Republicans used to call for an “all of the above” strategy, combining renewables with fossil fuels. For Romney, it’s oil and gas all the way. Fossil fuels give him a thrill. Renewables are a distant prospect, justifying only some investment in basic research against the far off day when they may become useful.
Start with jobs, which is Romney’s issue #1 across the board. The first sentence on his Energy page reads: “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.” How about green jobs? Only an alluring mirage: “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.”
So what’s the direction forward?
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.
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.
It probably won’t shock anyone that Romney’s record as governor was quite different. Back then, he aggressively championed renewables and energy efficiency.
It’s a bit more startling to see how far to the right of McCain 2008 he is. The NY Times summarized McCain’s position as “broader and more nuanced” than “drill, baby, drill.” Mitt’s position is broader than that slogan only in that he loves coal just as much as he adores oil.
Still, much as he may love strip mining, friendly crowds probably won’t be chanting “Strip, baby, strip” during this campaign.