Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his campaign released an energy white paper last week, outlining his plan for energy policy should he win the 2012 election. The title grabbing headline is that Mitt Romney is setting a goal to have “North American Energy Independence” by 2020. Let’s take a closer look:
A crucial component of Mitt Romney’s Plan for a Stronger Middle Class is to dramatically increase domestic energy production and partner closely with Canada and Mexico to achieve North American energy independence by 2020. While 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, Romney’s path forward would establish America as an energy superpower in the 21st century.
On regulatory reform:
Implement measured reforms of environmental statutes and regulations to strengthen
environmental protection without destroying jobs, paralyzing industry, or barring the use
of resources like coal;
• Improve the environmental review process by setting clear deadlines and statutes of
limitations, requiring better coordination between federal agencies, and allowing state
reviews to satisfy federal requirements;
• Prevent agencies from using “sue-and-settle” techniques behind closed doors to
circumvent the public rulemaking process, impose onerous regulations, and tie the hands
of future administrations; and
• Disclose federal funds spent reimbursing groups for lawsuits against the government.
This is something Resourceful Earth could get behind. The bolded bullet point is the technique used by environmentalists to secure onerous regulations that Congress would never approve. Regulatory reform certainly isn’t easy, but its an admirable task to try to accomplish.
Allowing state reviews to satisfy federal requirements would be an enormous improvement upon the status quo. Imagine states being given the freedom to balance environmental protection and resource development as they saw fit, rather than having to cede their authority to the EPA, whose present interest seems to be placating radical environmentalists so that they will help re-elect President Obama. With state oversight of the environmental process, we wouldn’t have the EPA threatening to regulate the proposed Pebble Mine out of existence.
Other goals include approving the Keystone XL Pipeline, and giving more authority to states to allow drilling on public lands and offshore development. This would be a major improvement to Obama’s stance towards energy policy. Increasing energy production in the United States has big benefits and very few drawbacks.
You can read about it here.