Obama attacks Romney: Won’t ‘let oil companies’ dictate energy policy

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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During President Obama’s acceptance speech he tore into Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s energy plan for letting “oil companies write this country’s energy plan.”

“But unlike my opponent, I will not let oil companies write this country’s energy plan, or endanger our coastlines, or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers,” Obama said during his speech.

Instead, Obama promised to invest more in renewable sources, energy efficiency measures, and development of natural gas.

“We’ve doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries” the president said.

“We’re offering a better path,” Obama continued, “a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal; where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and trucks; where construction workers build homes and factories that waste less energy; where we develop a hundred year supply of natural gas that’s right beneath our feet.”

On Thursday Obama’s deputy assistant for energy and climate change, Heather Zichal, told reporters that the president will focus on clean energy programs and efficiency initiatives if he’s re-elected in November.

“The big issue will remain engagement with Congress,” she told reporters. “The president has talked continuously about the need for a long-term energy policy, and I think that will be something that he will obviously remain focused on in the second term.”

Earlier, Romney took aim at Obama administration’s “assault” on fossil fuels, saying they would send jobs over to China.

“His assault on coal and gas and oil will send energy and manufacturing jobs to china,” Romney said.

Romney promises to achieve energy independence by 2020 by “taking full advantage of [the U.S.’s] oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.”

Romney’s energy policies aim to streamline environmental regulations open more lands to oil and gas exploration and natural resource development. Romney would still have government funding for basic research into alternative energy by using nonpolitical funding mechanisms.

Energy issues have attracted much attention this election as key battleground states including Ohio and Pennsylvania have seen huge dividends from the current natural gas fracking boom that has lowered unemployment and brought economic growth to those states’.

“[W]e can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone,” Obama said in his speech.

Obama’s support comes despite his administration’s slew of strict environmental regulations that have targeted fossil fuel energy sources, especially coal.

The National Economic Research Associates found that compliance costs of just one of the administration’s most onerous environmental regulation, the Utility MACT which limits mercury and other hazardous emissions, to be $21 billion per year and cost the economy 183,000 lost jobs per year.

In August, Romney accused Obama of “waging a war on coal”, saying to Ohio coal miners, “We’re going to take advantage of our energy resources to save your jobs, to create more jobs.”

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