Federal EV tax credit: unnecessary, inefficient, unpopular, costly, and unfair

In April, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced the Drive America Forward Act, a bill that would expand the tax credit for new plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) by allowing an additional 400,000 vehicles per manufacturer to be eligible for a credit of up to $7,000. Currently, the tax credit is worth up to$7,500 until a manufacturer sells more than 200,000 vehicles. In late September, groups that stand to benefit from the extension of the federal tax credits wrote to Senator McConnell and other leaders in Congress, encouraging them to support on the Drive America Forward Act. As IER has documented in the past, lawmakers should not extend the EV tax credit as the policy is unnecessary, inefficient, unpopular, costly, and unfair.

Unnecessary and inefficient

The EV tax credit is not necessary to support an electric vehicle market in the U.S. as one group estimates that 70 percent of EV owners would have purchased their vehicle without receiving a subsidy, which is reasonable seeing as 78 percent of credits go to households making more than $100,000 a year.  Furthermore, the federal tax credit overlaps with a number of other government privileges for EVs, including:

  • State rebates and/or other favors (reduced registration fees, carpool-lane access, etc.) in California, as well as in 44 other states and the District of Columbia.
  • Tax credits for infrastructure investment, a federal program that began in 2005 and, after six extensions, expired in 2017.
  • Federal R&D for “sustainable transportation,” mainly to reduce battery costs, averaging almost $700 million per year.
  • Credit for EV sales for automakers to meet their corporate fuel economy (CAFE) obligations.
  • Mandates in California and a dozen other states for automakers to sell Zero-Emission Vehicles—a quota in addition to subsidies.

Even if the federal tax credits were needed to support demand for EVs, the extension of the tax credit would be an absurdly inefficient means of achieving the stated goal of the policy, which is ostensibly to lower carbon emissions. The Manhattan Institute found that electric vehicles will reduce energy-related U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by less than 1 percent by 2050.


Lawmakers should be aware that the vast majority of people do not support subsidizing electric vehicle purchases. The American Energy Alliance recently released the results of surveys that examine the sentiments of likely voters about tax credits for electric vehicles. The surveys were administered to 800 likely voters statewide in each of three states (ME, MI and ND). The margin of error for the results in each state is 3.5 percent.

The findings include:

  • Voters don’t think they should pay for other people’s car purchases. In every state, overwhelming majorities (70 percent or more) said that while electric cars might be a good choice for some, those purchases should not be paid for by other consumers.
  • As always, few voters (less than 1/5 in all three states) trust the federal government to make decisions about what kinds of cars should be subsidized or mandated.
  • Voters’ sentiments about paying for others’ electric vehicles are especially sharp when they learn that those who purchase electric vehicles are, for the most part, wealthy and/or from California.
  • There is almost no willingness to pay for electric vehicle car purchases. When asked how much they would be willing to pay each year to support the purchase of electric vehicles by other consumers, the most popular answer in each state (by 70 percent or more) was “nothing.”

The full details of the survey can be found here.

Costly and unfair

Most importantly, an extension of the federal EV tax credit is unfair as the policy concentrates and directs benefits to wealthy individuals that are predominantly located in one geographic area, namely California. A breakdown of each state’s share of the EV tax credit is displayed in the map below:

In 2018, over 46 percent of new electric vehicle sales were made in California alone. Given that California represents only about 12 percent of the U.S. car market, this disparity means that the other 49 states are subsidizing expensive cars for Californians.  However, in order to understand the full extent of the benefits that people in California are receiving, some further explanation is in order.

When governments enact tax credit programs that favor special businesses without reducing spending, the overall impact is parallel to a direct subsidy as the costs of covering the tax liability shift to the American taxpayer or are subsumed in the national debt (future taxpayers). California offers a number of additional incentives on top of the federal tax credit for electric vehicles that are also driving demand for EVs in the state. These incentives include an additional purchase rebate of up to $7,000 through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, privileged access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes, and significant public spending on the infrastructure needed to support EVs. Therefore, the additional incentives that California (and other states) offer to promote EVs have broader impacts as these policies incentivize more people to make use of the federal tax credit, passing their costs on to American taxpayers. In other words, you’re not avoiding the costs of California’s EV policies by not living in California.

