What are the Differences Between Obama and Romney’s Energy Policies?1
Energy policy is the way in which a government will decide how to address the issues of energy production, distribution, and consumption. The 2012 Presidential Election is coming to an end, and several of the debates have honed in on the two presidential candidate’s energy policies. There are similarities and differences between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney’s positions on energy development. Here are some of their energy positions on select, relevant topics:
- Obama supports renewable energy, and under his term renewable energy doubled. He is for government investments in renewable energy, including wind, solar, biomass and electric vehicles. This includes all clean energy policies from subsidies for residential rooftop solar panels San Diego projects to large-scale wind farm tax credits.
- Romney is against clean energy and would cut any existing funding for it. He opposes government investments in both solaire energy systems and wind energy, and puts his support in the oil industry. Romney would rather invest in oil drilling and natural gas.
Climate Change & The Carbon Footprint
- Obama believes in climate change, and issued the first ever carbon dioxide reduction requirements for vehicles and new power plants. He supports cap-and-trade systems.
- Romney is not convinced by the climate science and believes that carbon dioxide is not harmful to health. He opposes any sorts of carbon tax and cap-and-trade systems. If elected, he would amend the Clean Air Act to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from reducing carbon pollution.
The Keystone XL Pipeline
- Obama has already approved the southern part of the Keystone XL, but is unsure of his opinion on the northern sector. He is waiting until the environmental analysis of the new Nebraska route is finished in 2013 to decide.
- Romney favors “North American Independence”, and has said that on day one of his prospective Presidency he would authorize the Keystone XL pipeline.
Oil & Natural Gas Drilling
- Obama supports expanded oil and gas drilling and the development of natural gas resources. He would open more offshore areas for oil drilling and support drilling on existing leases. However, he would maintain the drilling moratorium off the Pacific coast and most of the Atlantic coast. He favors an “all of the above” strategy and wants to continue reduction in US reliance on foreign oil.
- Romney also support expanded oil and gas drilling and the development of natural gas resources. However, he favors “North American energy independence,” leaning heavily on increased imports from Canada and higher US production. He would allow drilling on federal lands and waters. Romney would give that power from the Interior Department to states and would open all federal lands and waters for drilling. In addition, he would keep tax incentives and tax breaks for oil and gas drilling.
- Obama wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and the EPA has negotiated agreements with some utilities to close down aging coal plants (many to be replaced by natural gas-fired plants).
- Romney would remove obstacles and EPA regulations that are “impeding the development of coal”.
The two presidential candidates have several similarities and differences between their energy policies, the fate of which will affect not only the US economy, but the global one as well.