Elections

Scorecard: Cruz Energy ‘Hero,’ Hillary Energy ‘Villain’ And Trump Energy ‘Doubter’

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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Ted Cruz is being labeled an energy “hero” and Hillary Clinton an energy “villain” in a new report that scores the presidential candidates on their commitment to the American energy market.

“Ted Cruz would be an energy hero for American families if elected President,” according to a scorecard on Cruz by the American Energy Alliance (AEA). “As a Senator he authored comprehensive legislation, the American Energy Renaissance Act, which would significantly reform and improve our national energy policy by reducing government intervention and improving access to our natural resources.”

The report heavily criticizes Donald Trump over his “unclear” and soft stance on American energy. Sen. Marco Rubio scored better, labeled as a defender of domestic oil, coal and natural gas production in the scorecard from the AEA. All the presidential candidates from both parties were evaluated based on their positions concerning fossil fuels, green energy and the federal role in climate regulations.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley joined Clinton as “villains” for their support of increased federal regulations in the industry and anti-coal and drilling policies.

“A review of Hillary Clinton’s record and statements makes it clear that she would be an American energy villain who consistently opposes free market energy policies,” reads AEA’s scorecard on Clinton. “In addition, she would routinely advocate big government policies designed to significantly increase the cost of energy in every aspect of people’s lives.”

The majority of GOP candidates were questioned as doubters of domestic energy production. The AEA report was skeptical of Republican frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson, calling out their lack of specifics and concerning statements on green energy subsidies.

“Donald Trump has not provided a great deal of specifics on his plans concerning energy policy,” read the scorecard. “When he has taken a position, such as his support for the wind Production Tax Credit or Renewable Fuel Standard, he is often unclear and lacks detail.”

The AEA scored Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul and Jeb Bush as defenders of U.S. energy, along with Senator Rubio, reports The Guardian. Candidates were specifically scored on their positions on the federal takeover of the electrical grid, the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The American Energy Alliance is backed by Koch Industries, headed by Charles and David Koch, who have yet to throw their massive financial support behind a specific Republican candidate. While the libertarian titans are not expected to make an endorsement until the general election, The Guardian reports that fellow donors are increasingly warming to Senator Rubio. Policy groups are expected to continue their vetting of candidates as the primaries draw closer.

A Republican operative told The Guardian, “It’s a public negotiation with these candidates to see which ones will be best on their pet issues, like climate change and environmental regulations.”

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