This problem is made even worse when we consider the impact of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) regulations, which require manufacturers to offer for sale specific numbers of zero-emission vehicles. As recently as 2017, auto producers have been producing EVs at a loss in order to meet these standards, and they have been passing the costs on to their other consumers. This was made apparent in 2015 by Bob Lutz, the former Executive Vice President of Chrysler and former Vice-Chairman of GM, said:

“I don’t know if anybody noticed, but full-size sport-utilities used to be — just a few years ago used to be $42,000, all in, fully equipped. You can’t touch a Chevy Tahoe for under about $65,000 now. Yukons are in the $70,000. The Escalade comfortably hits $100,000. Three or four years ago they were about $60,000. What this is, is companies trying to recover what they’re losing at the other end with what I call compliance vehicles, which are Chevy Volts, Bolts, plug-in Cadillacs and fuel cell vehicles.”

Fiat Chrysler paid $600 million for ZEV compliance credits in 2015 (plus an unknown amount of losses on their EV sales), and sold 2.2 million vehicles, indicating Fiat Chrysler internal combustion engine (ICE) buyers paid a hidden tax of approximately $272 per vehicle to subsidize wealthy EV byers. ICE buyers were 99.3 percent of U.S. vehicle purchases in 2015. So, even if half the credits purchased were for hybrids, each EV sold in 2015 was subsidized by more than $13,000 in ZEV credit sales, in addition to all of the other federal, state, and local subsidies.

As is typical with most policies that benefit a politically privileged group, the plan to extend the federal tax credit program comes with tremendous costs, which are likely being compounded by people abusing the policy.  One estimate found that the overall costs of the Drive America Forward Act would be roughly $15.7 billion over 10 years and would range from $23,000 to $33,900 for each additional EV purchase under the expanded tax credit. Seeing as the costs of monitoring and enforcing the eligibility requirements of the EV tax credit program are not zero, it should surprise no one that the program has been abused as it has recently come to light that thousands of auto buyers may have improperly claimed more than $70 million in tax credits for purchases of new plug-in EVs. Finally, additional concerns arise over the equity of the federal EV tax credit due to the fact that half of EV tax credits are claimed by corporations, not individuals

End this charade

When the tax credit was first adopted, politicians assured us that the purpose of the program was to help launch the EV market in the U.S. and that the tax credit would remain capped at the current limit of 200,000 vehicles. At that time, we warned that once this program was in place, politicians would continue to extend the cap in order to appease the demands of manufacturers and other political constituencies that were created by the program. A decade later, we find ourselves in that exact situation. At this point, it should be clear that Congress should not expand the federal EV tax credit as the program is nothing more than an extension of special privileges to wealthy individuals and corporations that are mostly located in California. If Congress can’t find the courage to put an end to such an unfair and inefficient policy, President Trump should not hesitate to veto any legislation that extends the federal EV tax credit, as doing so would be consistent with his approach to other energy issues such as CAFE reform.

AEA to Senate: Highway Bill is Highway Robbery

WASHINGTON DC (July 30, 2019) – Today, Thomas Pyle, President of the American Energy Alliance, issued a letter to Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso highlighting concerns about the recently introduced America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act. Included in the legislation is an unjustified, $1 billion handout to special interests in the form of charging stations for electric vehicles.  AEA maintains that provisions like this are nearly impossible to reverse in the future and create a regressive, unnecessary, and duplicative giveaway program to the wealthiest vehicle owners in the United States. 
Read the text of the letter below:

Chairman Barrasso,

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is scheduled to consider the reauthorization of the highway bill and the Highway Trust Fund today.  At least some part of this consideration will include provisions that provide for $1 billion in federal grants for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  This is among $10 billion in new spending included in a “climate change” subtitle.  All of this new spending is to be siphoned away from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), meant to provide funding for the construction and maintenance of our nation’s roads and bridges.  The HTF already consistently runs out of money, a situation that will only be exacerbated by these new spending programs.

We oppose this new federal program for EV infrastructure for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to the following:

  • The grant program, once established in the HTF, will never be removed.  Our experience with other, non-highway spending in the trust fund (transit, bicycles, etc.) is that once it is given access to the trust fund, the access is never revoked.  Our nation’s highway infrastructure already rates poorly in significant part due to the diversion of highway funds to non-highway spending.
  • As we have noted elsewhere, federal support for electric vehicles provides economic advantages to upper income individuals at the expense of those in middle and lower income quintiles.  This grant program would exacerbate that problem.
  • This program will result in taxpayers in States with few electric vehicles or little desire for electric vehicles having their tax dollars redirected from the roads they actually use to subsidize electric vehicle owners in States like California and New York.
  • This program is duplicative.  There is already a loan program within DOE that allows companies and States to get taxpayer dollars to subsidize wealthy electric vehicle owners.

