The GOP Candidates on Energy (and Environment)

I’ve taken this information from the websites of some of the Republican contenders.  What they say about their policies and records may not be exactly objective, but it’s interesting to see how they’d like to be perceived on environment and energy.  Here are four takeaway points:

  1. Republican primary voters apparently don’t care very much about environment or energy issues — some candidates don’t even bother to address these issues on their website.
  2. Environment is seen as important only in the context of energy, which is where environmental issues get mentioned if they get mentioned at all.
  3. Republican voters want less environmental regulation (surprise!).
  4. But no one wants to say they’re in favor of pollution or trashing Nature (even if they are.)

Rick Perry:

Under Gov. Perry, Texas is moving aggressively to create a diverse portfolio of energy sources, including renewable, natural gas, coal and nuclear power to meet the needs of our growing population in an eco-sensitive manner. Texas is a national leader in reducing emissions and known pollutants and advancing renewable energy sources. Texas has done so while balancing the need for environmental improvements with fostering economic growth, new investment and job creation.

Michele Bachmann:

As President, I will work to lift the restraints that keep America from energy security. I will fight to increase access to the billions of barrels of oil and trillions of feet of natural gas on the Outer Continental Shelf and reverse the Administration’s “permatorium” in the Gulf of Mexico. I will stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s cap-and-trade rules in their tracks, and end this “Job Killing Agency’s” threats against our rapidly growing domestic shale gas industry and the energy and manufacturing bonanza it is offering.

Mitt Romney’s issues page doesn’t include anything about energy or environment.

Neither does Pawlenty’s. Nor Huntsman’s, for that matter.

Newt Gingrich has a “solutions” page rather than an “issues” page, which is sort of a cool variation.  His best-known “solution” is to abolish EPA:

Replace the Environmental Protection Agency, which has become a job-killing regulatory engine of higher energy prices, with an Environmental Solutions Agency that would use incentives and work cooperatively with local government and industry to achieve better environmental outcomes while considering the impact of federal environmental policies on job creation and the cost of energy.

And finally, Herman Cain:

America is a land blessed with abundant natural resources and the capability of the people to obtain them. From the oil-rich states of Louisiana and Alaska to the mighty dams along rivers across the states, the options for many forms of energy are real and plenty. Still, liberals continue to perpetuate the misunderstanding that the high energy consumption of a thriving nation and conservation of our precious planet are at odds with one another.


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Reader Comments

4 Replies to “The GOP Candidates on Energy (and Environment)”

  1. ”…Under Gov. Perry, Texas is moving aggressively to create a diverse portfolio of energy sources, including renewable, natural gas, coal and nuclear power…”

    Gov. Perry is the only candidate listed above who supports coal. The EPA has previously published reports which document that pollution from coal fired power plants cause over 100,000 pre-mature deaths per year in America (or approximately 274 deaths/day). This would explain why the other candidates do not support coal. Perry is the most dangerous and callous Republican candidate.

    The death toll from coal far exceeds the killing of President Assad of Syria, the Taliban and Al-Queda combined. For some inexplicable reason Gov Perry seems to be supportive of this human tragedy. I hope that someone out there in cyberspace would help us understand the meaning of this calamity.

  2. Thanks for the insight. It’s well known Republicans have no use for the EPA. After all, the planet will be their kids problem – not theirs.


  3. Dear Mr. Bill,
    I was just teasing and did not mean all the awful things I said about Gov Perry.
    The truth is that coal fired power plants do not cause 100,000 pre-mature deaths per year. Pre-mature deaths is statistical gimmick that the EPA invented to mislead and alarm the public.

    We owe the Republicans a lot of credit for telling the truth about pre-mature deaths and exposing the EPA’s strategy of contriving fake public health problems to expand federal regulatory power and bankrupt the coal industry. Hopefully, President Perry will reverse this trend.

  4. Just for fun, I Googled “Coal 100,000 deaths annually” and a few variants of that. It is amazing how many times that statement has been made but NOBODY cited any actual documentation. My favorite is some really skewed mathematical applications at the web site “” as it assumes all deaths in certain areas are caused by coal just because coal fired power plants are in the general vicinity.

    Many people will accept claims as facts without ever doing the homework to cite if they are true or not. I am a home energy auditor and home energy compliance inspector, and I have seen some things that the EPA is enacting that will harm my business as the new ENERGY STAR for homes program has led a few of the contractors I had been providing the 3rd party verifications decide that they will no longer do ENERGY STAR construction after the new program goes into effect. It is too costly for many builders who are currently just trying to stay afloat and deal with all the IECC requirements put on them now.

    I am a skeptic and a researcher by nature. I can be convinced of many things, but not without proof. I am always interested in energy efficient construction.

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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