division, with Democratic candidates in each of nine races taking positions more favorable to clean energy deployment.
The scorecard ranks the Democratic and Republican candidates in eight Western and Midwestern states, as well as Florida, and AEE is clearly not trying to release a partisan assessment.
“We have found the candidates to be receptive to our message and hearing from the companies working in their state, with the result that a bipartisan slate of gubernatorial candidates across the states has adopted at least one of our priority positions,” states J.R. Tolbert, VP of state policy at AEE.
Yet the scores speak for themselves. Despite Republican support for the wind industry in the Plains States and Midwest and the presence of pro-solar Republican factions in Arizona and Georgia, the scorecards show that many Republican politicians, even at the state level, either do not yet understand the potential that clean energy offers for their economies, or have other priorities that conflict with supporting clean energy.
The scorecards also show regional variations. Candidates in races in Western states were somewhat more likely to be in favor of measures that would grow the clean energy economy, although candidates in Nevada and Florida scored the highest of any Republicans in the nine races.
Michigan provided the most dismal choice, with candidate Gretchen Whitmer (D) silent of two of the six pro-clean energy positions identified by AEE, and Bill Schuette (R) actively opposed to two and silent on the other four.
Nearly a year’s worth of work
AEE did not reach these positions quickly. The trade group notes that this scorecard is the culmination of an effort to track and report the positions of candidates which has lasted nearly one year, including reaching out to every one of the candidates in these nine races to provide data on the clean energy economy, to share its policy priorities and to meet with member companies
And now that it has made these assessments AEE intends to share them widely, with targeted visual advertising in nine states to help voters learn more about the energy policies of these candidates.
AEE also notes that it will continue update the scorecards to reflect candidates’ policy stands based on both public statements and published platforms leading up to the November 6 election.
Along with these assessments, the organization has released jobs facts and worker profiles on its state pages, along with the positions of the candidates: