In an op-ed today in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) expands upon how his energy policy fits into his jobs plan as part of his presidential campaign. Energy policy is at the center of the Republican race, he explains:
The United States is an energy-rich country living like an energy-poor country. We purchase hundreds of billions of dollars of energy from overseas while keeping many of our own energy resources locked up in the ground. Reversing this backward dynamic is a critical pathway to creating economic growth and jobs.
In Pennsylvania and neighboring states, we are seeing the tremendous benefits that domestic energy development can confer. Tapping the Marcellus shale deposits promises not only to supply clean and inexpensive energy to our country for the next century but also to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. [...]
[My plan] dramatically streamlines regulation so that government facilitates production instead of interfering. It opens up vast new swaths of territory, on- and off-shore, for development.
And while Romney concedes in the Tribune-Review that Energy Development alone will not fix the economy, he fails to consider the dangers of expanding oil drilling or the risks associated with fracking, the process used to tap natural gas deposits in the Marcellus shale. But considering that Romney received energy policy guidance from pollution lobbyist Jeffrey Holmstead, his apologies to the industry are not surprising.
In May, ThinkProgress reported that Romney was seeking advice from Holmstead, a top industry lobbyist who worked to corrupt air pollution laws at the Environmental Protection Agency during the George W. Bush administration. He has a long history of lobbying for energy companies and ties to the Koch group Citizens for the Environment.
The policies Romney is pushing along with whom he has leaned on for advice only go to show that his loyalties lie with the energy companies rather than protecting the environment and health of Americans.