The Romney camp just revealed the details on its energy policy with a position paper on its website, ahead of a speech being delivered by the candidate today.

We've covered the Mitt Romney energy platform at Greentech Media, as well as the presumptive Republican candidate's views on wind subsidies. (We covered the Obama wind worldview here and Bill Clinton's energy views here.)

The respective energy policies of the sitting president and his Republican challenger set clear distinctions on how the Democrats and Republicans will chart the U.S. energy future and draw the battle lines for this topic in the upcoming election.

The Hill quotes Romney campaign advisor Ed Gillespie as saying, “As a result of the president’s policies, energy prices are higher, there are fewer jobs, our industries are less competitive and family budgets are further strained."

Federico Pena, secretary of Energy in the Clinton era, responded to the Romney paper, saying, “Only two days after a fundraiser hosted by the CEO of major oil companies, Romney is expected to defend billions in oil subsidies while opposing efforts to use oil more efficiently and develop homegrown alternative energy. We will never reach energy independence by turning our backs on homegrown renewable energy and better auto mileage.”

Here are the bullet points for 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.


On Fossil Fuels: The Romney camp sees the U.S. as sitting on an abundance of oil and natural gas reserves, newly recoverable with technologies like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. What is preventing the U.S. from accessing these abundant reserves is the overreach of federal agencies that delay permitting for drilling on federal lands or for onshore and offshore oil drilling, according to the paper.

The paper cites sources which claim there is "no peak oil in sight."

On Federal Versus State Regulatory Oversight: "In the midst of the energy revolution taking place on state and privately-held lands across America, oil and gas production on federal lands somehow plummeted last year. This was no accident. President Obama has intentionally sought to shut down oil, gas, and coal production in pursuit of his own alternative energy agenda. Federal land open for exploration has declined nearly 20 percent on his watch, and the rate of permitting is down 37 percent. It now takes a shocking 307 days to receive the permits to drill a new well.

Compare that record to what states have achieved on the land under their supervision. States have crafted highly efficient and effective permitting and regulatory programs that address state-specific needs. The state of North Dakota can permit a project in ten days. Colorado does it in 27. Nor do these processes pose any greater environmental risks. To the contrary, from oil and gas and coal to wind and solar and biofuels, states are far better able to develop, adopt, and enforce regulations based on their unique resources, geology, and local concerns."

On Nuclear Power: Romney looks to revitalize that moribund sector by "equipping the NRC to approve new designs and to license approved reactor designs on approved sites within two years."

On the Keystone XL Pipeline Moving Oil Sands-Based Fuel to the U.S.: "Unfortunately, President Obama has chosen to turn his back on America’s neighbors. He rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have dramatically increased the supply of Canadian oil to the U.S. market, and now Canada plans to send that oil to China instead."

On Solar, Wind, and DOE Loan Guarantees: The Romney camp supports more fundamental research into alternative energy but bemoans the Obama policy of picking winners, acting as venture capitalist, and providing subsidies for wind and solar when those sources could already be judged to provide power at grid parity.

In the past, Romney has stated that he 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."

The Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEEI) conducted a survey which found that "85 percent of Republicans nationwide and in 12 key swing states believe advanced energy -- defined as energy products, technologies, and services that are secure, clean, and affordable over the long term -- are very important or somewhat important to America's future.  At the same time, 88 percent of political independents and 96 percent of Democrats believe advanced energy is important to America's future." Full survey results can be found here.


Energy Policy White Paper 8.23


Some excerpts from our recent coverage of the Romney energy platform:


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.”


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.

Obama’s Failure

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.


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.”