Update: Brownback dropped out of the presidential race on Oct. 19, 2007.

Sam Brownback

Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback, who has represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate since 1996, calls for the U.S. to be “energy secure” so it won’t have to depend on unfriendly countries for oil — and touts ethanol as a homegrown solution to the problem. He calls for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, even though he’s not convinced that humans are responsible for global warming. His lifetime voting score from the League of Conservation Voters is 14 percent.

Read an interview with Sam Brownback by Grist and Outside.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

Key Points

  • Emphasizes the importance of decreasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil and becoming “energy secure.”
  • Accepts that the atmosphere is warming and carbon dioxide is building up in the atmosphere, but isn’t convinced of the relationship between the warming and human activity.
  • Wants to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions through market-based measures; opposes mandatory caps on emissions.
  • Has opposed raising auto fuel-economy standards in the past, but more recently has supported a modest increase to an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020 if automakers think it’s achievable.
  • Supports expansion of nuclear power, as well as storage of nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada.
  • Supports continued use of coal, including liquefied coal, but wants to find cleaner ways to burn the coal.
  • Supports oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore in U.S. waters.
  • Enthusiastically touts ethanol, biodiesel, and plug-in hybrids.


Watch Brownback talk about climate change and the environment:

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Watch Brownback talk about innovation and energy:

Watch Brownback discuss energy security and global human rights during an energy policy speech on May 22, 2007: