CHART: How Obama And Romney Compare On Energy Issues

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"CHART: How Obama And Romney Compare On Energy Issues"

Mitt Romney’s campaign has benefited from Big Oil and Big Coal’s backing, which have poured more than $16 million into ads attacking President Barack Obama’s energy policies. As a favor, Romney says he plans to open public lands and water to drilling while undoing safety and environmental protections.

Below, we take a side-by-side look at Obama and Romney’s policies and their divisions on fossil fuels, clean energy, public health, and pollution. Beneath the chart is a more detailed comparison of the candidates’ energy proposals and rhetoric.

Oil and gas production

Obama:

  • Oil production reached its highest level in eight years last year. Between oil and gas drilling rigs, the United States now has more rigs at work than the rest of the world combined. Imports fell to lowest level in 16 years, under 50 percent of oil consumption. [White House, 3/12/12]
  • Raised safety standards for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, strengthening well design, testing, control equipment and workplace safety. The region was not hurt economically by a temporary moratorium, which has the same unemployment as two years ago and had rising personal income in 2011. [White House,3/30/12, NOLA, 4/15/12]
  • Crude oil production from federal lands and waters was higher in 2011 than any of the last three years of the Bush Administration. [Energy Information Administration, 3/14/12]

Romney

  • Opens up the Florida portion of the Gulf of Mexico to new drilling, the Atlantic and Pacific Outer Continental Shelves, public lands, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Accelerates drilling permits. [MittRomney.com, 2011]
  • Called the temporary moratorium on drilling in the Gulf following the Deepwater Horizon disaster “illegal.” [CBS News,3/9/12]

Big Oil Subsidies

Obama:

  • Calls on Congress to end oil subsidies and to double down on clean energy investments. [White House, 3/28/2012]
  • Pledged to cut subsidies for oil, coal, and natural gas internationally, among G20 nations. [Economist,10/1/09

Romney:

  • Romney’s plan cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, but does not make specific mention of oil and gas loopholes which let oil companies pay much lower effective federal rates. [Mitt Romney.com, 2011]
  • Romney has blasted Obama for wanting to close these loopholes for the industry, saying the president is increasing taxes. [MittRomney.com, 3/4/12]
  • Asked directly in an interview about whether he is for or against subsidizing Big Oil, Romney responded: “I’m not sure precisely what big tax breaks we’re talking about.” [Fox News, 4/3/2012]
  • Romney supports the House Republican budget, which preserves the $40 billion in subsidies for the oil and gas industry. [Center for American Progress, 3/20/12]

Gas Prices

Obama:

  • “There’s no silver bullet. Anybody who tells you otherwise isn’t really looking for a solution; they’re trying to ride the political wave of the moment.” [LA Times, 3/16/12]
  • Domestic oil production is at its highest level in eight years, but drilling has no correlation to gas prices, the Associated Press confirms. [AP, 3/22/12]
  • Rein in market oil speculators with more funding for market oversight and CFTC, increased penalties for illegal activity. Dodd-Frank financial reform includes rules on speculation [CNN, 4/17/12; Media Matters, 4/18/12]

Romney

  • “He’s now decided that gasoline prices should come down. The gas hike trio has been going in the other direction. Time for them to go, probably hand in their resignations if he’s really serious about that.” [Boston Globe, 3/19/12]
  • Calls to repeal Dodd Frank and opposes reining in Wall Street speculators, calling Obama’s move “gimmickry” [MittRomney.com, 4/17/12]

Energy Efficiency

Obama:

  • Finalizing new modern standards requiring cars and light-duty trucks to achieve an average fuel economy rating of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 — double the rate in 2010. These savings will cut U.S. oil use by 2.2 million barrels per day by 2025—a move that will save drivers $8,000 per vehicle due to fewer gasoline purchases compared to a 2010 car. [White House, 3/12/12]
  • Began the Better Buildings Initiative, which makes commercial facilities 20 percent more efficient by 2020. [NYT, 12/3/11]
  • Directed federal agencies to make $2 billion worth of energy efficiency upgrades in two years. [NYT,12/3/11]

