Teachers Talk Politics: Energy
Ms. Patty Mazier
SPECIAL TO THE ROUNDUP
A few weeks from now several upperclassmen will have the opportunity to participate in the selection of the next president of the United States.
Not only should you vote, but you should know what you are voting for.
In the 2008 presidential election, only 49 percent of the voters between the ages of 18-24 even turned out to vote, and who knows how informed they were about the candidates?
The apathy of so many young Americans is disconcerting. Perhaps if they were familiar with the tyranny and corruption that prevails in many countries, they might appreciate the democratic process to which they are privy.
It is an honor to live in a nation where citizens have the opportunity to participate in the election of the president.
However, voters should be equipped with knowledge of each candidate before they vote. The information that follows will inform you on the candidates’ views on energy.
Both candidates are committed to decreasing our dependence on foreign sources of energy.
Romney would like to decrease regulation of fossil fuel to increase domestic production.
In March of this year Mitt Romney travelled to oil fields in North Dakota where he stated, “President Obama has achieved his goal of making energy more expensive by restricting supply, increasing regulation and hoping for miraculous new technologies to save the day. Instead we should take advantage of the enormous reserves of oil, coal and natural gas; the potential of nuclear; and the innovation of our private sector.”
Romney believes that “fracking” should have been kept in the hands of the state to regulate, because regulation by the federal agencies has slowed its development.
Romney’s energy policy is based on less governmental control of private companies to increase national supplies of energy. He is dedicated to decreasing regulations and streamlining the permit process for fossil fuels.
Although Romney will back some basic research in alternative energy, he is more committed to funding clean coal technology.
Romney stated, “In place of real energy, Obama has focused on an imaginary world where government-subsidized windmills and solar panels could power the economy.”
He considers the environmental laws to be extreme, outdated and stifling.
Obama favors increasing fossil fuel production in the United States, but supports heavy regulations to ensure the preservation of the environment and the health of the public.
At the Democratic National Convention in September, Obama told the audience, “In the last year alone, oil imports were cut by one million barrels a day. And today, the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the last two decades. We’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration in the last three years, and we’ll open more.”
Although Obama supports the national production of fossil fuel, he has repeatedly asked Congress to cut the tax breaks for the oil and gas industry which would save American taxpayers $4 billion per year.
His administration has heavily invested in renewable energy. Energy from wind, solar and geothermal sources has doubled in the last four years.
In March of this year Obama stated, “We can’t have an energy strategy for the last century that traps us in the past. We need an energy strategy for the future—an all of the above strategy for the 21st century that develops every source of American made energy.”
In conclusion, no matter who wins the election our nation will move towards energy independence.
Romney would concentrate on decreasing federal regulations and streamlining permits to maximize national production of fossil fuels.
Although he would fund basic research in alternative energy, he would not subsidize the production of renewable energy to the extent of the Obama Administration.
On the other hand, Obama favors increasing national production, but not by decreasing regulation and speeding up permits.
Obama would continue to closely monitor the oil, gas and coal industry, and try to eliminate their tax breaks. In addition, he would promote a clean energy economy and subsidize renewable energy production.
This is a just glimpse of the candidates’ views on energy. Continue to research how the candidates feel about all of the issues our country faces.
Watch the debates in October. Arrive at the polling booth in November as a literate citizen of the United States.
Detrow, Scott. “Romney Calls Obama An “Anti-Energy President”” StateImpact Pennsylvania. N.p., 5 May 2012. Web. 03 Sept. 2012. <http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2012/04/05/romney-calls-obama-an-anti-energy-president/>.
“DNC2012 Obama’s Speech to the Democratic National Convention (Full Transcript).” n.d.: n. pag. Washington Post. 7 Sept. 2012. Web. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/dnc-2012-obamas-speech-to-the-democratic-national-convention-full-transcript/2012/09/06/ed78167c-f87b-11e1-a073-78d05495927c_story_>.
“Energy, Climate Change and Our Environment | The White House.” Energy, Climate Change and Our Environment | The White House. The White House of President Barack Obama, 03 Nov. 2012. Web. 03 Sept. 2012. <http://www.whitehouse.gov/energy/>.
Horsley, Scott. In Convention Run-Up, Obama Targets Three States. N.d. NPR. NPR, 03 Sept. 2012. Web. 03 Sept. 2012. <http://www.npr.org/2012/09/03/160484771/labor-day-mark-homestretch-in-presidential-race>.
Mitt Romney Announces Support of Harold Hamm.” Mitt Romney for President. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Sept. 2012. <http://www.mittromney.com/news/press/2012/03/mitt-romney-announces-support-harold-hamm>.
Schweitzer, Jenna. “Mitt Romney’s Ideas about Environmental and Energy Policy –
RegBlog.”Mitt Romney’s Ideas about Environmental and Energy Policy – RegBlog. University of Pennsylvania School of Law, 01 Feb. 2012. Web. 03 Sept. 2012. <https://www.law.upenn.edu/blogs/regblog/2012/02/mitt-romneys-ideas-about-environmental-