It's hard to get a handle on how the two presidential nominees would do on the energy front.
Obama has been connected to the coal industry in Illinois, a state quite dependent on coal revenues, and is very much for alternatives to petroleum, mainly ethanol. He says:
"[ethanol] ultimately helps our national security, because right now we’re sending billions of dollars to some of the most hostile nations on earth.” Also, [oil dependence] makes it more difficult for us to shape a foreign policy that is intelligent and is creating security for the long term.”
Of course Obama is often now "accompanied by Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader from South Dakota. Mr. Daschle now serves on the boards of three ethanol companies and works at a Washington law firm where, according to his online job description, 'he spends a substantial amount of time providing strategic and policy advice to clients in renewable energy.'” (New York Times)
Ethanol gets millions of dollars of government subsidies, something that McCain wants to eliminate, not for the market distortions that it is causing (rise in food prices worldwide, for instance,) but in the name of free trade, and because he thinks that selecting ethanol, for instance, as the horse to ride is "... playing favorites, [instead] our government should level the playing field for all alcohol fuels that break the monopoly of gasoline, lowering both gasoline prices and carbon emissions."
McCain also would let states determine whether or not to allow offshore drilling, a proposal quite objectionable to Obama.
Huffington Post reports on McCain's support for the electric car:
Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain proposed a $300 million reward for anyone who can design a more efficient electric car battery. He also said that, if elected, he would support a $5,000 tax credit to automakers who sold zero-emissions cars -- per car sold.
Grist's Kate Sheppard reported that McCain took a shot at opponent Senator Barack Obama's support of ethanol in the same breath.
ClimateProgress is skeptical: "First off, every energy and car company on the planet knows they'll get rich by improving batteries. The world is probably spending $1 billion a year in this quest. This $300 million prize is a pointless gimmick, just a cynical move to get some good PR."