Romney

  • Against raising standards for energy-efficient lighting, which was coauthored by Republicans and signed into law by President George W. Bush. “The government would have banned Thomas Edison’s light bulb,” Romney said. “Oh yeah, Obama’s regulators actually did.” [Huffington Post, 3/19/12]
  • Supports the House GOP Ryan budget, which would cut investments in energy efficiency by 20 percent in 2013. [House.gov, 3/19/12]

Public lands

Obama:

  • Announced he would “allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power 3 million homes.” [1/24/12]
  • Signed a sweeping public lands bill in 2009 that designated two million acres of wilderness and three national parks. [AP,3/31/09]
  • Created a national monument of a Civil War-era Fort Monroe, Virginia, embracing the 1906 Antiquities Act. [National Trust For Historic Preservation, 11/1/11]

Romney:

  • Romney said “I haven’t studied […] what the purpose is of” public lands. But he finds it unacceptable when conservation is “designed to satisfy, let’s say, the most extreme environmentalists, from keeping a population from developing their coal, their gold, their other resources for the benefit of the state.” [McClatchy, 2/16/12]
  • Fully embraced the House Republican budget from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), calling it “bold and brilliant.” It sells off 3.3 millions of acres of national parks and public lands. [ThinkProgress, 3/21/12]

Global Warming

Obama:

  • “I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But here’s the thing — even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future -– because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy.” [White House, 1/27/10]
  • State Department is leading a group of countries in a program that cuts global warming pollutants like soot, methane and hydrofluorocarbons. [NYT, 2/16/2012]
  • Issued the first ever carbon pollution rules for power plants, affecting new coal-fired power plants. [NPR, 3/27/12]

Romney:

  • Doesn’t believe carbon pollution is a threat, reversing his stance as governor: “I don’t think carbon is a pollutant in the sense of harming our bodies.” [Politico, 7/18/11]
  • “My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.” [CBS, 10/28/2011]
  • Says the Clean Air Act doesn’t apply to carbon emissions: “My view is that the EPA in getting into carbon and regulating carbon has gone beyond the original intent of that legislation, and I would not take it there,” [Politico, 7/18/11]

Air Pollution From Power Plants

Obama:

  • Unveiled historic rules that limit harmful mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants. The initiative prevents 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks a year, and 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms [EPA, 12/21/11]

Romney

  • ‘Aggressively” develop all our coal sources. “Coal is America’s most abundant energy source. We have reserves that—at current rates of uses—will last for the next 200 years of electricity production in an industry that directly employs perhaps 200,000 workers. [NYT, 4/3/12]
  • Against new EPA regulations of harmful mercury and air pollutants from coal: “I think the EPA has gotten completely out of control for a very simple reason. It is a tool in the hands of the president to crush the private enterprise system, to crush our ability to have energy, whether it’s oil, gas, coal, nuclear.” [The Hill, 12/5/11]

Fuel efficient cars

Obama:

  • New modern standards require cars and some trucks to achieve an average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. This cuts U.S. oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels of oil per day by 2025, saving Americans $1.7 trillion and cuts carbon pollution. [White House, 11/17/11]
  • Set a goal that by 2015 there would be 1 million electric vehicles on the road. [White House, 3/12/12]

Romney:

  • Disparaged the Chevrolet Volt as “an idea whose time has not come” and “I’m not sure America was ready for the Chevy Volt.” [Michigan Live, 12/23/11, MSNBC 4/5/12]
  • Against fuel efficiency standards, calling it “disadvantageous for domestic manufacturers.” [WJR Radio, 2/23/12]
  • Advocates ending federal loan program helping companies develop and produce efficient cars. [Orange Country Register, 10/24/11]