For these and other reasons, we oppose the provisions that would create a regressive, unnecessary, and duplicative giveaway program to wealthy, mostly coastal electric vehicle owners.  This giveaway not only redirects taxpayer money from the many States to the few, in looting the Highway Trust Fund it also leaves those many States, including Wyoming, with less money to maintain their own extensive road networks.


Thomas J. Pyle

The Energy Bill is Back, With Bootleggers and Baptists Onboard

When last we saw the Murkowski-Manchin energy bill, it was March and the bill was stymied by arguments over amendments.  At the time we dubbed the bill the American Energy Bureaucracy Act, and that description is still apt.  We questioned, and still question, the need for the raft of new programs the bill is pushing.  Indeed, given that the economy is still recovering from the coronavirus shock, new layers of energy bureaucracy are the last thing needed right now.  Talk is now in the air of bringing the bill back to the Senate floor thanks to an agreement on one of the amendments at issue earlier in the year having to do with regulating hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of refrigerant.  This deal turns the relatively benign original bill into affirmatively harmful legislation that should be opposed.

HFCs are common industrial chemicals used worldwide for refrigeration and cooling.  They are also now believed to contribute to global warming as greenhouse gases.  There is an international treaty to phase out HFCs called the Kigali Amendment, which amends an earlier treaty known as the Montreal Protocol.  The United States has not ratified the Kigali Amendment, but has ratified the Montreal Protocol.  And what is the Montreal Protocol?  It was an dtreaty to phase out another class of refrigerants called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were believed to be harming the ozone layer.  When CFCs were phased out, the replacement was HFCs.  So the “problem” that the Kigali Amendment seeks to solve was actually created by the very treaty it is amending.  Over the last couple decades the world spent untold billions converting old CFC refrigeration and cooling to the bureaucratically approved HFCs.  Now, the UN has decided that the exercise must be done again, with small businesses like restaurants and convenience stores once again stuck with the bill.  The UN treaty-making bureaucracy is impervious to the cruel irony.

Corporate Bootleggers and Green Baptists

The Trump administration has not submitted the Kigali Amendment to the Senate for ratification, citing the vast compliance costs, so a bootleggers and Baptists coalition has come together to try to pass legislation phasing out HFCs instead.  Recall that “bootleggers and Baptists” describes the teaming up of mafia alcohol smugglers with religious temperance zealots to push for Prohibition.  The mafia made money because legal competitors were outlawed; the temperance leagues got their purification of society.  

In the HFCs debate the bootleggers are big corporations like Honeywell and Chemours, who make the expensive replacement chemicals for HFCs, and the Air-conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), which represents the HVAC companies that stand to make a killing by replacing all the systems that businesses just installed to comply with the Montreal Protocol.  The Baptists, as usual when it comes to environmental policy, are the green left, for whom Americans’ comfortable standard of living is a continuing affront.

Sen. Kennedy (R-LA), who has been leading the push for HFCs legislation, portrays this bootleggers and Baptists coalition as a virtue: Big Business is on board, environmentalists are on board, what more could you want?  Left out there, though, is the average customer, like a restaurant that just recently spent a huge amount to replace their cooling and refrigeration to comply with the Montreal Protocol, who now will have to find the cash to replace it again.  There are millions of air conditioning and cooling systems that will have to be upgraded or replaced, all at owners’ expense.  These costs are enormous.  And the profits that Honeywell, Chemours and AHRI members stand to reap are similarly hefty.  Yes, big business is happy for the government to ban competing chemicals.  Yes, HVAC installers are excited about the government mandating demand for their services.  But someone has to pay for all this rent-seeking.

The other problems still remain

Beyond the HFCs amendment, our underlying concerns about the Senate energy bill remain.  Whatever the Senate passes is not what will ultimately be sent to the President.  This week the House is rushing through its own energy bill packed full of subsidies and handouts.  Passing the Senate bill will provide a vehicle for a House-Senate compromise bill that will be determined behind closed doors.  This conference committee process provides the opportunity for every subsidy and mandate under the sun to hitch a ride on the legislation.

