Opinion, Berkeley Blogs

The G.O.P. candidates on energy (and environment)

By Dan Farber

I've taken this information from the websites of some of the Republican contenders.  What they say about their policies and records may not be exactly objective, but it’s interesting to see how they’d like to be perceived on environment and energy.  Here are four takeaway points:

  1. Republican primary voters apparently don’t care very much about environment or energy issues — some candidates don’t even bother to address these issues on their website.
  2. Environment is seen as important only in the context of energy, which is where environmental issues get mentioned if they get mentioned at all.
  3. Republican voters want less environmental regulation (surprise!).
  4. But no one wants to say they’re in favor of pollution or trashing Nature (even if they are.)
  5. Rick Perry:

    Under Gov. Perry, Texas is moving aggressively to create a diverse portfolio of energy sources, including renewable, natural gas, coal and nuclear power to meet the needs of our growing population in an eco-sensitive manner. Texas is a national leader in reducing emissions and known pollutants and advancing renewable energy sources. Texas has done so while balancing the need for environmental improvements with fostering economic growth, new investment and job creation.

    Michele Bachmann:

    As President, I will work to lift the restraints that keep America from energy security. I will fight to increase access to the billions of barrels of oil and trillions of feet of natural gas on the Outer Continental Shelf and reverse the Administration’s “permatorium” in the Gulf of Mexico. I will stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s cap-and-trade rules in their tracks, and end this “Job Killing Agency’s” threats against our rapidly growing domestic shale gas industry and the energy and manufacturing bonanza it is offering.

    Mitt Romney’s issues page doesn’t include anything about energy or environment.

    Neither does Pawlenty’s. Nor Huntsman’s, for that matter.

    Newt Gingrich has a “solutions” page rather than an “issues” page, which is sort of a cool variation.  His best-known “solution” is to abolish EPA:

    Replace the Environmental Protection Agency, which has become a job-killing regulatory engine of higher energy prices, with an Environmental Solutions Agency that would use incentives and work cooperatively with local government and industry to achieve better environmental outcomes while considering the impact of federal environmental policies on job creation and the cost of energy.

    And finally, Herman Cain:

    America is a land blessed with abundant natural resources and the capability of the people to obtain them. From the oil-rich states of Louisiana and Alaska to the mighty dams along rivers across the states, the options for many forms of energy are real and plenty. Still, liberals continue to perpetuate the misunderstanding that the high energy consumption of a thriving nation and conservation of our precious planet are at odds with one another.

    Cross-posted from the environmental law and policy blog Legal Planet.