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Mitt Romney on Energy & Oil

Former Republican Governor (MA); presidential nominee-apparent


Obama cut in half the number of drilling permits/licenses

ROMNEY: Oil production is down 14% this year on federal land, and gas production was down 9%. Because Obama cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands, and in federal waters. A lot of it came from North Dakota. Obama brought a criminal action against the people drilling up there for oil, this massive new resource we have. And what was the cost? 20 or 25 birds were killed and [the administration] brought out a Migratory Bird Act to go after them on a criminal basis.

OBAMA: We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years. Natural gas production is the highest it's been in decades. We still continue to open up new areas for drilling. We continue to make it a priority for us to go after natural gas. we doubled clean energy production. All these things have contributed to us lowering our oil imports to the lowest levels in 16 years.

Source: Second Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate , Oct 16, 2012

Energy prices have gone up since Obama took office

ROMNEY: When Obama took office, the price of gasoline here in Nassau County was about $1.86 a gallon. Now, it's $4.00 a gallon. The price of electricity is up. If his energy policies are working, you're going to see the cost of energy come down. I will fight to create more energy in this country, to get America energy secure. Part of that is bringing in a pipeline of oil from Canada, taking advantage of the oil and coal we have, drilling offshore in Alaska, drilling offshore in Virginia where the people want it.

OBAMA: Romney said when I took office, the price of gasoline was $1.86. Why is that? Because the economy was on the verge of collapse, because we were about to go through the worst recession since the Great Depression, as a consequence of some of the same policies that Governor Romney's now promoting. So, it's conceivable that Governor Romney could bring down gas prices because with his policies, we might be back in that same mess.

Source: Second Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate , Oct 16, 2012

$2.8B oil subsidy better than $90B green energy for losers

OBAMA: The oil industry gets $4 billion a year in corporate welfare. Does anybody think that ExxonMobil needs some extra money?

ROMNEY: First of all, the tax break for oil companies is $2.8 billion a year. And it's actually an accounting treatment, as you know, that's been in place for a hundred years.

OBAMA: It's time to end it.

ROMNEY: In one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world. Now, I like green energy as well, but that's about 50 years' worth of what oil and gas receives. And you say Exxon and Mobil. Actually, this $2.8 billion goes largely to small companies, to drilling operators and so forth. But, you know, if we get that tax rate from 35% down to 25%, why that $2.8 billion is on the table. That's probably not going to survive you get that rate down to 25%. But you put $90 billion, like 50 years' worth of breaks, into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tester. I had a friend who said you don't just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers.

Source: First Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate , Oct 3, 2012

North American energy independence in 8 years

[With regards to our] relationship with Mexico: Our economies can thrive together. The oil resources that Mexico has, that's one of the reasons that I know that we can be able to achieve North American energy independence in eight years. We're going to work together with Mexico, if they're willing, to help share technology, and ultimately, investment, if they would like, to take advantage of those resources they have.
Source: Obama-Romney interviews by Univision Noticias (Spanish News) , Sep 19, 2012

No consensus on extent of global warming or human activity

Q: What is your position on cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, and other policies proposed to address global climate change--and what steps can we take to improve our ability to tackle challenges like climate change that cross national boundaries?

A: I am not a scientist myself, but my best assessment of the data is that the world is getting warmer, that human activity contributes to that warming, and that policymakers should therefore consider the risk of negative consequences. However, there remains a lack of scientific consensus on the issue--on the extent of the warming, the extent of the human contribution, and the severity of the risk--and I believe we must support continued debate and investigation within the scientific community. Ultimately, the science is an input to the public policy decision; it does not dictate a particular policy response.

Source: The Top American Science Questions, by sciencedebate.org , Sep 4, 2012

$90B on green energy is better spent on private research

OBAMA: Through the Recovery Act, my Administration committed a $90 billion investment in clean energy that will produce as much as $150 billion in clean energy projects. In fact, the Recovery Act made the largest single investment in clean energy in American history.