In the end, the verdict from March still applies today.  There is nothing urgent in this legislation.  Indeed, it is not clear why energy legislation is needed at all given low energy prices, rising energy exports, and accelerating private sector innovation everywhere from natural gas to renewables. Many of the parts of this bill that are truly noncontroversial and consensus policy could and should be passed individually.  The Senate would be better off simply pulling the plug on this “low-energy” energy bill. The United States has enough bureaucracy in our energy sector as it is.

It’s Time To End Corporate Welfare for Big Wind

AEA applauds legislators willing to take on on the powerful wind lobby and end the Production Tax Credit (PTC) once and for all.

WASHINGTON DC (September 24, 2020) – The American Energy Alliance, the country’s premier pro-consumer, pro-taxpayer, and free-market energy organization praised legislation introduced by Senators Lankford (OK), Cramer (ND), Hoeven (ND), Capito (WV) and U.S. House Representative Marchant (TX) that would help bring the era of intermittent energy subsidies to a close.

Subsidized wind power increases electricity costs, harms taxpayers, and destabilizes the electric grid. It is most beneficial to wealthy wind developers who are able to reduce their tax rate at the expense of the rest of the taxpayers and ratepayers.

The PTC has drained tens of billions of dollars while foisting unreliable energy onto the grid. It has now been extended a dozen times and the American Energy Alliance fully supports this legislative effort to finally end this unnecessary tax credit.

Thomas Pyle, President of the American Energy Alliance (AEA), issued the following statement:

“Ending this needless handout is years overdue, but welcomed. The wind industry, well past it’s infancy, should be able to stand on its own two legs by now.

“Even with this phase-out, the Production Tax Credit (PTC) will cost taxpayers around $40 billion over the course of this decade, making it the most expensive energy subsidy under current tax law. The credit distorts markets and strains the grid. It is the polar opposite of sustainability.

“This isn’t about wind states vs. gas and coal states—it’s about the people of the United States vs. corporate greed who have now become addicted to subsidies. The wind lobby has gone to the taxpayer well one too many times. We encourage all other Senators to join Senators Lankford, Cramer, Hoeven, and Capito in tying a bow on the PTC and restoring a more balanced market to electricity.

Congress enacted the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) in 1992 as a temporary measure for an “infant” industry. In 2013, Congress renewed the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) which will cost taxpayers more than any other subsidy Wind PTC in the past 10 years. After propping up the wind industry for almost three decades, the American Energy Alliance supports eliminating the PTC.

For media inquiries please contact:
JON HAUBERT | 303.396.5996

AEA To Newsom: Consumers Should Be in the Driver’s Seat, Not Bureaucrats

Executive order banning gasoline-powered vehicles 
not only a bad idea, but insulting to consumers

WASHINGTON DC (September 23, 2020) –Thomas Pyle, President of the American Energy Alliance (AEA), issued the following statement in response to the executive order signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom that directs the California Air Resources Board to ban new gasoline-fueled vehicles and that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

“Governor Newsom’s announcement today asks a question virtually everyone already knows. Who should decide what kinds of cars Californians should buy? Should bureaucrats in Sacramento make those decisions, or should consumers and families make the decisions for themselves?

“Right now, 97% of Americans decide to buy a car with an engine powered by gasoline. They make that decision for all kinds of reasons, including safety, size, range, comfort, and, in many instances, because an electric vehicle is too expensive.

“The Governor knows that today’s engines are cleaner, more efficient, and more powerful. He also knows that there is no such thing as an environmentally perfect vehicle. This is not only a bad idea, and a bad deal for the state of California, it’s insulting to consumers and families.”

For media inquiries please contact:
JON HAUBERT | 303.396.5996

Unregulated Podcast #4: Tom & Mike on What the Supreme Court Vacancy Means for the Election

The Insane Cost Of Biden’s Fracking Ban

Hydraulic fracturing has made the United States the top oil and natural gas producer in the world and it has made the nation energy independent for the first time in 62 years. Yet, during stages in the campaign, potential Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris advocated a ban on fracking and a ban on drilling, sometimes entirely and sometimes only on federal lands and waters. A recent study shows that banning federal leasing and fracking on public and private lands would:

  • cost up to 7.5 million American jobs in 2022,
  • lead to a cumulative loss of $7.1 trillion in GDP by 2030,
  • reduce household incomes by $5,400 annually,
  • increase household energy costs by over $600 per year, and
  • reduce farm incomes by 43 percent due to higher energy costs.

