By Anthony Gilbreath – Published August 31 - Mitt Romney made his big speech at the Republican National Convention last night. In his speech he attacked President Obama’s environmental and energy policies and openly mocked his efforts to tackle climate change. He also doubled-down on his ludicrous ’energy independence’ promise, further diminishing his credibility with all people familiar with the workings of the energy sector.
In a speech that was described by critics as “pedestrian” and “dishonest”, Romney secured some of the biggest applause of the night from the Republican Convention for contrasting his economic priorities with Obama’s attempts to address environmental challenges. ”President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet,” he said. The crowd burst into applause. Adding after a long pause: “My promise … is to help you and your family.”
While this type of rhetoric is common in Republican circles, the disturbing coming from Romney because less than a decade ago he publicly held the opposite position.
Mitt Romney in June 2011 on the subject of global warming…
“I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that… And so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.”
Mitt Romney on campaign trail in 2012 on the subject of global warming…
“My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea ofspending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.”
His flip-flop on Climate Change is not the only scary thing that he said last night about the environment. His mention of ‘energy independence’ should also give people pause. Energy Independence on its own is not a bad concept, but the method that he is suggesting would not only be bad for the environment but is impossible to achieve. He is suggesting that the US should develop domestic fossil fuel resources and by doing this, we can become energy independent. Alternative or renewable energy is not part of his mix.
Energy Economics 101 – if domestic energy was profitable to develop, oil and gas companies would already be doing this. To do what he is suggesting would mean that the US government would have to match the difference in price of international crude with subsidies. Regulations are not preventing the development of domestic resources, economics are. Fossil fuels are commodities. They are traded on an open international market. Oil companies are not going to buy domestic crude that costs 50% more than crude they can buy on the market out of ‘patriotism’ – it is never going to happen.
In conclusion, Mitt Romney has reversed his previous positions and is now in-line with the Republican establishment. He has thrown out science and economics in favor of right-wing rhetoric. He is no friend of renewable energy, nor is he a friend of the earth.