As the 2012 elections approach, Solar Power World will post a four-part series that will include, word-for-word, the positions of the two parties and their respective candidates. The information will be collected from the two parties’ and two candidates’ websites and presented — unedited — here. This will allow our readers to judge for themselves which party and president will do their level best to keep the solar industry growing, both in jobs and in scope.
In this third installment, we present you with Gov. Mitt Romney’s energy policy as culled from his own campaign website:
An affordable, reliable energy supply is fundamental to a prosperous and growing economy. With the right policies in place, America can become an energy superpower – and we can end our expensive and dangerous dependence on OPEC. Until recently, this would have been unthinkable. But as is so often the case, the hard work and innovation of American workers and businesses have yielded astonishing results. While the government was throwing hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars away at Solyndra, new technologies developed in the private sector have unleashed an energy revolution in this country.
A successful national energy strategy will have a fundamental influence on the well-being of the nation. Dramatically increasing domestic energy production can bolster the competitiveness of virtually every industry in the country, creating millions of new jobs from coast to coast. With fewer energy imports and more exports of manufactured goods, America’s trade deficit will decline and the dollar will strengthen. The benefits even extend beyond immediate economic growth. The lease payments, royalties, and taxes paid to the American people in return for the development of our resources will yield more than a trillion of dollars in new government revenue over time. And all Americans can rest assured that the nation’s security is no longer beholden to unstable but oil-rich regions half way around the world.
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. Rather than embrace the nation’s abundant energy resources, the President has used endless delays, reviews, litigation, and overregulation to both slow their development and elevate his chosen “green” alternatives. He has gone so far as to impose regulations designed to “bankrupt” the coal industry, and his Administration was held in contempt of federal court for illegally imposing a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Under the Obama Administration, leasing and permitting on federal lands and offshore are down by half. Last year, oil and gas production on federal lands plummeted. Today, the Gulf of Mexico is producing hundreds of thousands fewer barrels per day than expected. And the EPA predicts that another coal power plant will never be built in this country.
Meanwhile, the President’s “green energy” agenda has been nothing short of a disaster. Demonstrating his poor understanding of the private sector, he has treated Washington bureaucrats like market-savvy investors, borrowing and spending tens of billions of dollars to subsidize his chosen companies and technologies. But the “five million” green jobs he promised in 2008 has resulted in only “thousands” of jobs that he could celebrate 2012. Companies like Solyndra have gone bankrupt and the wind industry has shed 10,000 jobs. And yet, rather than embrace the revolutionary innovation in the private sector that could pave the way for energy independence and an economic resurgence across the nation, President Obama’s plan for a second term is to double-down on the failed policies of the first.
Mitt Romney will make America an energy superpower, rapidly and responsibly increasing our own production and partnering with our allies Canada and Mexico to achieve energy independence on this continent by 2020. This will require genuine support for increased energy production, a more rational approach to regulation, and a government that facilitates private-sector-led development of new energy technologies by focusing on funding research and removing barriers, rather than chasing fads and picking winners and losers.
- Empower states to control onshore energy development
- States will be empowered to control all forms of energy production on all lands within their borders, excluding only those that are specifically designated off-limits. Federal agencies will certify, but the states will lead.
- Open offshore areas for energy development
- Mitt will establish the most robust five-year offshore lease plan in history, that opens new areas for resource development – including off the coasts of Virginia and the Carolinas – and sets minimum production targets to increase accountability.
- Pursue a North American Energy Partnership
- Mitt will approve the Keystone XL pipeline, establish a new regional agreement to facilitate cross-border energy investment, promote and expand regulatory cooperation with Canada and Mexico and institute fast-track regulatory approval processes for cross-border pipelines and other infrastructure.
- Ensure accurate assessment of energy resources
- Instead of relying on decades-old surveys developed with decades-old technologies, Mitt’s plan facilitates new energy assessments to determine the true extent of our resource endowment.
- Restore transparency and fairness to permitting and regulation
- Mitt will pursue measured reforms of our environmental laws and regulations to strengthen environmental protection without destroying jobs or paralyzing industries. Mitt’s plan will also streamline the gauntlet of reviews, processes, administrative procedures, and lawsuits that mire so many new projects in red tape.
- Facilitate private-sector-led development of new energy technologies
- Mitt will promote innovation by focusing the federal government on the job it does best – research and development – and will eliminate any barriers that might prevent new energy technologies from succeeding on their own merits. Strengthening and streamlining regulations and permitting processes will benefit the development of both traditional and alternative energy sources, and encourage the use of a diverse range of fuels including natural gas in transportation.
MITT’S PLAN HAS WIDE-RANGING BENEFITS FOR AMERICA.
- More than three million new jobs, including over one million in manufacturing;
- An economic resurgence adding more than $500 billion to GDP;
- A stronger dollar and a reduced trade deficit;
- More than $1 trillion in revenue for federal, state, and local governments;
- Lower energy prices for job creators and middle-class families; and
- National security strengthened by freedom from dependence on foreign energy supplies.
For the the full complement of Romney’s positions on energy and everything else, please go to www.mittromney.com.
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