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Energy on Front Burner: That's Good News

Article by Bernard L. Weinstein February 13, 2013 //   2 minute read

Bernard L. Weinstein, National Journal With less than 100 days to go until the presidential election, energy policy has emerged as a key issue. That’s the good news. The bad news is that what we’re likely to hear from both candidates is posturing to constituencies rather than a serious discussion of how to best meet America’s long-term energy needs. For example, last week Mitt Romney unveiled his proposal to increase domestic oil and gas production by leasing more federal lands, both onshore and offshore, to drilling companies. He also spoke about pushing ahead with the Keystone XL pipeline and applying a lighter hand of federal regulation and mandates in the energy sphere. In addition, he wants to reduce energy subsidies across the board but especially those currently available for wind, solar and biofuels. His ultimate objective is “North American energy independence” by 2020. As for President Obama, to the extent he has articulated an energy platform it embraces continued subsidies for renewables and electric vehicles, getting federal agencies involved in the regulation of hydraulic fracturing, and doubling the average “fuel economy” of American cars by 2025. As for coal, Mr. Obama says he supports its continued use as long as it’s produced and burned more cleanly. (The recent court decision on the cross-state air pollution rule is a plus for the President since he doesn’t have to contend with imminent coal-fired power plant closures on the campaign trail.) Read More