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This morning’s Washington Post sheds more light on Romney’s energy plan, including the fact that he would open up “virtually every part of U.S. lands and waters” to drilling regardless of whether they are national parks, national monuments, or protected in some other way. As the Post reports: Asked whether any place would be off limits for oil drilling, campaign spokesman Andrea Saul said, “Governor Romney will permit drilling wherever it can be done safely, taking into account local concerns.”
Current law sets some public lands and waters off limits to drilling, including national parks, national monuments, and wilderness areas. These places are protected for other uses like hunting, fishing, sightseeing, and recreation. Presumably, if there was oil and gas found there, Romney would allow drilling in places like the Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, and Isle Royale National Park in the Great Lakes, regardless of its impacts on them. In essence, he would take lands that belong to all Americans and turn them over to oil companies.
Leading the Romney campaign’s energy strategy is Harold Hamm, who made almost all of his $12 billion fortune from oil and gas drilling in North Dakota.
Harold Hamm, the billionaire oil exec who chairs Mitt Romney’s energy advisory team, will warn Congress Tuesday that going along with White House proposals to strip oil industry tax breaks would slam the breaks on the U.S. drilling boom.
Hamm, the CEO of Continental Resources, will appear before the Senate Finance Committee to argue against repealing tax breaks that benefit independent oil companies (as opposed to multinational behemoths like Exxon).
While some proposals would only target major integrated companies, the White House proposes to raise roughly $40 billion over 10 years with a plan that would hit “Big Oil” and, in some cases, independent producers. (The White House plan would repeal the so-called percentage depletion allowance, which isn’t available to the big integrated companies, as well as repeal expensing of “intangible” drilling costs, which is fully available to independent companies and partially for the others.)
The White House argues that the oil industry doesn’t need the tax breaks.
Hamm — who has given $985,000 to the super-PAC backing Mitt Romney for president — is appearing in his CEO role at the hearing on tax reform and energy policy, not as a Romney campaign representative.
Originally posted by syrinx high priest
th GOP plan
tax breaks for the wealthy
deregulation for the corporations
Calculating that clean energy is passé among Americans more concerned about jobs and their own pocketbooks, Romney is gambling that he can tip swing voters his way by embracing dirtier air and water if the tradeoff is more employment and economic growth.
A flood of new oil and natural gas production in states such as North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas is changing the national and global economies. U.S. oil production is projected to reach 6.3 million barrels a day this year, the highest volume since 1997, the Energy Information Agency reported Tuesday. In a decade or so, U.S. oil supplies could help to shrink OPEC's influence as a global economic force. Meanwhile, a glut of cheap U.S. shale gas has challenged Russia's economic power in Europe and is contributing to a revolution in how the world powers itself.
Romney grants that Obama is not precisely Mr. Clean -- while the president has championed clean energy technologies, he has also stewarded over the greatest buildup in U.S. fossil fuel production since the 1990s. But Romney insists he will be dirtier: He vows to open more land to oil and gas drilling, approve the import of more Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, and allow more coal mining. As for Obama, Romney recently told a Colorado coal community, he isn't dirty enough to deserve a second presidential term. The president has "made it harder to get coal out of the ground; he's made it harder to get natural gas out of the ground; he's made it harder to get oil out of the ground," Romney said. The approach aligns with a campaign by the American Petroleum Institute, the U.S. oil industry's main lobbying arm, called
"Vote4Energy." The API campaign, which consists of big political events and advertisements, targets 15 or so mostly swing states, those that both Obama and Romney will most need to muster the 270 electoral votes required to win.