by Sumit Dasgupta
For those of you feeling frustrated by the lack of progress on green industrial growth and clean energy reform, last night's GOP debate was a distinct reminder that the outlook could be much worse.
During the debate, former PA Senator Rick Santorum, who previously called climate change policy a "beautifully concocted scheme" by the left, claimed that Obama's obstruction of offshore drilling was a primary cause for our current energy concerns. Despite tar still washing up on the Gulf and the ongoing deterioration of the Louisiana coastline more than a year after the Deepwater Horizon spill, Sen. Santorum feels there's no need to cry about spilled milk--or in this case, 210 million gallons of spilled oil, by reviewing the environmental risks associated with offshore drilling. Santorum's state is currently exercising the same mindset, throwing caution about fracking to the wind and expanding natural gas exploration.
Using terms like "devastation" and "job-killing" to describe the effects of corporate taxes and federal regulations--nevermind corporations coming off a record year for profits in 2010 and the Obama administration's effort to promote "Smarter Regulation" (which has resulted in a net rollback on federal regulatory authority)--Michele Bachmann named the Environmental Protection Agency the number one enemy of economic growth.
Here's a video of all the GOP candidates' greatest government-crushing hits, courtesy of ThinkProgress:
Meanwhile, President Obama was on the road in North Carolina making the case for a jobs plan that fosters innovation and focuses on educating the next generation of Americans in high skilled fields. Visiting Cree Inc., a Durham, NC manufacturer of LED light bulbs that boast 75% more productivity than traditional incandescent lights, the President highlighted the success stories in green industries, despite GOP opposition in Congress to substantive green investment or any measure of carbon-pricing. Here's a video clip of his speech.
Undoubtedly, energy policy will continue to dominate the 2012 campaign debate over the economy, with the parameters being what modes of energy are best for the nation and the level of government involvement. Check out the candidates' arguments and you decide!
Photo Credit: David S. Holloway/CNN