Clean energy

Obama:

  • “I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here.” [State of the Union, 1/24/12]
  • Transforming the Pentagon into a clean energy operation, reducing the military’s dependence on fossil fuels that cost the Pentagon up to $20 billion annually. Investing in hybrid batteries. [National Journal, 4/11/12]

Romney:

  • “You can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.” [ThinkProgress,3/6/2012]
  • Endorses the Ryan House Republican budget, which gives a 60 percent funding increase to coal, oil, and natural gas, while it decreases funding for research on vehicle batteries and solar projects, and loans for fuel-efficient cars. [Politico, 4/17/12]
  • Against the government promoting clean energy, though supports tax loopholes for oil: “Let’s pretend for a moment that [Solyndra] didn’t go bankrupt. Let’s just pretend it was successful … When he picks one [business] that the government gets behind with $500 million, the investments in all the others disappear, because no one wants to compete with the government.” [The Hill, 12/20/11]

Green Jobs

Obama:

  • Historic level of investment in clean energy, a sector now with 3.1 million Americans employed. In 2008, Obama promised to create 5 million green jobs. [AP, 3/22/12]

Romney:

  • Repeatedly called green jobs fake, for example calling them “illusory” in an op-ed. “[Obama] keeps talking about green jobs, where are they?” [OC Register, 10/11, League of Conservation Voters, 9/15/11]
  • Against renewable energy production credits, which risks the end of 37,000 jobs, according to a figure from Navigant Consulting [Chicago Tribune, 2/17/12]
« »

35 Responses to CHART: How Obama And Romney Compare On Energy Issues

  1. BillD says:

    Politicians against basic science, which includes most Republicans look like idiots to me The knee-jerk reaction against environmental and energy conservation and renewable energy is really difficult to stomach. As such an expert on the economy, Romney might see the point of diversifying away from fossil fuel, a significant part of which is imported.

    Just why are Republcans and tea party people so strong against clean, renewable energy?

  2. Ken Barrows says:

    Is Ms. Leber on the Obama 2012 staff? Why is oil production at an 8 year high relevant? Wouldn’t it be the same if Romney had been elected in 2008?

    • Timeslayer says:

      The level of oil and gas production is patently relevant to a discussion of the President’s energy policies. Of course, relevant does not necessarily equal “good.” However, the chart shows that the President is far superior to Mitt Romney on most major energy issues, particularly climate change.

      TS

    • David says:

      Why is the 8 year high relevant?
      These are just comparing and contrasting the viewpoints on energy and environmental policies. While Mittens’ analogue to that particular view may not have been showcased, Obama’s view that we are on a production high on oil illustrates that oil shortages cannot be used as an excuse any longer for high prices. They should cut that shit out.

    • Peggy Trivilino says:

      The fact that the US’ oil production is at an eight-year high is significant because Republicans are constantly insisting that we need to produce even more domestic oil in order to lower gas prices. However, we are already producing so much oil that, for the first time in 47 years, the US is a net exporter of raw crude oil and refined petroleum products.

      So, we are, at present, producing more oil domestically than we can use and oil companies are selling it on the world market for higher prices that they would get in the US. American oil companies aren’t about to flood the US market with their products and drive down prices just to be good citizens. It is instructive to observe that 2/3 of oil leases on public lands are currently not being used and major oil companies have been closing refineries. Both tactics are meant to keep the price of gas and oil for US citizens high.

      And that is why oil production being at an 8 year high is relevant. The policies of the Obama administration have allowed for steadily increasing oil production, not less as Republicans’ claim.

  3. Peter says:

    All the more sauce for the Goose- it makes those Red States prosper now- but in the mid to long term it basically ‘terminates’ them.

    The rest of us- its likely to make our lives miserable. So what is the worth of the GOP the last 100 years? Nothing.

