Bob Barr
With only the formality of the Republican National Convention standing between them and the November election, the “Comeback Team” of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan has a little less than three months in which to convince a majority of the American electorate it is better equipped to govern the country for the next four years than its Democrat counterpart. If these two Republican leaders wish to get a jump start on accomplishing that goal, there is one person with whom they quickly should set up an appointment – Texan T. Boone Pickens.

Romney noted in his speech last Saturday at which he announced Wisconsin Rep. Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate, that working to achieve “North American energy independence” was one of the top priorities of his campaign. Words, of course, are important; but if in fact the GOP presidential candidate is serious about accomplishing that goal, he should waste no time in scheduling a trip to Dallas and visit with Pickens.

Such a move would not only underscore the Republican Party’s commitment to developing a comprehensive national energy policy, but demonstrate it understands what it will take to do so. This would show also that the GOP standard bearers are not afraid to seek the assistance of those who truly understand what a winning energy strategy will entail.

Drawing a clear difference with the current administration on energy policy will not be difficult for the Romney-Ryan team.

During his first four years in office, President Obama has done nothing to move America closer to energy independence. In fact, the current administration’s drive toward the mirage of “green energy” -- as exemplified by the multi-hundred million dollar Solyndra scandal - - coupled with its heavy-handed regulatory edicts, has made us more rather than less dependent on foreign energy sources. Even Obama’s legislative failures – most notably the “cap and trade” proposal he championed prior to losing his Party’s majority in the House of Representatives two years ago -- would have worsened our energy- dependent position.

Stacked up against the Obama Administration’s failed energy policy – the U.S. now imports some 60% of the oil we use -- the Romney-Ryan team has an excellent opportunity to seize the initiative on this one aspect of federal policy that could not only assist in turning around the economy, but help secure economic stability for generations.

Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.