The United States would also lose its energy independence from the Middle East, importing more than 40 percent of its oil and petroleum supplies by 2030. It would also result in the United States importing almost 30 percent of its natural gas, rather than being the net exporter of natural gas we currently are. The impact is dramatic because over 95 percent of U.S. natural gas and oil wells today are developed using hydraulic fracturing. The impact of the bans on top of the losses experienced due to the coronavirus lockdown would be devastating to Americans and the U.S. economy, while decreasing national energy security and lessening our influence in energy markets throughout the world.

Increase in Costs

Under the bans, on average, residential natural gas prices are expected to increase 58 percent, electricity prices to increase 20 percent and gasoline and heating oil prices are expected to each increase 15 percent. Despite consuming less due to the higher prices, the average U.S. household is projected to spend $618 more per year for its energy: gasoline, natural gas, electricity, and heating oil. From 2020 to 2030, average household energy use is projected to decline by 12 percent.

Due to higher energy costs, the cost of farming and manufacturing will also increase. The cost of wheat farming is projected to increase 64 percent, the cost of corn farming to increase 54 percent and the cost of soybean farming to increase 48 percent. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, direct and indirect energy costs can account for 36 percent to 48 percent of total production costs for crops.

Energy is a huge component of modern agriculture. Farms use energy directly in the form of electricity, diesel, gasoline, and natural gas. They use it to move water and to irrigate crops, which is very energy consuming. Farms also use significant amounts of energy intensive products, including pesticides and fertilizers, much of which is sourced from natural gas. For example, natural gas can account for between 75 percent and 85 percent of fertilizer manufacturing costs. A ban on fracking and federal leasing could increase the cost of natural gas delivered to fertilizer manufacturers by an average of more than 170 percent. Fertilizer prices have been kept much lower to farmers as a consequence of the decline in natural gas prices attributable to hydraulic fracturing.

State Impact

If a fracking ban is enacted,  the states projected with the highest job losses include:

  • Texas with 1,103,000 job losses,
  • California with 765,000 job losses,
  • Florida with 711,000 job losses,
  • Pennsylvania with 551,000 job losses, and
  • Ohio with 500,000 job losses,

totaling 3.6 million job losses in 2022 in just those five states.

The states with the highest job losses as a share of overall employment include:

  • North Dakota (76,000),
  • Oklahoma (319,000),
  • New Mexico (149,000),
  • Wyoming (48,000),
  • Louisiana (321,000),
  • West Virginia (109,000)
  • Kansas (208,000) and
  • Colorado (353,000).


A ban on hydraulic fracturing and leasing would be devastating to the U.S. economy, increasing energy prices for electricity, natural gas, oil, and gasoline to the American consumer. Food costs would also increase as energy costs to farmers would also rise, which would also affect the competitiveness of products made by U.S. farmers for export to feed the world. Household energy costs would escalate and household incomes would decline dramatically. The U.S. economy would be at risk in falling into another recession with GDP in 2022 reduced by $1.2 trillion due to the bans. The U.S. would see massive unemployment again with 7.5 million jobs lost in 2022, but in this case they would be lost for good. Clearly, oil and natural gas is critical to the U.S. economy and the recovery that the American public currently needs from the coronavirus.

Though Joe Biden claims he will not ban fracking whenever he campaigns in Pennsylvania, he said he would ban it during his debate with Bernie Sanders in March. It is one of his many flip-flops during this presidential campaign. Increased U.S. energy self-sufficiency and the jobs created by fracking have brought enormous benefits to all Americans. Halting that enormous economic engine would cause very serious negative consequences for all Americans.

*This article was adapted from content originally published by the Institute for Energy Research.

For more information on these issues check out AEA’s Vote Energy 2020 election hub.

Unregulated Podcast #3: Tom & Mike Tackling Today’s Headlines and the Election

On this episode of Unregulated Tom & Mike give an update on their election forecasts and dive into the rhetoric surrounding the ongoing crises plaguing California as well as touching on other headlines in the news.


