Click on an issue or scroll down to read and compare the views of the vice presidential candidates on climate and energy issue:


League of Conservation Voters


  • n/a

Area of expertise

  • Foreign relations (Chair of Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee)
  • Undetermined


  • 34 years as US senator from Delaware
  • Served two years as Alaska’s governor; six years as mayor of Wasilla, AK


  • Believes energy crisis is the most important long-term problem facing America
  • Introduced legislation creating the Flip to Save Program, a $50 million initiative to educate consumers on energy efficient technologies and distribute compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Supports spending $50 million over the next five years for R&D of alternative fuels, renewable energy, and carbon capture and sequestration
  • Would require the federal government to get 10 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2010 and would require 20 percent of US electricity to come from renewables, but has not given a timeframe. (The U.S. currently gets 2.3 percent of its electricity from renewables)
  • Believes energy independence is a national security issue
  • Wants America to produce more of its own oil and gas
  • Favors more pipelines, nuclear power, coal, and alternatives
  • Signed bill to provide $250 million in state funds to develop alternatives
  • Obtained $500 million in federal funds for a Canadian company to build a natural gas pipeline from AK to the Lower 48


  • Opposes offshore drilling, drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and opening additional areas of Alaska's North Slope to drilling
  • Called for the repeal of billions in annual subsidies to major oil co’s
  • Wants to reduce U.S. oil consumption 40 percent by 2025
  • Calls for more drilling offshore and for opening ANWR
  • Also advocates more oil and gas development elsewhere in Alaska
  • Raised taxes for major oil companies in Alaska
  • Husband Todd is currently an oil production manager for BP on the North Slope
  • Started new state office to promote North Shore energy extraction and improve safety measures in the local energy industry
  • Expressed disappointment when the Supreme Court ratcheted down Exxon’s punitive damages to $500 million for the Valdez oil spill

Clean Coal

  • Will invest in clean coal technology, but believes America should rely on cleaner technology
  • Says all new coal-fired power plants should have (unproven) carbon capture and sequestration technology
  • Favors creating jobs through clean coal


  • Emphasizing need for security and safety, would invest in developing solutions to nuclear storage and waste problems
  • Opposes storing nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain.
  • Favors new nuclear power plants

Carbon Emissions

  • Believes global warming is absolutely caused by human activity
  • Cosponsored a bill to institute a cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions
  • Cosponsored a bill to require the US to reduce emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050
  • Introduced a Senate resolution for the US to participate in Kyoto II
  • Told CNBC in August she did not think global warming to be “man-made” but later backtracked in an interview with ABC
  • Established a Climate Change Subcabinet to analyze and mitigate effects of warming in Alaska
  • Brought Alaska into a regional cap-and-trade program as an observer
  • Opposed lawsuit forcing the EPA to regulate greenhouse gasses under the Clean Air Act
  • Says she would support capping carbon emissions


  • Called for all vehicles to get at least 40mpg by 2017
  • Wants to develop more biofuels from cellulosic ethanol
  • Would require all cars to run on flex fuels by 2017, and install E85 pumps at filling stations
  • Cosponsored bill to raise CAFE standards by 4 percent a year, with tax incentives to automakers
  • Suspended Alaska’s 8 cent fuel tax for one year
  • Said 2007 Farm Bill should provide funding for cellulosic ethanol research


  • Proposed legislation to increase the number of flex-fuel vehicles
  • Introduced a bill to provide $100 million a year for five years for R&D on electric vehicles and L-ion batteries
  • Promotes public transportation, and takes Amtrak from Delaware to DC each workday—but voted against restoring $550 million in funding to Amtrak
  • Voted to require DOE to create 100,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2010
  • n/a

Green Building

  • Pledged to Grist to make all new federal buildings “green”
  • Supports expanding the “Energy Star” program to more appliances
  • Favors increasing incentives for energy efficient manufacturing and commercial buildings
  • n/a


  • Protected entire Delaware coastline and White Clay Creek watershed from development
  • Cosponsored the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, which provides debt relief to developing nations in return for protecting tropical rainforests
  • Voted to reduce the Forest Service’s road-building budget by $10 million
  • Seeks to open ANWR to oil drilling
  • Encourages timber, mining, drilling, and fishing in Alaska
  • Supports government subsidies to build roads to mining, oil, and natural gas operations


  • Scored 80% on Humane Society’s scorecard on animal protection
  • Called to end commercial whaling and the illegal trade of whale meat
  • Voted for a US-Mexico border fence that could harm wildlife, including endangered species
  • Sued the Department of the Interior to overturn its listing of the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act
  • Urged the National Marine Fisheries Service not to list the beluga whale on the Endangered Species Act
  • Opposed restriction of mining operations that could harm Alaska’s salmon populations
  • Expanded Alaska’s use of aerial hunting of wolves and bears as a method of predator control
  • Has a “freezer full of wild game”
  • The hide of a grizzly bear lies on the couch in her Anchorage office

Where they break from their running mate

  • Voted against 2005 Energy Policy Act, which included benefits for alternative energy and goodies for Big Oil
  • Biden not as supportive of clean coal technology as Obama
  • McCain has opposed drilling in ANWR; Palin encourages it