climate change

Would you ban fossil fuel exports?

Yes

Yes, ban them

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Yes, I support a federal ban on fossil fuel exports,” Gabbard told The Post.

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Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“Yes. When [Sanders] is in the White House, he will ban all fossil fuel exports,” a campaign spokesman told The Post.

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Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“Yes we should ban fossil fuel exports, but this can’t happen immediately. We will need to phase it out,” Steyer told The Post.

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Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I support re-imposing limits on crude oil exports and I opposed lifting the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil,” Warren told The Post. “The Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Equitable Rebuild Act, of which I am a sponsor, specifically prohibits the use of funds to rebuild the islands’ electrical grids from being used to construct new liquefied natural gas import and export terminals.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Cory Booker (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is no longer running for president. Booker supports banning fossil fuel exports, he told The Post. In his climate plan, Booker pledged to “reinstate the ban on crude oil exports; and expand the ban to cover all fossil fuel exports by 2030.”

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Cory Booker
Booker

Jay Inslee (Dropped out)

Governor, Washington state

Inslee is no longer running for president. “Yes. We must stop burning fossil fuels at home as well as sending that pollution around the globe,” Inslee told The Post. “It was a mistake for Congress to repeal the crude oil export ban, and I do not support the Trump Administration’s continued efforts to ship our fossil fuel pollution abroad — and increase domestic energy prices.”

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Jay Inslee
Inslee

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. “Yes, though we should not ban all fossil fuel exports immediately, we must phase them out quickly while working to reduce the impact to American workers,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Marianne Williamson (Dropped out)

Author

Williamson is no longer running for president. Williamson supports a ban on fossil fuel exports, she told The Post.

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Marianne Williamson
Williamson

No

No, don’t ban them

Mike Bloomberg

Former New York mayor

“No. But I will enact and enforce stringent health, safety, and environmental standards to ensure that wherever coal, oil, and gas are mined, drilled, or shipped, it is done safely and with local community consent,” Bloomberg told The Post.

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Mike Bloomberg
Bloomberg

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney does not support banning fossil fuel exports, he told The Post.

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John Delaney
Delaney

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang would not ban fossil fuel exports, he told The Post. At a CNN climate town hall, he said, “I think we have to stop subsidizing the industry, but I don’t think that includes banning exports. Because if our fossil fuel industry, which is going to be around for some period of time, is competitive and cost competitive enough to export to another country, I wouldn’t stand in the way of that.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “No. I believe other policy measures can transition existing export industries and reflect the social costs of greenhouse gases from their production and export,” Bullock told The Post. “I believe the fossil fuel export industry must provide the leadership and investment to transition energy systems internationally to lower emissions solutions in the interim.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper is no longer running for president. “No,” Hickenlooper told The Post. “I support a dedicated effort to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. My climate change plan includes a carbon tax, which will create the necessary market incentives to quickly and cost-effectively lower carbon emissions.”

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John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Seth Moulton (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton is no longer running for president. “No, I don’t support a ban, but we need to implement policies to ensure that fossil fuel exports fall over time,” Moulton told The Post. “Banning American exports will hurt American producers that not only employ many Americans but are more heavily regulated than their counterparts overseas. Restricting fossil fuel exports will only make it more difficult to meet our decarbonisation targets. However, it is of pivotal importance that we incorporate the price of carbon emissions into the cost of fossil fuels. We cannot export fossil fuels at a price lower than its ultimate cost to society.”

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Seth Moulton
Moulton

Tim Ryan (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan is no longer running for president. “No. Natural gas exports through LNG not only has enormous economic benefits for American companies and workers, but also play a pivotal geo-political role in our assistance to allies in Central Europe in reducing their dependence on Russia for energy resources,” Ryan told The Post.

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Tim Ryan
Ryan

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “Our work should be to reduce global demand for fossil fuels,” Swalwell told The Post. “That's done through innovation and by working with markets and other countries, not by ceding control of those markets to other world powers with terrible human rights records and goals that clash with our own. Moving forward means not banning fossil fuel sales, but making fossil fuels obsolete.”

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Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet did not provide an answer to this question.

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Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“I think we should [ban fossil fuel exports], in fact, depending on what it is they’re exporting for what they’re replacing,” Biden said at a CNN climate town hall. “Everything is incremental.” His climate plan said the United States can “export our clean-energy technology across the globe and create high-quality, middle-class jobs here at home.” The campaign did not directly answer this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg told The Post he supports “a transition to 100% clean energy production in the U.S. and around the world.”

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Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar did not provide an answer to this question.

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Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Deval Patrick

Former governor, Massachusetts

Patrick did not answer this question by publication.

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Deval Patrick
Patrick

Julian Castro (Dropped out)

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro is no longer running for president. Castro did not provide an answer to this question.

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Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is no longer running for president. Gillibrand did not provide an answer to this question.

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Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. “We must begin intentionally and deliberately transitioning away from fossil fuels, shifting from being an exporter of fossil fuels to an exporter of clean energy technology,” Harris's climate plan said. Her campaign had not clarified her position by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Beto O'Rourke (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke is no longer running for president. O'Rourke “would take executive action on day one to require any federal permitting decision to fully account for climate costs and community impacts,” a campaign spokesman told The Post. “We must ensure that the resources we consume — even as we work quickly to transition to renewable energy — are governed by the strictest environmental laws, safeguards, and standards.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

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Background The Energy Information Administration expects the United States to become a net energy exporter by 2020. The United States has long exported more coal than it imports and as of 2017 exported more natural gas. Exports of crude oil have shot up since a four-decade ban was lifted in a 2015 spending bill, passed by a Republican-controlled congress and signed by President Barack Obama.

U.S. energy exports

Petroleum

products

10 quadrillion BTU

Crude oil

ban lifted

5

Crude oil

Natural gas

Coal

0

1990

2000

2010

2018

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Petroleum

products

U.S. energy exports

10 quadrillion BTU

5

Crude oil

Crude oil

ban lifted

Natural gas

Coal

0

1990

2000

2010

2018

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Petroleum

products

U.S. energy exports

10 quadrillion BTU

5

Crude oil

Crude oil

ban lifted

Natural gas

Coal

0

1990

2000

2010

2018

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

How we compiled candidate positions

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic campaign asking whether they support various climate change policies. We organized candidates with similar stances into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town halls and other news reports. See something that we missed? Let us know.

This page will update as we learn more about the candidates’ plans. We also will note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president. If a candidate dropped out after a question was published here, their stance is included under the "Show former candidates" option. If they dropped out before a question was first published, the Post did not reach out to get their stance.

Candidate illustrations by Ben Kirchner.