AEA’s 2020 election hub

More on California’s wildfires and blackouts

More on America’s status as a major energy producer

More on Joe Biden’s kowtow to the radical green left

Check out McKenna’s latest at the Washington Times

AEA Promotes House & Senate Energy Champions in 2020 Scorecard

As ballots arrive across America, voters have a right to know
which representatives support affordable energy

WASHINGTON DC (September 16, 2020) – The American Energy Alliance (AEA), the country’s premier pro-consumer, pro-taxpayer, and free-market energy organization, has released its 2020 energy scorecard promoting energy champions and flagging those who ‘need attention’ as voters across the nation prepare to cast ballots for their federal representatives.

The American Energy Scorecard has two primary audiences – voters and lawmakers – and its purpose is to highlight activity around the most important energy legislation in Congress. Those who support affordable energy should be retained by voters and those who do not should be held accountable.

AEA scores both votes cast, and legislative bill sponsorships related to energy and the environment, such as the Green New Deal.

The title of energy champion is awarded to members in the U.S. House of Representatives with a score of 100 percent and a score of 90 percent in the U.S. Senate. The 2020 scorecard promotes 74 energy champions in the House and 15 in the U.S. Senate.

Kenny Stein, Director of Policy and Federal Affairs for the American Energy Alliance, issued the following statement in conjunction with today’s scorecard:

“Many students are back to school – either in person or virtually – which means report cards for parents and scorecards for voters. The choices in Congress between who supports affordable, abundant energy, and who does not, is stark. There are energy champions that should be applauded, and those who are failing and ‘need attention.’ These elected officials have earned these scores and now they need to live with the consequences.

“While the government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers, voters sure should be. If you represent a district or state that produces traditional forms energy like coal, natural gas or oil, your constituents deserve to know your record when it comes to those important local industries. We thank our champions and encourage voters to take their member’s record on energy into account when it’s time to cast their ballots.”

Notable Scores: U.S. House of Representatives

Member’s NameFinal ScoreCook Rating*
Scott Perry (R-PA)100%Toss Up
Chip Roy (R-TX)100%Toss Up
John Carter (R-TX)100%Likely R
Roger Williams (R-TX)100%Likely R
Steve Chabot (R-OH)100%Toss Up
Ron Wright (R-TX)100%Likely R
Steve Scalise (R-LA)100%Safe R
Liz Cheney R-WY)100%Safe R
Collin Peterson (D-MN)50%Toss Up
Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX)39%Lean D
Colin Allred (D-TX)11%Likely D
Conor Lamb (D-PA)6%Likely D
Ben McAdams (D-UT)6%Toss Up
Joe Cunningham (D-SC)0%Toss Up
Abigail Spanberger (D-VA)0%Toss Up
Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM)0%Toss Up
TJ Cox (D-CA)0%Toss Up
Matt Cartwright (D-PA)0%Lean D
Angie Craig (D-MN)0%Lean D
Elaine Luria (D-VA)0%Toss Up
Kendra Horn (D-OK)0%Toss Up

Members of the House are scored based on their current, two-year term. Legislative bill sponsorship decisions count for 10 percent of the total score.

View the full 2020 House Energy Scorecard

Notable Scores: U.S. Senate

Member’s NameFinal ScoreCook Rating*
Dan Sullivan (R-AK)100%Likely R
David Perdue (R-GA)92%Toss Up
Joni Ernst (R-IA)92%Toss Up
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)92%Likely R
Steve Daines (R-MT)92%Toss Up
Thom Tillis (R-NC)92%Toss Up
Gary Peters (D-MI)10%Lean D

Note: The following senators only participated in four votes or less and were not deemed scorable by AEA: Doug Jones (D-AL), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and Tina Smith (D-MN). Although Martha McSally (R-AZ) did not have enough votes for a Senate score, AEA notes she scored well during her House service, including 100% during the last Congress. Senators are scored across their current, six-year terms in office. Legislative bill sponsorship decisions count for 10 percent of the total score.

*The Cook Political Rating is an independent and non-partisan organization that analyzes elections and campaigns.

View the full 2020 Senate Energy Scorecard

About the Energy Scorecard:

The American Energy Scorecard is guided by these core set of principles:

  • Promoting affordable, abundant, and reliable energy
  • Expanding economic opportunity and prosperity, particularly for working families and those on fixed incomes
  • Giving Americans, not Washington bureaucrats, the power to make their own energy choices
  • Encouraging private sector innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Advancing market-oriented energy and environment policies
  • Reducing the role of government in energy markets
  • Eliminating the subsidies, mandates, and special interest giveaways that lead to higher energy costs

Members of the House of Representatives are scored during their full two-year term, while Senators are score based off their full six-year term in office. All 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 of the full 100 U.S. Senate are up for reelection in 2020.