  4. Dan Ives says:

    Sigh, I guess the closer we get to election season, the more the CAP pulls the strings regarding this blog’s content. To call the chart/analysis above “biased” is a monumental understatement. No mention of Obama’s handling of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. No mention of his cave on ozone regulations. No mention of his expansion of oil and coal development. And for “Global Warming” it simply lists “Reduce Carbon Pollution.” Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure the recent science says that carbon emissions are ACCELERATING.

    Honestly, Joe, is there anything you can do to keep this blatant, insulting propaganda off your blog?

    • Dan Ives says:

      I’ll add that Romney’s “Climate Denier” label in the chart is not remotely supported by the quoted sources. Amazing that Joe endlessly criticizes (and rightfully so, of course) the media and articles that distort climate science yet this massively distorting article passes his editorial scrutiny?

      • Oldfart says:

        There is a quote there, Dan. I’m surprised you couldn’t read it. I realize that Mittens is the etch-a-sketch candidate but he clearly stated that he didn’t believe we know what is causing climate change. That makes him a denier.

      • Joe Romm says:

        I have no idea what you are talking about. As the post makes clear, Romney said, “My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.” That is some pretty serious denial (and nonsense).

        • Dan Ives says:

          Fair enough. I was under the impression that “denier” was reserved for those who say global warming is a hoax and is not happening (the James Inhofes of the world).

    • Sasparilla says:

      While not wanting to use the “loudness” of the tone I agree with many of the points Dan makes here. Although Joe is now more of a writer on this site than it is his blog (IMHO).

      When it comes to this kind of stuff (and those advertisements saying Obama is fighting for climate change action) – its slanted and when it comes to saying Obama is a supporter of climate change action absolutely untrue (he chose to sell us out multiple times in the past on climate change as Joe has detailed – most recently it came to light it was the white house, not the EPA, that kept the co2 emissions regulations from applying to existing coal power-plants just recently).

      This wasn’t a problem at the old site as Joe wrote or vetted all the content and kept the truth first and foremost and he’s a personal hero of mine for that. None of this truthiness garbage.

      Make no mistake, IMHO the GOP would destroy the future of civilization its being paid to do, if allowed, but that doesn’t mean “truthi” articles are any better here than they are on Fox. Some of this article is right on, but some of it looks as though it came from a Obama 2012 election campaign workers desk. This isn’t the first article with sections in it that deny the past / reality when it comes the Obama administration’s previous actions regarding climate change.

      Its not the fact that Fox News twists news through an arch conservative filter that makes it bad – its that it twists the news in the first place that makes it bad (doesn’t matter which way you twist it – it distorts / ignores reality).

      The ends do not (can not) justify the means. Joe, I’m sorry to say this cause I know you wanted to be here, but I miss your old site. Respectfully…

      • Dan Ives says:

        Thank you. Your example of Fox News gets to the heart of my argument, that progressives should not endlessly object to pro-Republican spin and stay silent or cheer for pro-Democrat spin. It makes them hypocrites.
        And the only reason my tone is “loud” is because I know my views represent a small minority of Joe’s readership. And also because the issue of climate change is one I am extremely passionate about and concerned by.
        Cheers.

    • Joe Romm says:

      Seriously? Obama isn’t for reducing GHGs? Why, because he went about it incompetently? You lost me on that one. I have no idea what you mean about Deepwater Horizon.

      If you know of a major progressive/environmental blog more critical of Obama, please, point me in their direction.

      • Dan Ives says:

        Well, Joe, with Obama’s expansion of oil production, his opening of more federal lands to coal exploitation, his failure to deliver anything but lip service when it comes to a binding international agreement, and his piecewise approval of Keystone XL, I find it had to defend the statement, “Obama is in favor of reducing GHG emissions.”

        But go ahead, prove me wrong. Let’s see you defend that statement based on Obama’s record.

