Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Digganalysis of Romney's 59 Point Plan: Part IV Energy Policy


In part IV of analyzing Mr. Romney’s 59 point plan, we will analyze and comment on his energy policy.  Short version: old energy good, new energy bad.  Romney’s plan is about slamming everything President Obama stands for and in the process sounds like male Palin, a Malin. 

The quotes and italics are the actual words from the Romney plan and the plan uses Romney in the third person (“George is getting angry”).

·         “The Obama administration’s diversion of resources into green energy has occurred at a time when the traditional energy sector – oil, gas, coal, and nuclear – holds remarkable job-creating potential.” Romney sounds like FDR and believes putting people to work for public works jobs is OK.  He is promoting coal mining because it is so labor intensive, while ignoring the environmental impact.  What is rather funny is President Obama has been pushing the exploration and recovery of natural gas and it is that same sector that is killing coal.

·         “The first step will be a rational and streamlined approach to regulation, which would facilitate rapid progress in the development of our domestic reserves of oil and natural gas and allow further investment in nuclear power.”  Further investment in nuclear power?  The most subsidized energy source in our diversified energy portfolio.  Mr. Mitt “Government is too big” Romney wants to expand the use of nuclear, the once source of energy that does not exist without ENORMOUS government subsidies.

·         “The Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and other environmental laws need to be overhauled.”  Yes these 40 year old environmental acts are so onerous.  These acts, while not perfect, are not the enemies of energy success; they are the necessary controls to keep an otherwise dishonest industry honest.  Or we can simply let the coal industry pump lethal amounts of mercury and sulfur dioxide into the air. Perhaps the question Romney should be asking is why the fracking companies needed exemptions from the safe drinking water act.

·         “…a Romney administration will permit drilling wherever it can be done safely, taking into account local concerns.”  Sounds great, but how is ‘safely’ being defined?  Clearly the Deepwater Horizon episode showed us that regulations are necessary, but only effective if the regulators are diligent and not in bed with the same companies they are supposed to be keeping an eye on. Nonetheless, is it ever really safe to be drilling dozens of miles under water?

·         “131,000 jobs potential from Keystone XL Pipeline construction supported by Mitt Romney.” 131,000 jobs?  Where did he pull that number from?  Most legitimate estimates have the number closer to 10,000 – 15,000.  But what the heck, Mitt’s never been about accuracy.

·         “19,000 jobs destroyed by Obama administration’s gulf drilling moratorium.” Classic Romney not citing any legitimate sources for his claims.  Nonetheless, Romney believes that the moratorium was a bad idea following the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.  Yes after the worst offshore oil leak let’s not take any time to assess root cause and corrective and preventative action. 

So there you have it.  Mitt believes in subsidizing nuclear energy, allowing uncontrolled and unfettered exploitation of the land, overstates the impact of the Keystone XL pipeline, and believes that solar and wind are expensive wastes of time.  By the way Mitt, since 2008, greenhouse gases have decreased in this country faster than any other place in the world, but you would consider that a bad thing.  At the end of the day, we have another Romney ‘policy’ short on detail but chock full of talking points.

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