Mitt Romney is telling Americans that he wants to make North America energy independent by 2020. Unfortunately, his rhetoric doesn’t match his actual policies, which would do nothing to get us to that goal. Romney is calling for more drilling and fracking with fewer safeguards. He wants to maintain the $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies for oil and gas companies that are making near-record profits, while eliminating a clean energy tax credit that supports tens of thousands of jobs. And his plan to “drill, baby, drill” while cutting critical investments in wind, solar, and biofuels will do nothing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and will destroy thousands of jobs across the country.
Here are a few reactions to what Romney’s actual policies would mean for America’s energy future:
Federico Pena Former Secretary of Energy
Mitt Romney says he has a plan for energy independence that would bring us forward, but looking at his policies makes it clear he would bring us backward. You cannot achieve energy independence if your only plan is to “drill, baby, drill.” Instead, we need to reduce our demand for foreign oil—through a suite of all-of-the-above policies like better fuel efficiency and advanced electric and natural gas vehicles, which Mitt Romney has opposed. We need to invest in clean energies, and advanced biofuels, and you don’t get there by cutting investments in those energy sources. Here in Colorado, the President’s policies have resulted in natural gas production at an all-time high and oil production at its highest since 1981. Mitt Romney is trying to fool voters into thinking he has a plan, when really he would just cede our clean energy economy to our foreign competitors.
Jennifer Granholm Former Governor of Michigan
Mitt Romney’s plan for energy independence cannot be taken seriously. Energy independence is just political rhetoric if you don’t include significant investments in home-grown clean energy sources like wind, solar, and other renewables. Yet, Romney has made it clear that he opposes the wind production tax credit and all incentives for clean energy—which would pull the rug out from under our growing clean energy sector, which supports thousands of jobs across the country.President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, fostering innovation and the development of our domestic renewable sources of energy, and doubling production of solar and wind energy—is getting us closer to energy independence than Mitt Romney’s plan ever could.
Wesley Clark Former Supreme Allied Commander—Europe
Under President Obama, America has made unprecedented strides toward energy independence that enhances our national security and promotes economic security for our families and businesses. President Obama has made actual investments that will reduce our energy dependence on hostile nations by increasing fuel efficiency, investing in advanced biofuels, investing in infrastructure for natural gas vehicles, investing in clean coal, and investing in the greening of our armed forces. While Mitt Romney says he would open more areas to drilling, he is ignoring the facts. President Obama has finalized a national offshore energy plan that makes more than 75 percent of undiscovered oil and gas resources off our shores available for development, and oil production is now at a 14 year high. He has encouraged the responsible development of our new natural gas resources, and our domestic production of natural gas is at an all-time high. Mitt Romney’s plan takes on only one side of the energy debate: drill more. Drilling alone can never meaningfully reduce our reliance on foreign oil. While President Obama is taking us forward by responsibly developing all sources of clean, affordable, American energy, Romney would take us back to the failed policies that got us in this mess. His latest proposals are not sufficient to make us energy independent by 2020.
Carol Browner Former Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy
For America to be truly energy independent, we need to develop domestic sources of energy including new clean energy sources that create jobs. From increasing fuel efficiency standards to better insulating buildings and homes, President Obama’s plan is poised to save consumers hundreds of dollars at the pump and decrease out dependence on foreign oil. The fuel efficiency standards alone will save consumers more than $8,000 in fuel costs over the lifetime of their new, fuel efficient car, and reduce oil consumption by an estimated 2.2 million barrels a day by 2025. Romney’s energy plan falls short, leaving out important investments in clean energy and lacking meaningful conservation provisions that will help us achieve real energy independence.
Tom Perriello Former Congressman for Virginia’s 5th district, President of Center for American Progress Action Fund
Romney has put forward an economic plan that raises taxes on middle class families with children by over $2000 while giving himself a tax break worth millions. So is it really surprising that Romney’s energy plan includes over $4 billion in tax giveaways to big oil while cutting off vital investments in clean energy entrepreneurs of Colorado, Iowa and Pennsylvania? Romney’s energy plan essentially amounts to saying that we should let the Chinese figure out the jobs and technology of the future, while we will bury our heads in the sand.
Mitt Romney waves the white flag of surrender in our race against China for the energy jobs of the future. Romney claims to support business, but his plan offers billions in kick-backs to his campaign contributors in the oil, gas, and coal industries at the expense of the innovation and entrepreneurship that America does better than any nation in human history. Under President Obama’s pro-innovation, pro-efficiency, all-of-the-above approach, America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the past 20 years. Romney instead wants to rig the system for industries that have pledged hundreds of millions in contributions to put their interests ahead of America’s interest in winning the energy race.