        And Joe, I know you are dead-set on the idea that Obama wants climate action but he was just incompetent with pursuing it. I honestly don’t think you’ll budge from that position. But nonetheless, I submit to you an alternative explanation: Obama didn’t aggressively pursue meaningful climate action because he really didn’t care about it and simply didn’t want to.

        As for Deepwater Horizon, this article spins it as a win for Obama (see second source under “Oil and gas production”), which I find to be blatant propaganda. Obama and his administration’s handling of Deepwater Horizon was an embarrassment. They sided with BP and severely underestimated the flow rates. But most importantly, Obama took no action to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Hardly a “win” if you ask any rational person.

        Hope that clears up some of your objections to my post. Thanks.

        • Crissa says:

          I’m not sure why you hold President Obama at fault for a disaster at a well authorized by a prior Administration, with the company the prior Vice-President worked for at fault… It really doesn’t make much sense.

          You seem to be alternately defending Romney’s climate denial as well as holding the Obama Administration to some bizarre alternate reality standard that you refuse to articulate?

    • Clinton M says:

      Mr. Ives,
      The more you write, the more it’s painfully clear your beliefs and positions hurt people who want climate friendly policies and only help GOP-backed climate deniers.

      You are either a GOP-denier trying to pose as climate friendly, or painfully unaware of how to get anything climate friendly done.

      • Dan Ives says:

        Clinton,

        Sorry for not being a Good, Loyal Democrat. I forgot, it’s an election year, so we’re supposed to fall in line and stop criticizing the President.

        My bad.

    • Terry Mohn says:

      Dan, did you not read this article?

    • facts lean left says:

      Danny, Danny, Danny, take off the tinfoil hat and get your head out of Limbaugh’s butt. had McCain/Palin been elected….

      • Dan Ives says:

        “had McCain/Palin been elected…” – then Democrats and progressives would still be opposing right-wing policy, as they did under Bush.
        There, finished that sentence for you.

        • Clinton M says:

          “had McCain/Palin been elected…” far less would have been done.

          Mr. Ives still provides no solutions. None whatsoever. Only Monday morning quarterbacking.

          My statement is not an assumption, but based upon what Mr. Ives writes.

          You clearly do not understand how to get climate friendly legislation done by offering only negative options and living in the delusion we have no legislative branch.

          • Dan Ives says:

            You have repeatedly berated me for not offering solutions and not understanding how to get things done, yet what solutions have you provided? Electing more Democrats? Where is the evidence that electing more Democrats will lead to meaningful action on climate? Obama started his term with the largest Democratic majorities in decades, and apparently that wasn’t enough.

            I’m all ears, Clinton. Let’s hear some of your divine knowledge about how I’m clueless and how you know exactly how to get meaningful action on climate accomplished.

        • Clinton M says:

          Berating” is a strong term for simply pointing out your lack of solutions. If that is your vocabulary, so be it.

          I have clearly pointed out a program of solutions to the legislative quandry. Never once have you accepted or maybe even heard this consistent and repetitive offering:

          1We need to identify climate-friendly candidates who have a realistic chance of winning.
          2Volunteer to work to get these people elected.
          3Knock on doors supporting these candidates.
          4Staff phone banks and volunteer groups working to get these people elected.

          AI have not identified candidates to support by party name. You, Mr. Ives are the one assuming this sweeping generalization.
          BI am not talking about supporting one particula party en masse. You are the one making this false assumption.
          CI have said we must identify candidates on the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Reps, and also on the state and local levels who support climate friendly policies.
          DI have also pointed out we must not waste time on races where the deniers have no chance of being beat.
          EI have pointed out we must not waste our vote on candidates who have no chance of winning and split the vote.

          There are a host of other non-election things, but those are ancillary to this discussion and not germane to your avoiding the issue.

          And please… when you are called out regarding your non-stop monday-morning-quarter backing and lack of any solutions… I’m not the one who looks the fool. Your condescending attitude of false assumptions and narcissistic tendencies take care of that quite thoroughly.

