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Chart: How Obama And Romney Compare On Energy Issues

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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]
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AP Photo/Odessa American, Mark Sterkel

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59 comments

+ add your own
7:52AM PDT on May 17, 2012

Sometimes I thing that politicians just agree to disagree. They may support an idea in private but publicly they disagree because that is going to get them the vote....that is stupid and dishonest. Soon they become such puppets that they are no longer sure what they believe in.

5:46AM PDT on May 15, 2012

How about bribing Exxon Mobil to DEVELOP and SELL as a commercial product bio-diesel from algae. Algae multiply like rabbits. Raising algae for bio-diesel and using it as a substitute for petroleum diesel should be net zero on carbon emissions over the course of the year.

1:17AM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

Unravel this and B & R and your lack of energy will be history

http://alcuinbramerton.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/global-banking-crisis-what-global.html

7:29PM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

Wow, we need oil resources in this company developed and used!

11:13AM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

Obama seldom delivers on his promises, and tends to say what he thinks the public wants to hear. Romney often says what he thinks wealthy special interests want to hear to gain their contributions. My hope and belief is that Romney will not be stupid enough to do what he is saying if he get elected President. If Obama is elected again, his priority will be on development of an American socialist state ... and he will actually do little to help resolve energy issues.

10:07AM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

I'm not impressed by either of them.

8:48AM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

nice, clear presentation of policy differences

2:37AM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

Mint doesn't get it.

2:31AM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

YOU'RE KIDDING.....right???? THEY LOOK LIKE IDENTICAL TWINS TO ME! OBAMA: I swear to uphold the constitution, close down GITMO, I CAN kill AMERICANS ON AMERICAN SOIL, BUT I WON"T, I SWEAR. AND..I'LL BRING THE TROOPS HOME TOO! You DOPES ARE IDIOTS! AND ROMNEY....SAME BACKERS, SAME SHIT, SAME DAY! WHERE ARE THE AMERICANS/// NO...I MEAN THE REAL ONES?????

2:22AM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

The president does better on this count than Romney, but the record on global warming is still more like a comparison between walking off a cliff instead of running off of one. Obama knows what needs to be done, but the gap between policy and intent has been huge and yawning.

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