According to President Obama anybody who claims that we can drill our way out of the present high cost of energy is a liar. However a report created by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (published at a time when the Democrats Controlled both houses of Congress) says it is the President who is being less than honest with the American public. Our oil and other energy reserves are much larger than he claims and history shows that just the threat of new drilling serves to depress oil prices pumped up by speculators.
Today, Mitt Romney travels to Hobbs, New Mexico, where he will deliver an address explaining his energy proposed energy policy and unlike his opponent, Romney believes the United States should exploit its vast energy producing natural resources as a path toward energy independence and a way of creating jobs.
Romney's approach is a true "all of the above" which opens up federal lands, allows for off-shore drilling, streamlines regulation and opens them up to be examined, and encourages private industry to take on the task of developing new energy resources (as opposed to the government picking winners and losers).
The GOP candidate isn't simply looking to make the United States energy independent, he is looking for the country to once again become a superpower in the energy industry.
The basic elements of his policy include:
Federal Lands-State Driven energy policy:
- States will be empowered to establish processes to oversee the development and production of all forms of energy on federal lands within their borders, excluding only lands specially designated off-limits.
- State regulatory processes and permitting programs for all forms of energy development will be deemed to satisfy all requirements of federal law.
- Federal agencies will certify state processes as adequate, according to established criteria that are sufficiently broad, to afford the states maximum flexibility to ascertain what is most appropriate;
- The federal government will encourage the formation of a State Energy Development Council, where states can work together along with existing organizations such as STRONGER and the IOGCC to share expertise and best management practices.
Open Offshore Areas For Energy Development
- Establish a new five-year offshore leasing plan that aggressively opens new areas for development beginning with those off the coast of Virginia and the Carolinas;
- Set minimum production targets for each five-year leasing plan, requiring annual reports to Congress on progress in reaching goals and implementation of new policies to compensate for any shortfall.
- Guarantee that state-of-the-art processes and safeguards for offshore drilling are implemented in a manner designed to support rather than block exploration and production.
Ensure Accurate Assessment Of Energy Resources
- Approve permits for seismic surveys and exploration offshore to immediately update decades-old information.
- Require the sharing of onshore geological and geophysical information with the Department of the Interior.
- Undertake new seismic analysis in offshore areas not included in the new lease plan.
- Collaborate with Canada and Mexico to ensure accurate inventory of their resources and sharing of data.
- 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.
- Disclose federal funds spent reimbursing groups for lawsuits against the government.
- Focus government investment on research across the full spectrum of energy-related technologies, not on picking winners in the market.
- Support increased market penetration and competition among energy sources by maintaining the RFS and eliminating regulatory barriers to a diversification of the electrical grid, fuel system, or vehicle fleet.
- Ensure that policies for expanding energy development apply broadly to energy sources, from oil and gas exploration, to coal mining, to the siting of wind, solar, hydroelectric, and other renewable energy facilities.
- Revitalize nuclear power by equipping the NRC to approve new designs and to license approved reactor designs on approved sites within two years.
Pursue a North American Energy Partnership
- Approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
- Establish a regional agreement to facilitate cross-border energy investment, infrastructure, and sales.
- Promote and expand regulatory cooperation between governments to encourage responsible energy production, including the creation of a forum for sharing best practices and technologies.
- Institute fast-track regulatory approval processes for cross-border pipelines and other infrastructure.
The GOP candidate believes his energy policy will create more than three million new jobs, including over one million in manufacturing, adding more than $500 billion to GDP, create a stronger dollar and a reduced trade deficit, reduce deficits by creating more than $1 trillion in revenue for federal, state, and local governments, lower energy prices for job creators and middle-class families and strengthen national security by freedom from dependence on foreign energy supplies.
I do have one concern. When Romney says States will be empowered to establish processes.. excluding only lands specially designated off-limits, he does not spell out which/how lands will be designated off-limits. It is partially answered in his transparency section, but I wish we understood the restrictions a bit more.
Overall I believe Romney's outline may very well do what he projects. Certainly regular readers of these pages will recognize that many items in the candidate's energy policy have been called for on this site many times.
This of course is only my opinion, I strongly suggest you read Romney's energy policy white paper released this morning. It is embedded below:
Romney Energy Policy White Paper 8.23