September 4, 2012

Everything You Need to Read on the Romney/Ryan "Energy Plan"


Our own David Rickless did a great job of concisely summarizing the highlights (or, rather, lowlights) of the Romney/Ryan energy plan in the latest This Week in Green Politics.

I wanted to expand on his work and provide a post with links to some of the more in-depth coverage and commentary for folks with the time and inclination to do a deep dive into the GOP nominee's recently released energy white paper:

1. C2ES, The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (formerly the Pew Center on Global Climate Change) has an absolutely exhaustive, unbeatable, "holy-cow-this-so-awesome-in-a-nerdy-way" 2012 Climate and Energy Voter Guide, with a comprehensive head-to-head breakdown and comparison of the two candidates' positions on a ton of climate and energy issues. REQUIRED READING, SO AWESOME.

2. Next up, we have the indispensable Michael Levi, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Levi is,obviosly, enormously intelligent and one of the very best in the climate/energy blogosphere at communicating very thoughtfully and accessibly while still being the wonkiest of wonks. His critique of Romney's energy plan in Foreign Policy carries the punchy title "Pipe Dream: Why Mitt Romney Can't Free America from Middle East Oil." While Mr. Levi agrees with some parts of the Romney plan relating to the streamlining of enviornmental reviews and permitting, the pipe dream remark is in reference to Romney's claim of achieving energy independence through domestic oil production. Levi systematically dismantles this boast, arguing that "The United States remains vulnerable to global oil markets and constrained in its foreign policy because of its massive consumption of oil from all sources. Yet the Romney energy strategy does nothing to address this Achilles heel aside from promising to continue support for basic research." He also notes that "The plan is. . . mum on the other grave energy challenge the country faces: climate change."

3. For a bunch of differently highly informed perspectives in one place, check out National Journal's Energy Experts blog post "Sizing Up Romney and Obama Energy Plans." The Energy Experts blog regularly has discussion posts with contributions from various businesspeople, academics, activists, think-tankers, reporters, and so on. A great place to get a sampling of opinions from across the political spectrum.

4.Lisa Hymas over at Grist has compiled a list of how frequently key energy/environmental phrases appear in Romney's 21-page plan. The highlight?

oil: appears 154 times.

climate: goose egg. nada. Exactly zero times.

4. Professor Dan Farber of UC-Berkeley has a couple of posts up on the environmental law blog Legal Planet (here and here) breaking down  Romney's energy plan, in which he takes issue with Romney's claims about making the U.S. an "energy superpower" and picks apart the "wildly optimistic" jobs projections of the Citigroup report upon which much of the Romney energy plan is based.

5. The Houston Chronicle has a post up entitled "Drilling Down: 5 Major Differences in Obama, Romney Energy Plans", those five differences being in the areas of energy independence, off-shore drilling, drilling on federal lands, alternative energy, and regulation.

6. NPR's story on the Romney energy plan is "Romney's Energy Plan Doubles Down on Fossil Fuels." Gets right to the point, doesn't it?

7. Finally, for a more forward-looking piece, National Geographic's The Great Energy Challenge blog proposes some important climate/energy questions that shoud be asked of both candidates.


Read some great news coverage/reports/blog posts that weren't mentioned here? Link 'em in the comments section!!