Yesterday, Shawn McCoy, a spokesman for Romney’s Iowa campaign in Iowa, told the Des Moines Register that Romney “will allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits.”
We looked at the Romney energy plan from the Republican candidate's website and his published energy platform a few months ago. With the election looming and the Romney camp clarifying its views on the PTC wind subsidy, we thought it appropriate to reprint the Romney energy viewpoint.
The Romney platform is called "Believe in America: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth"; it also contains the candidate's energy policy.
But before Romney details his plan, he takes some swipes at the Obama administration's energy plan:
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.
Romney accuses the Obama administration of having an "unhealthy obsession with green jobs" and cites studies which show that green jobs might actually hurt employment rather than help it. Obama's delay of the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is also labeled a job killer; the document cites an arguable figure of 100,000 jobs lost in not constructing the pipeline that would originate at the Alberta Tar Sands.
Here is Romney's energy platform, excerpted from his website.
What’s at Stake
Producing more domestic energy would create good jobs and bolster local economies in a wide variety of energy-producing regions that effectively “export” their product to the rest of the country. While countless jobs are engaged in the actual energy-production process, they are a small fraction of the full workforce that benefits. For instance, before the first barrel of oil is pumped out of the ground, entire industries are hard at work creating the equipment and providing the services used in drilling, production, and the long chain of supporting industries that brings energy from inside the earth to the consumer.
The ripple effects into the non-energy sectors of the economy are commensurately important. If instead of sending hundreds of billions of dollars overseas we can send them to our own energy-rich centers, the nation as a whole will experience the economic benefits that we currently see other countries enjoying at our expense.
Unfortunately, the first three years of the Obama administration have witnessed energy and environmental policies that have stifled the domestic energy sector. In thrall to the environmentalist lobby and its dogmas, the President and the regulatory bodies under his control have taken measures to limit energy exploration and restrict development in ways that sap economic performance, curtail growth, and kill jobs.
The Obama administration’s energy policy has been simply incoherent. For instance, it has blocked off-shore drilling in U.S. waters while applauding increased drilling off the coast of Brazil. Similarly, it has blocked construction of a pipeline that would bring Canadian oil to the United States, knowing full well that the result would be Canadian oil flowing to China instead. And it has pursued numerous regulations that would drive up energy prices while destroying millions of jobs.
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. The “green” technologies are typically far too expensive to compete in the marketplace, and studies have shown that for every “green” job created there are actually more jobs destroyed. Unsurprisingly, this costly government investment has failed to create an economic boom.
As president, Mitt Romney will make every effort to safeguard the environment, but he will be mindful at every step of also protecting the jobs of American workers. This will require putting conservative principles into action.
Significant Regulatory Reform
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 for further investment in nuclear power.
- Establish fixed timetables for all resource development approvals
- Create one-stop shop to streamline permitting process for approval of common activities
- Implement fast-track procedures for companies with established safety records to conduct pre-approved activities in pre-approved areas
- Ensure that environmental laws properly account for cost in regulatory process
- Amend Clean Air Act to exclude carbon dioxide from its purview
- Expand NRC capabilities for approval of additional nuclear reactor designs
- Streamline NRC processes to ensure that licensing decisions for reactors on or adjacent to approved sites, using approved designs, are complete within two years
The United States is blessed with a cornucopia of carbon-based energy resources. Developing them has been a pathway to prosperity for the nation in the past and offers similar promise for the future.
- Conduct comprehensive survey of America’s energy reserves
- Open America’s energy reserves for development
- Expand opportunities for U.S. resource developers to forge partnerships with neighboring countries
- Support construction of pipelines to bring Canadian oil to the United States
- Prevent overregulation of shale gas development and extraction
Research and Development
Government has a role to play in innovation in the energy industry. History shows that the United States has moved forward in astonishing ways thanks to national investment in basic research and advanced technology. However, we should not be in the business of steering investment toward particular politically favored approaches. That is a recipe for both time and money wasted on projects that do not bring us dividends. The failure of windmills and solar plants to become economically viable or make a significant contribution to our energy supply is a prime example.
- Concentrate alternative energy funding on basic research
- Utilize long-term, apolitical funding mechanisms like ARPA-E for basic research
Here are some collected energy-related quotes from the candidate:
“In place of real energy, Obama has focused on an imaginary world where government-subsidized windmills and solar panels could power the economy. This vision has failed."
“First, I will pursue dramatic regulatory reform to accelerate the exploration and development of oil and gas, to facilitate construction of vital infrastructure and to preserve and expand crucial electricity capacity. I will streamline permitting processes and create fixed timelines. Businesses can live with 'yes' or 'no,' but government must stop saying 'maybe' or 'wait.'"
“I will modernize our outdated environmental laws to take cost into account, and stop the EPA’s practice of using imaginary benefits to justify onerous burdens. In my administration, coal will not be a four-letter word. Instead, we will applaud the industry’s success in consistently expanding electricity output while reducing pollution. And I will respect states’ proven ability to regulate fracking, rather than sending federal bureaucrats to take control."
“Second, I will increase production. [...] I will permit access to our resources in the Gulf of Mexico, the Outer Continental Shelf, western lands and the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. I also will partner closely with our neighbors. Canada and Mexico have extraordinary resources of their own that can provide secure, reliable supplies for our economy. This starts with my approval of the Keystone XL pipeline on Day One."
“Third, I will invest in new energy technologies. We must not allow President Obama’s irresponsible and unethical funding of companies such as Solyndra to undermine the Department of Energy’s critical mission of basic research. We can position America to lead on energy in the future without picking winners or stifling the energy sources of today.”
Romney does not support cap-and-trade or the Kyoto Treaty. Romney's viewpoint on global warming, according to a spokesperson: "He believes it’s occurring, and that human activity contributes to it, but he doesn’t know to what extent."