Team Romney has released their official and detailed energy platform in a new position paper, and Mitt is talking it up on the campaign trail today in New Mexico. It’s all great stuff, in my humble opinion: fewer federal regulations; more state self-determination; more drilling, both offshore and terrestrial; less government “investment” in politically preferred pet green energy projects; a quicker green-lighting procedure for major energy projects and North American cooperation; and etcetera.
A crucial component of Mitt Romney’s Plan for a Stronger Middle Class is to dramatically increase domestic energy production and partner closely with Canada and Mexico to achieve North American energy independence by 2020. While President Obama has described his own energy policy as a “hodgepodge,” sent billions of taxpayer dollars to green energy projects run by political cronies, rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline as not in “the national interest,” and sought repeatedly to stall development of America’s domestic resources, Romney’s path forward would establish America as an energy superpower in the 21st century.
“An affordable, reliable supply of energy is crucial to America’s economic future. I have a vision for an America that is an energy superpower, rapidly increasing our own production and partnering with our allies Canada and Mexico to achieve energy independence on this continent. If I am elected president, that vision will become a reality by the end of my second term.” -Mitt Romney
THE ROMNEY AGENDA:
- Empower states to control onshore energy development;
- Open offshore areas for energy development;
- Pursue a North American Energy Partnership;
- Ensure accurate assessment of energy resources;
- Restore transparency and fairness to permitting and regulation; and
- Facilitate private-sector-led development of new energy technologies.
Amen to that! It’s often said that, under Obama anyways, America is a energy-rich nation acting like an energy-poor nation. There is a huge and booming global market for energy resources, which we have in spades, yet we continually and quixotically take ourselves out of the game and refuse to get in on a market share that would bring in major economic growth and revenue. A national agenda like this would help put Americans back to work and invigorate our limping economy without adding more costly, sluggish bureaucracy to the mix.
I am going to take umbrage with one tiny titular point, however, about Romney’s plan calling for “North American energy independence by 2020.” I realize that ‘energy independence’ is a politically profitable buzzword, but I’m always wary of it: It’s important not to fall into the trap of thinking that we need to be necessarily energy independent. The key to economic growth and robust prosperity is always to purchase goods from wherever they are most cheaply and efficiently produced. I realize there are arguable extracurricular concerns of not wanting to engage in trade with potentially hostile nations, and I actually happen to think that Americans are the ones capable of most cheaply producing energy anyway and that just taking greater advantage of our own resources will lead to less foreign dependence naturally — but thinking that we need to be energy independent merely for the sake of independence could lead to much higher economic costs and won’t protect us from global price trends. Every president since Richard Nixon has indeed tooted the horn of energy independence, but never succeeded in accomplishing it. Just as long as we’re going for that goal simply by allowing Americans to pursue energy-related opportunities, or not, on their own profit-seeking agenda (and not with the government playing green venture capitalist or imposing protectionist tariffs or anything), I’m okay with it — and that’s exactly what Mitt Romney’s plan is proposing, so we’re all good here.