President Obama’s energy policies have kept investment and jobs out of America; Romney’s energy plan can bring money and jobs back. Analysts are picking apart Romney’s 21-page energy plan that was introduced in Hobbs, New Mexico, on Thursday. Is energy independence by 2020 possible, or is it, as the Financial Times posited, “an act of hubris?” More important than whether or not his energy play is realistic is the international implications of his “independence” assertion and how he plans to get there.
As the news coverage reminds us, “Every US president since Richard Nixon has set an objective of reducing the country’s reliance on foreign oil, and most of them have failed.”
President Obama’s approach has been to “end the age of oil.” To that end, he has poured billions of dollars into green energy projects—many of which were risky investments that have now failed or are headed for failure. His approach has done nothing to reduce our reliance on foreign oil—though we are importing less due to the bad economy and high prices, and the new oil boom presently centered on North Dakota. To companies looking to invest in any kind of extractive endeavor, his policies have screamed “You can’t!”
Romney’s plan is to open up US resources off the east coast and in Alaska; make it easier to obtain permits for oil and gas production, and other energy projects; transfer control of development from the federal government to state authorities; approve the Keystone XL pipeline; and ensure that environmental regulations do not prevent the use of coal. The Romney plan, shouts “You can!”
How will Romney’s plan invite global investment back to America, while Obama’s approach chased it away? The Gulf of Mexico saga offers a simple example.
Drilling rigs cost millions of dollars a day to operate. Following the Deepwater Horizon accident, the Obama administration put a moratorium on activity in the Gulf. Rigs sat idle; people were laid off; and companies lost billions. Ultimately, many of the rigs left our shores for countries that welcomed them—taking the potential jobs and revenues with them, and adding to the economic damage in the region.