US candidates rated on infra potential

With Clinton’s new energy plan coming in after judging was closed, Kasich, Sanders and Trump scored highest according to CG/LA's rating system.

In a recent ranking of presidential candidates on both the Republican and Democratic side, Democratic Candidate Bernie Sanders and Republican Candidate John Kasich tied for the top position, according to metrics derived by global consulting firm CG/LA Infrastructure.

Each candidate was rated on their categories including legacy performance (have they successfully built infrastructure in the past?), plan of action (do they have an achievable infrastructure plan?), and team performance (can they catalyse great performance across a disparate executive team that would have to manage a successful infrastructure build?). 

“This is not a narrow issue. Infrastructure, like education, is a foundational issue, underlying our ability to be productive, to be prosperous, and to creatively imagine – and create – our country's future,” said CG/LA president and chief executive (CEO) Norm Anderson. “Every successful presidential candidate for the last two generations has promised to build our infrastructure, helping us to regain our global competitiveness – none has been able to do it.” 

“Our monthly rating system provides a structure for the evaluation of the candidates, Republicans and Democrats, and their ability to get things done.” 

Sanders and Kasich each earned 18 points, Donald Trump followed closely behind with 17 points, and the next-highest scorer was Hillary Clinton, with 11 points. 

Sanders earned his position at the top “for being the most vocal candidate on the issue, having proposed a major infrastructure investment initiative in the Senate and emphasising the importance of infrastructure on the campaign trail”, said the report. 

Kasich, on the other hand, led on legacy performance, “having applied his public and private sector experience to pass a strong transportation budget in Ohio”. 

Trump was recognised for his experience as a builder and his infrastructure focus on the campaign trail.

Clinton may have received a boost had she released her new energy plan, announced Wednesday, in time for inclusion in scoring. The plan calls for the modernisation of the oil and gas pipeline system (though she opposes Keystone XL Pipeline development), an increase in rail safety and the development of more resilient grids in terms of both cyberattacks and extreme weather.

Clinton's plan includes mention of the need to speed up the infrastructure project approvals process and calls for the establishment of a national infrastructure bank – an idea that has faded in and out of political popularity in recent years but which no one has been able to materialise just yet.

It shows awareness of the opportunities that exist by creating energy partnerships across North America, given the recent liberalisation of Mexico's energy market, and calls for not only integration of assets but also of clean power plans and initiatives across borders.

The CG/LA rating was issued as part of a new initiative, dubbed Blueprint 2025, which is an 18-month, 100-nameplate campaign by US CEOs to craft an infrastructure plan for the next presidential administration.

“The goal was to get to a level where we're building prosperity that's really going to drive growth in our country. We've already got 23 CEOs in our country participating, and the goal is to have an actual concrete plan in place by January 20, 2017 – so that when the next administration takes office, they actually have a specific plan in terms of what their action items need to be to more than double the level of infrastructure in the US and at least quintuple the amount of private investment into projects,” Anderson said in a recent interview with Infrastructure Investor.

“We're building our insights and our recommendations and our action items from the ground up. So the idea is that basically these kinds of projects, what sort of action items are you going to need to facilitate more rapid development.”