ROMNEY: I am a strong supporter of federally funded research. The answer to spending constraints is not to cut back on crucial investments in America's future, but rather to spend money more wisely. Pres. Obama spent $90 billion in stimulus dollars in a failed attempt to promote his green energy agenda. That same spending could have funded the nation's energy research programs for nearly twenty years. Good public policy must also ensure that federal research is being amplified in the private sector, and that major breakthroughs are able to make the leap from the laboratory to the marketplace. Unfortunately, Pres. Obama has pursued policies across a range of fields that will have the opposite effect.

Source: The Top American Science Questions, by sciencedebate.org , Sep 4, 2012

With Canada & Mexico,2020 North American energy independence

Q: What policies would you support to meet the demand for energy while ensuring an economically and environmentally sustainable future?

A: A crucial component of my plan for a stronger middle class is to dramatically increase domestic energy production and partner closely with Canada and Mexico to achieve North American energy independence by 2020. While President Obama has described his own energy policy as a "hodgepodge," sent billions of taxpayer dollars to green energy projects run by political cronies, rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline as not in "the national interest," and sought repeatedly to stall development of America's domestic resources, my path forward would establish America as an energy superpower in the 21st century.

Source: The Top American Science Questions, by sciencedebate.org , Sep 4, 2012

Use all energy sources, without stifling energy production

OBAMA: Since taking office, I have supported an all-of-the-above energy approach that will allow us to take control of our energy future, one where we safely and responsibly develop America's many energy resources--including natural gas, wind, solar, oil, clean coal, and biofuels.

ROMNEY: Whereas President Obama has used environmental regulation as an excuse to block the development of resources and the construction of infrastructure, I will pursue a course that designs regulation not to stifle energy production but instead to facilitate responsible use of all energy sources--from oil and coal and natural gas, to nuclear and hydropower and biofuels, to wind and solar. Energy development, economic growth, and environmental protection can go hand-in-hand if the government focuses on transparency and fairness instead of seeking to pick winners and repay political favors.

Source: The Top American Science Questions, by sciencedebate.org , Sep 4, 2012

Feds take 307 days to permit oil drilling; states take 10

Extraordinary technological breakthroughs in the private sector have placed America at the edge of an energy revolution. The federal government must open greater access to federal lands, and adopt streamlined regulatory processes that encourage rather than stifle resource development.

As the first element of my plan for energy independence, I have proposed giving states authority to manage the development of energy resources within their borders, including on federal lands. States have crafted highly efficient and effective permitting and regulatory programs that address state-specific needs. For instance, while the federal government takes an average of 307 days to permit the drilling of an oil well on federal land, the state of North Dakota can permit a project in 10 days. Colorado does it in 27. Nor do these processes pose any greater environmental risks. To the contrary, states are far better able to develop, adopt, and enforce regulations.

Source: The Top American Science Questions, by sciencedebate.org , Sep 4, 2012

Humans contribute to world getting warmer

Romney is no flat-earth reactionary, acknowledging the realities of global warming and calling for new, tough international energy and greenhouse gas policies "that both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and global dependence on oil."

In summer 2010, he delivered an unequivocal response to questions about his views on the deterioration of the environment: "I don't speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world's getting warmer. I can't prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. I don't know how much our contribution is to that, because I know that there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past, but I believe we contribute to that. And so I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you're seeing."

Source: An Inside Look, by R.B.Scott, p.195 , Nov 22, 2011

Reduce dependence on oil, not just on foreign oil

Romney on "Achieving Energy Independence": "We must become independent from foreign sources of oil. This will mean a combination of efforts related to conservation and efficiency measure, developing alternate sources of energy like biodiesel, ethanol, nuclear, and coal gasification, and finding more domestic sources of oil such as in ANWR or the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)."

Conclusion: Romney is still tap dancing on energy. He has also said that the country must reduce its dependence on oil, period, not just foreign oil.

Source: An Inside Look, by R.B.Scott, p.219 , Nov 22, 2011

Compensate Nevada for nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain

Q: [to Paul]: Do you support opening the national nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain?

