Last week, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced his energy platform, which emphasizes the goal of U.S. energy independence through increased offshore drilling, particularly in the mid-Atlantic, an “energy partnership” with Mexico and Canada, and through greater control over energy production on federal lands for states. “States are far better able to develop, adopt and enforce regulations based on their unique resources, geology and local concerns,” said Romney. Enacting these policies would lead to over $1 trillion in revenue for federal, state, and local governments, more than 3 million new jobs, and a resurgence in U.S. manufacturing, according to the candidate.
The energy policies outlined in Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget plan, “The Path to Prosperity,” resemble his running mate’s platform. Ryan’s plan, The Hill reports, “promotes longtime GOP energy priorities, including greatly expanding dome oil-and-gas production and rolling back environmental regulations.” His budget calls for “market -based solutions for sustainable energy,” reducing funding for applied and commercial research, and leaving project development to the private sector.
Democrats and environmental groups have come out against the candidates’ energy policies. Michael E. Webber, associate director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin, warns against Romney’s plan to turn energy production on federal lands over to states, explaining that “local decision makers could inhibit production that could be against the national interest or could encourage production that could pollute waters or air in another state.”
In a New York Times op-ed, Robert B. Semple Jr. takes issue with candidate Romney’s emphasis on energy independence, noting that “Presidents have been talking about energy independence since Richard Nixon and haven’t come close.”
In a recent memo Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, lambasted Ryan and his plan for cutting DOE loan programs that “have helped support over 60,000 jobs.” Waxman criticized Ryan’s plan as an attempt to derail efforts to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy development, while retaining billions in fossil fuel-industry subsidies and tax breaks.
What’s your take on Romney and Ryan’s energy platforms? Is the vision they’re outlining the right vision for American energy? How does Romney’s energy platform match up against the status quo?