          So Mr. Ives, I have repeated my plans and previous suggestions for the memory-impaired, now once again I ask you: What climate-friendly political solutions do you have that have a bettor’s chance of succeeding?

          • Dan Ives says:

            Interesting. You once again go on and on saying that I’ve made assumptions and sweeping generalizations about you being a Democratic loyalist… but you don’t really deny it. In fact, your posts provide ample evidence that my assumptions and generalizations about you are in fact correct.

            “The more you write, the more it’s painfully clear your beliefs and positions hurt people who want climate friendly policies and only help GOP-backed climate deniers. You are either a GOP-denier trying to pose as climate friendly, or painfully unaware of how to get anything climate friendly done.” – You know, if you look at polls and Congress, there are a fair share of Democrats who deny climate change, such as Joe Manchin for example. Furthermore, our exchanges on this blog always arise from my criticism of President Obama. And in response to my criticism (which you’ve never objected to on its face), you accuse me of being a “GOP-denier.” Sounds like a typical response from a partisan Democrat.

            “E)I have pointed out we must not waste our vote on candidates who have no chance of winning and split the vote.” – Why is splitting the vote a problem if you aren’t interested in Democrats winning? What if the third party candidate meets your previous criteria (i.e. supports climate friendly policy) and neither the Democrat or Republican meet such criteria? What then?

            You need to realize that calling me out for making assumptions and generalizations about you only boosts your position in the argument if my assumptions are wrong. As I’ve shown, they are not really assumptions, but logical conclusions drawn from your statements.

            “What climate-friendly political solutions do you have that have a bettor’s [sic] chance of succeeding?” – I’ll start by not supporting candidates from either major party (with a few rare exceptions) running for National office. Why? Because as much as people like you like to call the GOP the party of big oil, you need to face reality: the Democrats are just as bought and paid for by the oil companies and other dirty energy lobbies as their Republican counterparts. The GOP may largely deny climate change, and that’s awful. But BOTH parties have a track record of careless inaction. The Democrats may lack the denial complex, but the results are the same for our climate, so the point is moot. The only reason the Democrats back cap and trade is because it will make Goldman Sachs rich, not because they actually want to solve the climate crisis.

            Is that plan realistic? You will probably disagree. But as they say, when in a hole, first stop digging. I have stopped digging, and I might not have a realistic plan for getting out of the hole yet, but you are STILL digging while you complain that my plans for getting out of the hole are useless, and thus, I might as well pick up my shovel again.

        • Clinton M says:

          Your fallacies are many, but I’ll stick with the repetitive use of a red herring argument. You go off on a tangent, raising a side issue that distracts from what’s really at stake. It’s a convenient way to not returning to the original issue.

          Regarding your assumptions on what I believe and do: They are false. You say I “don’t really deny it” which is a false attack as I’ve claimed again and again that your assumptions are false. Don’t keep chasing your own argument here, I’ve made my point perfectly clear.

          I’m not going to keep avoiding the topic and that topic is your lack of understanding how the legislative process functions and/or your lack of caring about getting something actually done and/or your unwillingness to go for the best compromise possible vs. sinking further in the hole.

          Your sweeping generalizations are just false. Sad to say, your ‘climate friendly political solutions‘ rely on sweeping generalizations that you use to justify your actions which result in better odds for a climate denier to win.

          I don’t care how you avoid this, Mr. Ives, I don’t care how you try to spin the attack around, your actions result in your fictitious hole getting even deeper. You may stop digging, but your actions result in climate deniers having a greater chance to dig the deepest hole of all.

          You simply do not understand human nature or the political process and that makes the denial machine very happy that people like you exist. Your accomplishments can be summarized in wasting energy in search of political perfection rather than political progress.

          The result of your doctrine is political sterility and climate disaster.

          • Timeslayer says:

            Amen. Especially the part about “the denial machine [being] very happy that people like Dan exist.”