PAUL: I've opposed this. I approach it from a state's rights position. What right does 49 states have to punish one state and say, "We're going to put our garbage in your state"?

ROMNEY: I don't always agree with Rep. Paul, but I do on that. The idea that 49 states can tell Nevada, "We want to give you our nuclear waste," doesn't make a lot of sense. I think the people of Nevada ought to have the final say as to whether they want that, and my guess is that for them to say yes to something like that, someone's going to have to offer them a pretty good deal, as opposed to having the federal government jam it down their throat. And if Nevada says, "Look, we don't want it," then let other states make bids and say, hey, look, we'll take it; here's the compensation we want for taking it. Let the free market work. And where the people say the deal's a good one will decide where we put this stuff.

Source: GOP 2011 primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 18, 2011

Climate change is occurring, with SOME human contribution

I believe that climate change is occurring--the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor.

I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to man and how much is attributable to factors out of our control. I do not support radical feel-good policies like a unilateral US cap-and-trade mandate. Such policies would have little effect on the climate but could cripple economic growth.

Oil is purported to be one of the primary contributors to rising global temperatures. If in fact global warming is importantly caused by our energy appetite, it's yet one more reason for going on an energy diet.

Scientists are nearly unanimous in laying the blame for rising temperatures on greenhouse gas emissions. Of course there are also reasons for skepticism. The earth may be getting warmer, but there have been numerous times in the earth's history when temperatures have been warmer than they are now.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.227 , Mar 2, 2010

No-regrets policy at home; reduce greenhouse emission abroad

As nations like China and India make available to their citizens the automobiles and appliances that we take for granted in the West, their energy demands--and their emissions--will rise dramatically. If developing nations won't curb emissions, even extreme mitigation measures taken by the US and other developed nations will have no appreciable effect on slowing the rate of greenhouse gas emissions.

These considerations lead me to this: We would pursue a no-regrets policy at home, and we should continue to engage in global efforts--not just US & European efforts--to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. By no regrets, I mean that we ought to take unilateral action on emissions when doing so is also consistent with our objective for reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

Internationally, we should work to limit the increase in emissions in greenhouse gases, but in doing so, we shouldn't put ourselves in a disadvantageous economic position that penalizes American jobs and economic growth.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.230-231 , Mar 2, 2010

Nuclear power is a win-win: no CO2 and no imports

As nations like China and India make available to their citizens the automobiles, home heaters, air conditioners and appliances that we take for granted in the West, their energy demands--and their emissions--will rise dramatically. Internationally, we should work to limit the increase in emissions in global greenhouse gases.

Whether global warming or energy security is one's primary concern, everyone agrees that finding substitute fuels for oil is a good thing.

Nuclear power is a win-win; it's a domestic energy source with zero greenhouse emissions. Nuclear power poses the single largest opportunity to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Without increased nuclear generation, global temperatures cannot achieve the two-degree Celsius goal. So if you're serious about global warming, you have to say yes to nuclear; and if like me you're serious about energy security, you get to the same place.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.230&239-240 , Mar 2, 2010

They don’t call it “America warming” but “global warming”

When you put in place a new cap or a mandate, and particularly if you don’t have any safety valve as to how much the cost of that cap might be, you would impose on the American people, if you do it unilaterally, without involving all the world, you’d impose on the American people a huge new effective tax: 20% on utilities, 50 cents a gallon for gasoline--that’s according to the energy information agency--would be imposed on us. What happens if you do that? You put a big burden on energy in this country as the energy-intensive industries say, “We’re going to move our new facilities from the US to China, where they don’t have those agreements.” You end up polluting and putting just as much CO2 in the air because the big energy users go there. That’s why these ideas make sense, but only on a global basis. They don’t call it “America warming.” They call it “global warming.” That’s why you’ve got to have a president that understands the real economy.
Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley , Jan 30, 2008

Opposes McCain-Lieberman bill due to $0.50/gal. gas tax

One of the things I find extraordinary is that Sen. McCain pushes this bill known as McCain-Lieberman. It is effectively a tax on all energy in this country. It would raise gasoline prices by about 50 cents a gallon, and that is according to the Energy Information Agency. He would raise electric rates by some 20%, put a huge burden on us.

