Flooding stress, including soil waterlogging and partial to complete submergence, reduces oxygen availability for ATP production, triggering alterations in gene expression and energy metabolism. The plant-specific Group VII Ethylene Response Factor (ERF) transcription factors have emerged as pivotal regulators of flooding and low oxygen responses. Several Arabidopsis thaliana Group VII ERF genes are low-oxygen and/or ethylene regulated. The manipulation of these ERFs can affect survival of low oxygen stress. In rice (Oryza sativa), the Group VII ERFs SUB1A and SNORKEL1/2 enable survival or escape of submergence, respectively. Recent findings indicate that all five Group VII ERF family members of Arabidopsis thaliana are synthesized but unstable in air-grown plants. Low levels of oxygen promote the accumulation of these transcription factors because their proteolysis requires oxygen. The presentation will describe the importance of energy management in flooding survival strategies and highlight our new appreciation of subtle but ecologically and agronomically relevant genetic variation in the low oxygen sensing mechanism of plants.