            Although it’s like talking to a wall, it is at least somewhat worthwhile to respond to the comments of people like Dan, mainly because it highlights for other readers the fact that these people are really not interested in helping to solve the problem.

            TS

          • Steve says:

            I’ve been down this road with Dan and frank in the past, and I tend to agree very much with what Clinton and TS and a few others are saying, but I want to add something in Dan’s defense because I do sense he gives a damn, and passionately. But…. I don’t think he appreciates (or wants to resign himself to accepting) the complexity of national-level politics, nor perhaps the counterproductive effect of coming out of the saloon with both pistols blasting.

            I do join Dan in not being the least bit delighted with Obama’s record on “climate change” per se — but he has done much on alternative energy incentives and research along with fuel efficiency standards (and with EPA regs), despite a GOP dedicated to blocking those efforts and destroying him politically.

            There are countless other issues such as tax reform efforts, health care, education, judicial appointments, foreign policy, even efforts at entitlements reform (if fair and if possible), etc. where — as a moderate Democrat — I am pretty happy with his stance. I am inclined to vote for him given the full array of issues he must deal with.

            I also think the current GOP is a disaster-in-the-making on just about every issue, and will attempt a radical rollback on all climate and environmental issues. I will personally take no chances on the GOP winning the White House in November, whether Obama is the ideal candidate on climate or not.

            I do like what the Rocky Anderson candidate (Dan has mentioned) has to say on his website. (I also think Jill Stein will be utterly overwhelmed and unproductive on countless issues in Washington.) As a realist along the lines of what Clinton has been saying, I think Anderson would be much more EFFECTIVE as governor of Utah pursuing policies that Republican and Democratic governors in California have been doing for years on these issues. I am not convinced there is an easy federal government path to effective legislation on many of the climate issues (though the federal fuel efficiency post earlier today by Steve Lacey is an example to the contrary).

            I do know my basic 20th Century American history, albeit not as expert by any means. The New Deal and Great Society were Democratic, progressive central government achievements, along with civil rights and other matters to various debatable degrees. We like to think the Big Boys and Girls in DC will step up and save the day on climate. I’d like to think so, too, but I’m not nearly as optimistic as countless others. I think history might do an about-face on where true progress, newly-defined, comes from. I’m hoping Washington doesn’t make things worse or more complicated for everyone else.

            In the meantime, I care less if the solutions come from personal, local, state, or private marketplace initiatives. And I think that’s where the politics on this blog starts to become the tail that wags the dog of addressing the climate change crisis.

            I will also mention that, consistent with Dan’s broader observation which started this line of comments, I really cannot send people to this blog who are not already “true believers” on climate change because they will laugh when I say, “It’s not a political issue. It’s a question of physics and biology.” You cannot read this particular blog and come away not thinking it’s very much about politics, and that can cause unfortunate alienation of a whole group of people who are not as categorically evil as some people here want to believe.

            Have a great weekend, everyone.

            Cheers.
            Steve

          • Clinton M says:

            Thank you TS and Steve.

            Absolutely totally right on. People are strange beasts and act in strange ways. We are simple people with complex habits. One fact is true, we are pack animals in general and whether young or old, poor or rich, learning impaired or brilliant, require the confirmation of group support. It doesn’t require switching many votes in key races to win or lose an election.

            It doesn’t require keeping many people from voting to have turnout determine the winner.

            And once there is a majority, the herd mentality can swing a lot in a hurry.

            Just look at the states where the GOPolluters have won the governorship and both houses of the legislature. Radical policies that far exceed even ‘conservative’ desires. Policies that have historical precedent to do negative things, but these far-right radicals are owned and just believe that if they obey, they too will become part of the 1%.

            And if they have to destroy the air, water, and planet to get to this fictitious right wing ‘nirvana’, they won’t hesitate a bit.

            Climate friendly people on local, county, state, and national levels are worthy of consideration and support.

