The Democratic Party’s energy policy for the 2016 election campaign took a hard line, including a refusal to acknowledge natural gas “has been the primary (and most cost-effective) driver in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.,” according to the American Legislative Exchange Council.
The policy further called for a flat “phase down” on fossil-fuel extraction from public lands, which ALEC described as “a pretty significant leftward shift in just four years’ time and may represent a signal to Democratic lawmakers that any support for fossil fuels generally is verboten.”
And that, one analyst has concluded, cost the Democrats dearly during the presidential race.
“Let me offer a piece of unsolicited advice, one that Democratic strategists have discussed privately but are reticent to promote publicly for fear of alienating green activists,” wrote National Journal Politics Editor Josh Kraushaar this week.
“Taking a more moderate stand on energy policy – whether it’s supporting the Keystone XL pipeline, championing the fracking boom that’s transforming regional economies, or simply sounding a more skeptical note on the Obama administration’s litany of environmental regulations – would do wonders for the Democratic Party’s ability to compete for the working-class voters who have drifted away from the party.”