And it basically would slow down our economy without helping the environment at all, because major users of energy would take their production to countries like China that wouldn’t sign the deal.

It is basically saying the cost of global warming would all be borne by American rate-payers and consumers. He just doesn’t understand how the economy works.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer , Jan 27, 2008

$20 billion package for energy research & new car technology

Q: You pledged to offer a $20 billion package to help out the auto industry with energy research and new technology. One conservative columnist wrote, “Is that what a Republican should do, bail out a private industry?” Are you going to offer billions of taxpayer dollars to every industry that’s in trouble in this country?

A: We spend about $4 billion a year right now on energy research to try and help us become less energy dependent on foreign sources. And I think over the coming years we need to increase our investment to become energy independent from about $4 billion a year to about $20 billion a year. Obviously, that has got to grow gradually because there are not a lot of places now that do the kind of research we need to do to get ourselves energy independent. But that’s not just to bail out the automobile industry. That’s not what I have in mind. I’m not looking for a bailout at all. Instead, it’s saying that where we invest, we tend to do very well.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: “Choosing the President” series , Jan 20, 2008

Need worldwide global warming solutions; not CAFE or US tax

Q: What about the domestic auto industry?

A: Look at Washington. They gave it CAFE standards, which hurt. Some Senators are talking about a new form of tax on energy in this country, which would make it even harder on the domestic companies.

Q: Well, their point is that you have got to do something about global warming. Isn’t that your understanding?

A: Oh, sure. And there’s nothing wrong with dealing with global warming. But there is a big difference between talking about global warming, which requires global solutions, and the idea of America warming. No one talks about America warming. If we’re going to have solutions that deal, for instance, with a cap in trade program or a BTU tax or anything of that nature, it has to be global in its sweep. But Sen. McCain’s proposition is that we do this as America only. A unilateral effort would only cause higher costs here, and give the advantage to nations that already have a substantial cost advantage.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer , Jan 13, 2008

Invest in new technologies to get us off of foreign oil

Confronting climate change is going to help our economy because we’re going to invest in new technologies to get ourselves off of foreign oil, and as we get ourselves off of foreign oil, we also dramatically reduce our CO2 emissions. That’s good for the environment; it’s also good for our economy. Because $300 to $400 billion worth of oil a year from other people who use it against us, that’s bad for our economy, it’s also bad for the environment. We can do these things in a way that help both the environment and the economy and national security. Is global warming an issue for the world? Absolutely. Is it something we can deal with by becoming energy independent and energy secure? We sure can. At the same time, we call it global warming, not America warming. So let’s not put a burden on us alone and have the rest of the world skate by without having to participate in this effort. It’s a global effort, but our independence is something we can do unilaterally.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Republican Debate , Dec 12, 2007

Develop energy technology like nuclear or liquefied coal

We face serious competitive challenges globally unless we become serious with getting prices of energy down. It’s a great opportunity for America to develop technology to lead the world in energy efficiency as well as energy production. And whether it’s nuclear or liquefied coal, where we sequester the CO2, far more fuel-efficient automobiles. These are some of the incentives that have to be behind our policies with regards to our investments in new technologies like ethanol.
Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan , Oct 9, 2007

The time for true energy independence has come

“America must become energy independent. We must finally take the necessary steps to actually produce as much energy as we use. This may take twenty years or more. True energy independence will requiring energy employing technology to make our use of energy more efficient, in our cars, in our homes, and in our businesses.”

“I will initiate a bold and far-reaching research initiative--an Energy Revolution. It will be our generation’s equivalent of the Manhattan Project or of the mission to reach the Moon.“

”While scientists are still debating how much human activity impacts the environment, we can all agree that alternative energy sources will be good for the planet. For any and all for these reasons, the time for true energy independence has come.“

Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p.112-113 , Aug 31, 2007

Exporting carbon emissions to China hurts US and planet

On Global Warming: “I want to make sure we don’t do something which costs hundreds of billions of dollars in this country and makes us less competitive with China and India. If carbon-emitting manufacturing moves to other countries, we’ve done nothing for the planet and we’ve hurt ourselves immeasurably.
Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p.113 , Aug 31, 2007

No-regrets policy: biofuel, nuclear power, drill ANWR

Q: Is science wrong on global warming? And what, if any, steps would you take as president to address the issue of climate change?

