As the 2012 Presidential race heats up there are subjects worth discussing other than the economy, jobs, and health care. Energy efficiency and the environment are two topics that are flying under the radar so to speak, however the decisions made by our leaders today will be critical to where we will be in the future. Below is a brief synopsis of Republican candidate Mitt Romney and Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s positions on both of these subjects.
Romney on Energy Efficiency and Environmental Issues:
-Supports cutting energy efficiency investments by 20% in 2013 (House GOP Ryan budget)
-Sees conservation as unacceptable when it keeps a population from developing their resources for the benefit of the state, “aggressively” develop all our coal sources, “Coal is America’s most abundant energy source.”
-Wants to reduce spending on reduction of CO2 emissions stating “we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet.”
-Gives importance to achieving energy independence so America can free itself from enslavement to oil rich countries
-Against fuel efficiency standards, “disadvantage for domestic manufacturers.”
-Supports increasing spending on coal, oil, and natural gas by 60% while decreasing funding for vehicle batteries, solar projects, and loans for fuel-efficient cars.
-United States should harness its power of innovation to enhance alternative energy sources and discover innovative technologies that will help us use the energy more efficiently.
Obama on Energy Efficiency and Environmental Issues:
-Finalizing new modern standards requiring cars and light-duty trucks to achieve average fuel economy of 54.5 MPG by 2025.
-Began Better Buildings Initiative, designed to make commercial buildings 20% more efficient by 2020.
-Upgraded requirements for Energy Star homes.
-Directed Federal Agencies to make $2 billion worth of energy efficient upgrades in 2 years.
-Supports using public land for clean energy production. “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.”
-Established a program of loan guarantees for clean energy businesses, funded through the Energy Department’s $36 billion loan portfolio, which has had mixed success including the $535 million US loan guarantee to Solyndra Inc., a company that went bankrupt in 2011.
-Issued first ever carbon pollution rules for power plants.
-Set goal to have 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015.
-Promised 5 million green jobs in 2008 which have been slow to develop