Although the GOP presidential primary race remains fluid, the front-runners are now Newt Gingrich, fresh from a victory in South Carolina, and Mitt Romney, the second-place finisher in Iowa and South Carolina and first-place finisher in New Hampshire.
Barring a brokered convention, one of these gentlemen will likely be the GOP candidate with a chance of becoming the next U.S. president. What follows is a distillation of each candidate’s most recent energy policy statement.
Romney’s Energy Plan
The Romney platform is called “Believe in America: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth“; it also contains the candidate’s energy policy.
But before Romney details his plan, he takes some swipes at the Obama administration’s energy plan:
As the Obama administration wages war against oil and coal, it has been spending billions of dollars on alternative energy forms and touting its creation of “green” jobs. But it seems to be operating more on faith than on fact-based economic calculation. To begin with, wind and solar power, two of the most ballyhooed forms of alternative fuel, remain sharply uncompetitive on their own with conventional resources such as oil and natural gas in most applications. Indeed, at current prices, these technologies make little sense for the consuming public but great sense only for the companies reaping profits from taxpayer subsidies.
Romney’s document accuses the Obama administration of having an “unhealthy obsession with green jobs” and cites studies which show that green jobs might actually hurt employment rather than help it. Obama’s delay of the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is also labeled a job killer; the document cites an arguable figure of 100,000 jobs lost in not constructing the pipeline that would originate at the Alberta Tar Sands.