GIULIANI: I think we have to accept the view that scientists have that there is global warming and that humans contribute to that. It’s frustrating and really dangerous for us to see money going to our enemies because we have to buy oil from certain countries. We should be supporting all the alternatives. We need a project similar to putting a man on the moon.

ROMNEY: Rudy Giuliani is right in terms of an Apollo project to get us energy independent, and the effects of that on global warming are positive. It’s a no-regrets policy. It’s a great idea. [We need,] as a strategic imperative, energy independence for America. And it takes that Apollo project. It also takes biodiesel, biofuel, cellulosic ethanol, nuclear power, more drilling in ANWR. We have to be serious also about efficiency and that’s going to allow us to become energy independent.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

Big Oil should reinvest profits in oil refineries

Q: What do you say to the audience who believes that there’s too much of an alliance between the big oil companies and Republicans?

A: Big oil is making a lot of money right now, and I’d like to see them using that money to invest in refineries. Don’t forget that when companies earn profit, that money is supposed to be reinvested in growth. And our refineries are old. Someone said our refineries today are rust with paint holding them up. And we need to see these companies, if they’re making that kind of money, reinvest in capital equipment. But let’s not forget, where the money is being made throughout these years is not just in the major oil companies, it’s in the countries that own this oil. Ahmadinejad, Putin, Chavez--these people are getting rich off of people buying too much oil. And that’s why we have to pursue, as a strategic imperative, energy independence for America.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

No-regrets policy: energy independence and CO2 reduction

I adopt what I call "no regrets policies": Policies that will allow us to become energy independent and will have as one of their by-products, reduction of the CO2 that we emit, the greenhouse gases that we emit. So let me tell you the kinds of things that I'd like to do.

With regards to our developing more energy, I want to see us use more of our renewable resources: bio-diesel, bio-fuel, ethanol, cellulosic ethanol. I want to see us developing liquefied coal if we can sequester the CO2 properly. I want to see nuclear power. I want to see us develop our own oil off-shore, and in ANWR.

On the other side of the equation, in addition to developing our energy, we have to be more efficient in our use of it. And that means more fuel efficient vehicles. It means more energy efficient homes. The combination of more efficiency and the generation of more domestic-sourced energy will allow us to become energy independent. And that has as the benefit, of reducing our emissions of CO2.

Source: Town Hall Meeting in West Des Moines Iowa , May 31, 2007

Develop alternative energy but also drill in ANWR

To remain the economic and military superpower, America must address achieving energy independence. We must become independent from foreign sources of oil. This will mean a combination of efforts related to conservation and efficiency measures, developing alternative sources of energy like biodiesel, ethanol, nuclear, and coal gasification, and finding more domestic sources of oil such as in ANWR or the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
Source: PAC website, www.TheCommonwealthPac.com, “Meet Mitt” , Dec 1, 2006

Can’t become energy independent in a decade, but be on track

We’re going to have to deal with this in an honest way with the American people, and that is this is not something that’s going to get solved in 10 years. We can’t become energy independent in 10 years, but we can get ourselves on a track to do that. It’s going to require a far more substantial investment by our nation in energy technology. Right now, we spend about $4 billion a year on new sources of energy and energy efficiency. We’re going to have to increase that dramatically. And American corporations, last year they spent more money defending tort lawsuits than they spent on research and development. We’re upside-down. The future of a great nation like ours depends on leading the world in technology & innovation, in energy in particular. This has to be our highest domestic economic priority, get ourselves on a track to become energy secure & energy independent. It’s within our grasp. But it’s going to take reality rather than just the political rhetoric we’ve seen over the last 25 years.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate , Jan 5, 2006

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