Romney energy policy: oil and gas
And renewables? Fuhgetaboudit! A clean energy economy is the sort of idea that’s impossible to find in Mitt Romney’s approach to energy policy, contained in his 87-page platform document, “Believe in America: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth.”
Romney’s energy program is so bereft of new ideas and so cynically beholding to Big Oil and King Coal that it’s almost breathtaking: basically, whatever the fossil fuel industry wants, Romney is there.
One of the bills he says he’ll introduce on “day one” of his presidency will direct the Department of Interior “to undertake a comprehensive survey of American energy reserves in partnership with exploration companies and initiate leasing in all areas currently approved for exploration.”
There it is—Romney the handmaiden and toady for Big Oil and King Coal on energy policy. Exactly what the economy and the environment needs.
The plan says he will “streamline and fast-track approval processes” for exploration and extraction of oil while amending the Clean Air Act to “exclude regulation of carbon.” The focus will be on increased production and opening reserves to exploration and production. Renewable energy? Please.
This what he says about Obama’s “unhealthy” green jobs obsession: “As the Obama administration wages war against oil and coal, it has been spending billions of dollars on alternative energy forms and touting its creation of “green” jobs. But it seems to be operating more on faith than on fact-based economic calculation. To begin with, wind and solar power, two of the most ballyhooed forms of alternative fuel, remain sharply uncompetitive on their own with conventional resources such as oil and natural gas in most applications. Indeed, at current prices, these technologies make little sense for the consuming public but great sense only for the companies reaping profits from taxpayer subsidies.
“As for job creation, studies show that “green” jobs might actually hurt employment more than they help it.” Huh? What’s that again?
Here’s this tidbit on shale-gas extraction: “While fracking requires regulation just like any other energy-extraction practice, the EPA in a Romney administration will not pursue overly aggressive interventions designed to discourage fracking altogether… Of critical importance: the environmental impact of fracking should not be considered in the abstract, but rather evaluated in comparison to the impact of utilizing the fuels that natural gas displaces, including coal.” Wait. What?
There’s nary a word on the impact of climate change in the Romney plan, probably for good reason: Here are two quotes from Romney from speeches and interviews: “I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that. I believe that climate change is occurring. The reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor. It’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors.” Wow! He said that? But that was only your basic Romneyesque pandering. More recently he said:
“My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us. “My view with regards to energy policy is pretty straightforward. And that means let’s aggressively develop our oil, our gas, our coal, our nuclear power.” There’s the old flip-flopper that makes no sense.
The stakes are high in this election on many fronts, none more vital than for those committed to protecting the environment, addressing climate change and encouraging the growth of a clean energy economy.
That won’t happen with Mittwitt. For him it’s not “Believe in America”—it’s “Believe in Oil and Gas.”
Image: Mitt witt #romney by Steve Rhodes via Flickr