            You have to understand the GOP’s separation of state and federal powers. If you follow their patterns you quickly learn they have strong beliefs about which issues local, state, and feds should have authority.

            It follows a consistent *and* predictable pattern: The issues the GOP are losing on are the ones the other branches should have authority on.

            If they are losing an issue of voter suppression at the federal level, then the states should have control. If they are losing on an issue of allowing Big Carbon and others to pollute at a federal level, then the states and locals should have control.

            etc., etc.

            You can be assured. At local, state, and federal levels… I will be looking at the candidates who have a LEGITIMATE chance of winning in a toss-up race, then actively phone banking, knocking on doors, and supporting AND VOTING FOR the candidate with climate friendly views as compared to the competition.

            I’m from Minnesota, and many people here bad-mouth the largest state out west, but I’ve said it again and again: Thank goodness for California. Their forward thinking has often been the climate life-vest as the rest of the nation drown in the never-ending, merciless big-carbon propaganda.

  5. M Tucker says:

    “Crude oil production from federal lands and waters was higher in 2011 than any of the last three years of the Bush Administration.”

    Look, we know production in 2011 is the result of policy, permits and leases sold and developed many years earlier. But you could say that President Obama has not put any policies in place that have caused significant production declines. You might mention the new frenzy of exploration going on in Kansas right now where “Awe-struck real estate agents watch incredulously as mineral rights fetch higher prices than the land itself.” This is boosting the fortunes of the Kansas state government and bringing employment. This will in all probability help to continue the increase in US domestic production in the next few years. If you want to give President Obama credit for increasing domestic production you should include the new oil plays that will support that increase into the future as well as provide further evidence that he is not opposed to new exploration; just not in public lands.

  6. TKPGH says:

    On the issue of Romney bashing Obama’s policies for being too expensive, he obviously hasn’t read Reinventing Fire, or if he has, he won’t admit to it. The entire study is based on the premise that the way to profits (trillions of dollars worth) is through energy savings and green innovation. Obama seems not to have been exposed to it, either: it condemns an “all of the above” approach as a road to failure.

    For me, this entire post demonstrates the worthlessness of Obama’s “silent running” approach to climate. I would lover to take every piece of video and print in which Romney expresses support for climate action, string it together in an ad and wrap it around his neck like a python. It’s a huge character issue that the President could win, if he and his advisors possessed the guts to try. Enough of the dithering! Obama needs to speak out in order to show the driving basis for his policies on green innovation, as well as what amazing stuff is being done because of them (for example, growing solar cells and batteries using bacteria to manipulate materials). That he lets Mit and the rest of the GOP have the bullhorn this stuff is just incomprehensible.

  7. prokaryotes says:

    Romney is a strange guy since he theoretically could do not give a dime about lobbying – special interest and just be a “good” politican. Though when looking on his schizophrenic flip and flop, this tells me he is not in it for the politics but just because for greed and corruption or maybe even because he is bored or something. He possibly just runs because of his church wants him to be the next jesus or whatever.

  8. daddycool says:

    “Romney has blasted Obama for wanting to close these loopholes for the industry, saying the president is increasing taxes. [MittRomney.com, 3/4/12]”

    “Asked directly in an interview about whether he is for or against subsidizing Big Oil, Romney responded: “I’m not sure precisely what big tax breaks we’re talking about.” [Fox News, 4/3/2012]”
    *********************************************
    Ok mitt for brains. We must be talking about precisely the same big tax breaks that you were whining about last month, when you said Obama wants to raise taxes by taking them away !!!
    Romney … Just face it. You’ll NEVER become president because you NEVER stop talking out of both sides of your neck ! You are your own worst enemy!
    Maybe you can just try again in 2016 which would make it 12 years in a row that you’ve been running for oval office!

  9. Dick Smith says:

    Good reminder for those who say (often in blog comments here) that there’s no difference between the two major parties. Yes, there is. It matters who wins in the fall.