If you didn’t see our fact check on the 1st question from the 2nd presidential debate – you can see that HERE.
This was all about gas prices which extended into American energy policy. Americans really need to understand that America has not had a comprehensive energy policy since before Reagan; President Obama’s comprehensive approach is the most wide ranging and impactful energy policy this country has developed since I can’t remember. There are major differences in policy between the two candidates; President Obama has proposed tax credits for wind, solar and biofuels while growing domestic oil and natural gas production and protecting the markets from Wall Street speculators; Romney wants drill, baby, drill and a laissez-faire market that lets Wall Street control the oil speculation business.
The 2nd question of the night went to President Obama. After President Obama spoke – the moderator gave Governor Romney the opportunity to respond:
MS. CROWLEY: Governor, on the subject of gas prices.
Well, let’s look at the president’s policies, all right, as opposed to the rhetoric, because we’ve had four years of policies being played out. And the president’s right in terms of the additional oil production, but none of it came on federal land. As a matter of fact, oil production is down 14 percent this year on federal land, and gas production is down 9 percent. Why? Because the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands and in federal waters. So where’d the increase come from? Well, a lot of it came from the Bakken Range in North Dakota. What was his participation there? The administration brought a criminal action against the people drilling up there for oil, this massive new resource we have. And what was the cost? Twenty or 25 birds were killed, and they brought out a migratory bird act to go after them on a criminal basis.
First off – Politifact rated Romney’s claim that ”oil production is down 14 percent this year on federal land” as Half True. They write HERE:
From 2004-08, well into Bush’s tenure, oil production on federal lands and waters fell in four of five years, for a net decrease of 16.8%. From 2009-11, the Obama years, oil production rose two of three years, for a net increase of 10.6%.
In fact the L.A. Times gives context to the drop off which is less than under Bush HERE; they write:
Leases under President Obama took a precipitous drop in 2010, because of the moratorium the administration implemented in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which occurred on federal land and was the worst offshore oil spill in federal history. The number of permits has started climbing since then.
And while Romney’s claim about a U.S. attorney prosecuting oil companies for misdemeanor violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (source), the reality simply comes down to this – the Obama administration is not interfering with the oil production in North Dakota. That’s the business of North Dakota; they’re experiencing a tremendous boom right now and more power to them. The country is better off for them having utilized their resources as they have. And while Romney wants the American people to think that President Obama is trying to shut down the oil and gas industry … North Dakota’s success shows quite clearly that isn’t true.
And domestic oil production is at a 12 year high (source).
Look, I want to make sure we use our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, our renewables. I believe very much in our renewable capabilities — ethanol, wind, solar will be an important part of our energy mix. But what we don’t need is to have the president keeping us from taking advantage of oil, coal and gas. This has not been Mr. Oil or Mr. Gas or Mr. Coal. Talk to the people that are working in those industries. I was in coal country. People grabbed my arms and say, please, save my job. The head of the EPA said, you can’t build a coal plant. You’ll virtually — it’s virtually impossible, given our regulations.
When the president ran for office, he said, if you build a coal plant, you can go ahead, but you’ll go bankrupt. That’s not the right course for America. Let’s take advantage of the energy resources we have, as well as the energy sources for the future.
Romney says he supports all forms of energy but that’s actually not true. He supports a continuation of tax subsidies for the wealthiest industry in the world – the oil industry. Romney has attacked President Obama for calling for the ending of $4 billion in tax subsidies per year to the oil industry (source) while at the same time calling for the removal of the wind energy tax credit (source); Politifact also rated that claim true HERE. Factcheck.org shows how Romney has falsely attacked President Obama for what he calls failures in solar loan guarantees to private industry despite only a 3.6% failure rate; you can read that HERE. And President Obama has increased tariffs on Chinese solar panels as a penalty for Chinese manufacturers flooding American markets with cheap solar power (source); in other words – Obama is responding to unfair trade practices by China and protecting American manufacturers. Romney has been against this in the past.
Bloomberg’s editorial board probably sums it up best when they write HERE:
Mitt Romney sets an ambitious goal with his pledge to achieve U.S. energy independence by 2020. It’s just too bad his plan relies almost entirely on fossil fuels and largely ignores the solid promise of clean energy.
Romney’s plan, rolled out Thursday in solar-friendlyNew Mexico, focuses heavily on oil, gas and, most unnecessarily, coal. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee promises to expand drilling on federal lands and to roll back environmental rules his campaign adviser Ed Gillespie says are “destroying the coal industry.”
When it comes to renewable sources such as solar and wind, Romney’s plan says more about what he won’t do — namely, provide any more of the subsidies and loan guarantees that have allowed those technologies to gain a foothold. Instead, he offers to relax barriers he says are stymying clean energy and expand government funding of research. We also favor supporting clean-energy research, but question Romney’s assertion that simply “streamlining” regulations and permitting will somehow catapult clean-energy projects.
So in other words – Romney supports fossil fuels; he doesn’t really support alternative energy. How is that policy any different from that of the George W. Bush administration? It’s not. Drill, baby, Drill is back and it’s back big if Romney gets in. But the CBO says that we can’t drill our way out of this problem alone; more on that HERE. If you think solar or wind should be part of the solution to America’s energy policy …. you’re just a treehugging hippie apparently. If you want to understand how significant solar, wind and alternative energy can be in America’s energy policy; read HERE.
And if we do that, if we do what I am planning on doing, which is getting us energy-independent, North American energy independence within eight years, you’re going to see manufacturing come back jobs because our energy is low-cost.
They’re already beginning to come back because of our abundant energy.
Call this as unforced error that was not capitalized on. Let this sink in for a moment – Romney says manufacturing jobs are “beginning to come back because of our abundant energy.” Well – that’s actually TRUE.
Jeffrey Porter from Rocky Soft explains this very well HERE:
Studies show that manufacturing has had 34 straight months of expansion since 2009, only narrowing slightly in response to recent worldwide economic challenges. Although we are not at pre-recession levels, manufacturing jobs have grown, albeit slowly. A new report from PWC discussed in “Supply Chain News: US Manufacturing May be Coming Back – but not Because of Rising Chinese Labor Costs,” posted on SCDigest.com, says there is a good chance the US will see a growth in manufacturing and re-shoring, but unlike most other analyses, it doesn’t see rising wages in China as a key factor.
I’ve written about this many times before; manufacturing in the U.S. is growing; manufacturing in China has actually receded for 11 straight months (source). Bloomberg wrote a report where they said under Obama – America has seen “the longest stretch of employment gains in manufacturing in almost two decades” (source).
So – my question is … what is Romney’s problem with his own admission that American manufacturing jobs are coming back? He blames President Obama for all the country’s ills but gives him zero credit for any of the country’s successes. #Scoundrel
Lastly – what Romney did not say is that he would eliminate the mileage standards established by the Obama administration. Thanks to President Obama – by 2025 – the average car fleet would have to average 54.5 per gallon. Romney’s campaign has said he “opposes these extreme standards” (source). So – he’s against increasing mileage standards. But he’s also against the action that President Obama has taken regarding oil speculators in Wall Street who are pushing up the cost of oil. President Obama has gone after the oil speculators which I have written about HERE and HERE.
And Obama’s response to all of this from Romney can be seen here:
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