Additional Resources

For media inquiries please contact:
JON HAUBERT | 303.396.5996

American Energy Alliance 2020 House of Representatives Scorecard

This week the American Energy Alliance released its American Energy Scorecard for the House of Representatives.  The AEA scorecard scores voting and co-sponsorship decisions on legislation affecting energy and environmental policy, educating voters on how their representatives’ vote and holding members accountable for those decisions.  This year’s scorecard compiles 18 votes and 2 co-sponsorship decisions from the 116th Congress.  74 House members achieved a 100% score.

The American Energy Scorecard is guided by the following core principles:

  • Promoting affordable, abundant, and reliable energy
  • Expanding economic opportunity and prosperity, particularly for working families and those on fixed incomes
  • Giving Americans, not Washington bureaucrats, the power to make their own energy choices
  • Encouraging private sector innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Advancing market-oriented energy and environment policies
  • Reducing the role of government in energy markets
  • Eliminating the subsidies, mandates, and special interest giveaways that lead to higher energy costs

All members are notified in advance that AEA plans to score an upcoming vote. The scored votes in the 116th Congress cover a range of energy and environmental policy issues:  

  • Six votes pertained to efforts to restrict or prevent offshore oil and gas development.  
  • Three votes sought to eliminate funding for UN anti-affordable energy programs.  
  • Three votes sought to restrain regulatory overreach initiated by the Obama administration.  
  • Three more votes opposed efforts to restrict or ban resource development (the Pebble Mine in Alaska, drilling in the Alaska coastal plain, and permanent funding for purchases of additional federal land).  
  • Two votes pertained to the destructive Paris climate treaty.  
  • A final individual vote opposed a “transportation bill” that was packed with green energy subsidies and preferences.

Two co-sponsorship decisions were scored, in both cases the legislation was scored against (meaning not cosponsoring scored positively).  These were legislation to rejoin the Paris climate treaty and a resolution supporting a Green New Deal.  The goals of both are to raise energy costs and restrict freedom in energy decisions in the US.

While AEA applauds all the members who achieved 100%, we must also note those members whose voting record was especially harmful for their districts.  Reps. Conor Lamb (6% score), T.J. Cox (0% score), Xochitl Torres-Small (0% score), and Matt Cartwright (0% score) all represent major energy producing districts.  Yet their scores don’t reflect a member working for their local industry.  Likewise, Reps. Lizzie Fletcher (39% score), Kendra Horn (0% score), Colin Allred (11%), and Ben McAdams (6%) represent urban areas where energy producers are major employers.  It is important for voters in these districts who appreciate affordable energy and free choices know the poor records of their representatives.

The full list of American Energy Champions:

  • Rep. A. Ferguson
  • Rep. Adrian Smith
  • Rep. Alex Mooney
  • Rep. Andy Biggs
  • Rep. Barry Loudermilk
  • Rep. Ben Cline
  • Rep. Bill Flores
  • Rep. Bradley Byrne
  • Rep. Brian Babin
  • Rep. Chip Roy
  • Rep. Chris Stewart
  • Rep. Clay Higgins
  • Rep. David McKinley
  • Rep. David Rouzer
  • Rep. Denver Riggleman
  • Rep. Doug Collins
  • Rep. Doug LaMalfa
  • Rep. Doug Lamborn
  • Rep. Duncan Hunter
  • Rep. F. Sensenbrenner
  • Rep. Garret Graves
  • Rep. Gary Palmer
  • Rep. George Holding
  • Rep. Glenn Grothman
  • Rep. Jason Smith
  • Rep. Jim Banks
  • Rep. Jim Jordan
  • Rep. Jodey Arrington
  • Rep. Jody Hice
  • Rep. John Carter
  • Rep. John Curtis
  • Rep. John Ratcliffe
  • Rep. Justin Amash
  • Rep. K. Conaway
  • Rep. Kelly Armstrong
  • Rep. Ken Buck
  • Rep. Kenny Marchant
  • Rep. Kevin Brady
  • Rep. Kevin Hern
  • Rep. Lance Gooden
  • Rep. Liz Cheney
  • Rep. Mark Meadows
  • Rep. Mark Walker
  • Rep. Markwayne Mullin
  • Rep. Michael Burgess
  • Rep. Michael Cloud
  • Rep. Michael Guest
  • Rep. Mike Bost
  • Rep. Mo Brooks
  • Rep. Paul Gosar
  • Rep. Pete Olson
  • Rep. Ralph Abraham
  • Rep. Ralph Norman
  • Rep. Randy Weber
  • Rep. Rick Allen
  • Rep. Rob Woodall
  • Rep. Robert Latta
  • Rep. Roger Williams
  • Rep. Ron Wright
  • Rep. Russ Fulcher
  • Rep. Sam Graves
  • Rep. Scott Perry
  • Rep. Scott Tipton
  • Rep. Steve King
  • Rep. Steve Scalise
  • Rep. Steven Chabot
  • Rep. Steven Palazzo
  • Rep. Ted Yoho
  • Rep. Thomas Massie
  • Rep. Tim Walberg
  • Rep. Tom Emmer
  • Rep. Tom Graves
  • Rep. Trent Kelly
  • Rep. William Timmons

