Ranking the Candidates’ Focus on Energy & Climate

Some campaign websites mention these issues only in passing. Others went into more detail.

I thought it would be helpful to provide some kind of objective measure of how much various candidates focus on energy and climate. I based this on how extensively they discuss these issues on their websites. By this ranking, Biden came in first — surprisingly, ahead of progressives Jill Stein and Cornel West.

Also surprisingly, RFK Jr. and Jill Stein came in last in terms of focus on climate change. In fairness, Stein endorsed the general idea of a Green New Deal but provided little explanation. Kennedy’s environmental tab is fairly long, but says little about climate change. Still, neither one presented any sort of climate plan.

My measure is simple if maybe a little crude: I counted the number of words on the campaign website in the energy and environment tabs dealing with these issues.  This provides a rough gauge as to how significant the issue is in terms of their overall platform and how much thought they’ve given to addressing it. I’m appending the language I found on the websites so you can get a more  nuanced view than a crude word count can provide.

Here are the results in alphabetical order:

Joe Biden (#1)– 362 words [under “Green Jobs”]

Robert Kennedy Jr. (#4) – 89 words. [under “Environment”]

Jill Stein (#5)  – 74 words [under “A Real Green New Deal”]

Donald Trump (#3) – 150 words [under “Unleash Energy Dominance”]

Cornel West (#2) – 164 words [under “Environmental Justice“]

About how I did the count: If a sentence mentioned these topics, I counted the full sentence. If I didn’t see tabs with “climate” or “energy” I looked for the closest equivalent. It seems fair to look at the campaign websites, since those are designed to make the candidate’s case to the public.

If I missed anything on any of these websites, let me know and I’ll adjust my figures. Also, let me know if I missed other candidates.

Please keep reading if you want to see the candidates’ views in their own words — just a few words in some cases, many sentences in others.


Joe Biden


Joe Biden and Kamala Harris believe that for too long, we have failed to use the most important word when it comes to meeting the climate crisis. Jobs! Since taking office, the Biden-Harris administration has:

Signed the largest investment in climate action ever with the Inflation Reduction Act — which has created 210,000 new solar, wind, and other clean energy jobs in the last year alone.

Unleashed a manufacturing and clean energy boom — spurring over $600 billion in private sector investments since taking office, including in battery and electric vehicle supply chains. Already, 800,000 manufacturing jobs have been created and the U.S. is onshoring critical supply chains needed for a clean energy future.

Launched the American Climate Corps – a workforce training and service initiative that will ensure more young people have access to the skills-based training necessary for good-paying careers in the clean energy and climate resilience economy.

To find resources on the newly launched American Climate Corps and other programs, see below.

Ensuring that new investments are made and jobs are created in communities across the country, especially those too often left behind.

Because of the Biden-Harris agenda to invest in America, the economy is adding thousands of new, green, good paying jobs each month. Union jobs. Jobs that don’t require a college degree. Jobs you can raise a family on.

We can fight climate change while building the economy from the bottom up and middle out. This is one of the many reasons President Biden and Vice President Harris are running for re-election.


Due to the actions of the Biden-Harris Administration, the U.S. is positioned to achieve our ambitious climate goals of cutting our emissions in half by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. President Biden has taken executive action and signed legislation to develop clean energy at home, accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, and reduce pollution that endangers overburdened communities. And, the President and Vice President are lowering energy costs for families, creating good paying jobs, and ensuring America leads the global clean energy economy.

[I didn’t count some other subtabs on how to find a green job, etc.]

Robert Kennedy, Jr.

We will incentivize the transition of industry to zero-waste cycles and clean energy sources, and forge agreements with other countries to implement these policies throughout the global supply chain. These first two policies will vastly reduce the toxic waste, industrial poisons, and pesticides that make people and ecosystems sick.

In recent years, climate change has made the environment a divisive issue, but there are many policies that make sense to skeptics and activists alike. We will emphasize those, and rebuild a broad environmental coalition to clean up this country.

Jill Stein


From record heat waves and wildfires to devastating hurricanes, droughts and floods, the warning signs are clear: we must take decisive action now to fight runaway global heating and prevent the worst-case scenario of climate collapse. We need a Green New Deal with massive investment in green jobs, industries, and technologies to revitalize the American economy, improve our quality of life, protect our planet and safeguard our children’s future.

Donald Trump

Under President Donald J. Trump’s leadership, the United States became the number one producer of oil and natural gas on earth, achieving American energy independence and delivering historically low costs for oil, gas, diesel, and electricity to consumers and businesses. President Trump unlocked our country’s God-given abundance of oil, natural gas, and clean coal. He approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access, pipelines, opening federal lands and offshore areas for responsible oil and gas production, and ending the unfair and costly Paris Climate Accord. Joe Biden reversed the Trump Energy Revolution and is now enriching foreign adversaries abroad. President Trump will unleash the production of domestic energy resources, reduce the soaring price of gasoline, diesel and natural gas, promote energy security for our friends around the world, eliminate the socialist Green New Deal and ensure the United States is never again at the mercy of a foreign supplier of energy.

Cornel West


Moving beyond the Green New Deal to a global Green Reconstruction initiative

Constitutional right to clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment

Nationalize the fossil fuel industry

Acknowledge and declare a climate emergency

Immediate cessation of all oil and gas leasing projects on federal lands and waters

Federal moratorium on fracking, carbon capture, and direct air capture technologies, geoengineering, and other false climate solutions

Climate reparations and contribute fair share to the global loss and damage fund

Justice for Cancer Alley and other energy and economic sacrifice zones

Cancel the Willow Project, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and all other harmful and unnecessary projects harming people and planet

Establish a national Risk Bond program for the fossil fuel and mining industries and associated infrastructure

Codify Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) for Indigenous people

End water privatization and establish a commission to address and solve the drinking water crises across the nation

Rescind the toxic provisions of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act





, , , ,

Reader Comments

5 Replies to “Ranking the Candidates’ Focus on Energy & Climate”

  1. Too bad too many professors refuse to communicate with the “Impure” public, it is far easier for them to pontificate to indentured students.

    No wonder Will and Ariel Durant warned us that civilizations can fail due to the failure of intellectual or political leaders to meet the challenges of change.

    1. Hi David. I thought about trying to calculate the percentage of words on their total websites devoted to climate and energy. I decided against it because I think it’s more meaningful to ask if they have any concrete plans to do anything about climate change.

      It still might be an interesting thing to do, if you’re interested. For instance, in the case of RFK Jr., climate is a small percentage of the environmental page, let alone the full website.

      1. Thank you, Dan.
        The way you did it, with the actual text shown, is informative enough and very interesting.
        The contrast between the candidates with experience in the office is clear.
        Of course they (should) have more to talk about.
        Website size probably matters somehow, but I’ll leave the research on that to those with the resources and inclination to do it!

Comments are closed.

About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

READ more

About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

READ more