Clinton proposes to shift the US economy from relying mostly on fossil fuels to using mostly renewable energy, particularly as an environmental concern.
HILLARY CLINTON: “We can make a transition over time from a fossil fuel economy – predominately – to a clean, renewable energy economy – predominately. And the United States will then lead in dealing with the very real problems of climate change.
You know, the Republicans on the other side, when you ask them about climate change, they all say 'well, I'm not a scientist.' Well, I'm not a scientist, either – I'm just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain, and I know that this is an issue that we have to address. And if we do it together, it's gonna be win-win.”
In the past, Clinton has spoken favorably of funding research into alternative energy technologies using the revenues of oil companies, whose massive profits she criticizes.
HILLARY CLINTON: “The same is true with energy independence. The Democrats know what needs to be done – again, we're working to try to push this agenda forward. The other day, the oil companies reported the highest profits in the history of the world. I want to take those profits and I want to put them into a strategic energy fund that will begin to fund alternative smart energy alternatives and technologies that will begin to actually move us toward the direction of independence.”
In 2011, Trump weighed in on the Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster, acknowledging that there are risks to nuclear power but calling it an important energy source whose use he “very strongly” supports.
DONALD TRUMP: “It has really, you know, it's been a lynchpin, and hasn't been doing so well over the last 10 years, frankly, but it has been a strong player, and a big player, and when you see what's happening and ultimately what could happen to nuclear energy in terms of the worldwide feeling is not a good thing.”
NEIL CAVUTO: “Are we overreacting? Germany sidelining some nuclear reactors, EU reconsidering it, Joe Lieberman in this country saying 'maybe take a look at new licenses.'
TRUMP: “Well, when you see what's going on in Japan, certainly, you can't say 'overreacting', but, you know look – nuclear is a way that we get what we have to get, which is energy. I think that probably there's not an overreaction, but we have to be very, very careful. I worry about terrorists, I worry about other things beyond just that. You know, we have the earthquakes now – New York has been fairly earthquake-free and certain other areas, but you also have 'em in California, and certainly that's a ground-zero type site. We have to be very concerned. I'm in favor of nuclear energy – very strongly in favor of nuclear energy. You know, it's sort of interesting, somebody was explaining: If a plane goes down, people keep flying. If you get into an auto crash, people keep driving. There are problems in life, not everything is so perfect. You have to look very carefully, though, at really taking care, have the best people in terms of safeguards for nuclear energy. But we do need nuclear energy.”
Trump supports the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which calls for a higher blend of ethanol in gasoline, as a means of achieving energy independence.
DONALD TRUMP: “The RFS – which is Renewable Fuel Standard – is an important tool in the mission to achieve energy independence for the United States. I will do all that is in my power as president to achieve that goal. So far, you agree with me, right?”
TRUMP: As president, I will encourage Congress to be cautious in attempting to charge and change any part of the RFS – I mean, we have to do that, any part of the RFS. Energy independence is a requirement if America is to become great again. My theme is 'Make American Great Again'. That's an important part of it. The EPA should ensure that biofuel RVOs – or blend levels – match the statutory levels set by Congress under the RFS. The RFS, and the associated RVOs – which is very important, or blend levels – past the current 2022 cutoff, must be part of a comprehensive energy program that benefits all Americans and ensures, again, that we are energy independent. As president, I would encourage regulators to end restrictions that keep higher blends of ethanol and biofuel from being sold.”