For more information on how these issues impact the election check out AEA’s Vote Energy 2020 election hub.

American Energy Alliance 2020 Senate Scorecard

This week the American Energy Alliance released its American Energy Scorecard for the United States Senate.  The AEA scorecard scores voting and co-sponsorship decisions on legislation affecting energy and environmental policy, educating voters on how their representatives’ vote and holding members accountable for those decisions.  This year’s Senate scorecard compiles 23 votes and 1 co-sponsorship decision from the full 6-year terms of the Senators up for reelection in 2020.  15 Senators achieved better than a 90% score over their full term of office.

The American Energy Scorecard is guided by the following core principles:

  • Promoting affordable, abundant, and reliable energy
  • Expanding economic opportunity and prosperity, particularly for working families and those on fixed incomes
  • Giving Americans, not Washington bureaucrats, the power to make their own energy choices
  • Encouraging private sector innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Advancing market-oriented energy and environment policies
  • Reducing the role of government in energy markets
  • Eliminating the subsidies, mandates, and special interest giveaways that lead to higher energy costs

All members are notified in advance that AEA plans to score an upcoming vote. The scored votes in the last three Congresses cover a range of energy and environmental policy issues: 

  • Five votes were Congressional Review Act resolutions pertaining to federal regulatory overreach
  • Six more votes sought to restrain regulatory adventurism or make clear Congressional authority over regulatory action.
  • Four votes opposed wasteful subsidy programs (wind PTC, solar ITC, the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing, and the Export-Import Bank)
  • Three votes pertained to efforts to limit resource development (Keystone pipeline, Alaska coastal plain drilling, and permanent funding for purchases of additional federal land)
  • Two votes were taken on nominations (Scott Pruitt for EPA administrator and Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court)
  • Two votes opposed efforts make energy more expensive (through a carbon tax and a national renewables mandate)
  • And one vote pertained to the massive attempt to reorder society known as the Green New Deal.

One co-sponsorship decision was scored, in this case scored against (meaning not cosponsoring scored positively).  This was the resolution supporting a Green New Deal, which sought to control every aspect of the economy through controlling energy decisions.

To see a full list of how senators did over their six-year term click here.

AEA applauds the 15 Senators who demonstrated support for affordable energy and free markets over their six-year term.

  • Sen. Ben Sasse
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan
  • Sen. Jim Risch
  • Sen. Bill Cassidy
  • Sen. Jim Inhofe
  • Sen. John Cornyn
  • Sen. Mike Enzi
  • Sen. Tom Cotton
  • Sen. David Perdue
  • Sen. Joni Ernst
  • Sen. Mike Rounds
  • Sen. Mitch McConnell
  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito
  • Sen. Steve Daines
  • Sen. Thom Tillis

For more information on how these issues impact the election check out AEA’s Vote Energy 2020 election hub.

Unregulated Podcast #2: Tom & Mike on Trump’s Chances this November

On the first episode back, Tom & Mike focus on President Trump’s electoral chances and everything that’s happened since last September.


AEA’s 2020 election hub

Check out McKenna’s latest at the Washington Times