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Chart: How Obama And Romney Compare On Energy Issues

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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]

This post was originally published by Climate Progress.

 

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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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