President Obama unveiled his ostensible “all of the above” energy plan earlier this year, but after gas prices peaked in April and then started to calm back down, domestic energy production also became more of a back-burner issue on the presidential campaign trail (who has time for energy when we’ve got hiking taxes on the wealthy and Mitt Romney’s tax returns to talk about, right?). Barring President Obama’s standard thrown-in support for continued federal subsidies for renewable energies, the issue hasn’t been front-and-center of late, but I’d bet good money Team Obama will make another big “all of the above”-ish push before November (especially if national gas price averages keep steadily climbing as they more recently have been again, although that is standard in the summertime).
Mitt Romney’s energy plan includes opening up more available domestic resources for drilling and fracking, streamlining regulations, and limiting federal energy “investments” to basic R&D — all of which are moves in the right direction and all of which rub up against President Obama’s current course for our energy economy, a fact that Team Obama hasn’t failed to note and subsequently chastise:
Federico Pena Former Secretary of Energy
“Mitt Romney says he has a plan for energy independence that would bring us forward, but looking at his policies makes it clear he would bring us backward. You cannot achieve energy independence if your only plan is to “drill, baby, drill.” Instead, we need to reduce our demand for foreign oil—through a suite of all-of-the-above policies like better fuel efficiency and advanced electric and natural gas vehicles, which Mitt Romney has opposed. We need to invest in clean energies, and advanced biofuels, and you don’t get there by cutting investments in those energy sources. Here in Colorado, the President’s policies have resulted in natural gas production at an all-time high and oil production at its highest since 1981. Mitt Romney is trying to fool voters into thinking he has a plan, when really he would just cede our clean energy economy to our foreign competitors.”
Jennifer Granholm Former Governor of Michigan
Mitt Romney’s plan for energy independence cannot be taken seriously. Energy independence is just political rhetoric if you don’t include significant investments in home-grown clean energy sources like wind, solar, and other renewables. Yet, Romney has made it clear that he opposes the wind production tax credit and all incentives for clean energy—which would pull the rug out from under our growing clean energy sector, which supports thousands of jobs across the country. President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, fostering innovation and the development of our domestic renewable sources of energy, and doubling production of solar and wind energy—is getting us closer to energy independence than Mitt Romney’s plan ever could. …
Blah, blah, blah. Actually, I’m pretty sure that a route to energy security means that we stop cutting Americans off from our own resources and instead allow our ingenuity and entrepreneurship to garner us a market share of the ever-growing energy industry sans government interference — why not “cede our clean energy economy to our foreign competitors”? It’s not like it’s doing us much good, seeing as how it’s only operational while the government continues to subsidize it, but I digress. Mitt Romney does have a few iffy energy-related liabilities in his record, as he’s supported some government-sponsored clean energies in the past, but Politico points out that that’s another area where bringing Paul Ryan on board can potentially help him out.
The Wisconsin Republican has been an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama’s clean energy agenda, offering a fiscal plan earlier this year that neatly mirrors the GOP’s policy priorities. The plan would expand oil and gas drilling, limit the reach of the EPA and kill the Energy Department’s clean energy loan program.
The plan even earned a high-profile rebuke from Obama, something that many Republicans would wear as a badge of honor. “If some politicians had their way, there won’t be any more public investment in solar energy,” the president said during a March speech at a solar plant in Colorado.
Ryan has rarely broken with his party on energy issues, a part of his resume that is probably a big bonus for Romney, who has come under fire for his position on climate change while governor of Massachusetts. …
“In picking Paul Ryan, Gov. Romney really doubled down on his approach to favoring oil companies over clean energy,” said Navin Nayak, senior vice president for campaigns at the League of Conservation Voters.
Puh-lease. Republicans aren’t “favoring oil companies over clean energy,” they just want to allow the free market — a.k.a., reality — to do its work and allow supply to meet demand. The Obama administration, on the other hand, most definitely favors clean energy over oil companies — and as they’ve tripped over themselves to do so, they’ve shown ample willingness to socially engineer and centrally plan the economy, the costs be damned.