GOP Candidates Talk Energy

Washington, Jan. 6 – U.S. politicians have been talking about developing alternatives to Middle East oil for many years -- so it’s no surprise that every Republican running for president in 2012 has weighed in on the issue. However their emphasis has been more on boosting domestic oil production than on alternative energy.

According to a report this week by the non-partisan advocacy group “Securing America’s Future Energy,” the candidates largely agree that the United States should ramp up domestic oil and gas production by cutting regulations that impede drilling and providing oil companies new access to federal land and water. They also have called for eliminating subsidies for renewable energy sources and curbing the EPA’s role in regulating energy production.

None of the candidates has spoken much about alternatives to traditional oil, coal and natural gas which was a strong theme in President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and is likely to be so again this 2012.

U.S. candidates could look at Israel’s groundbreaking work for inspiration.

Israel’s pioneering innovations include:

  • The first-ever electric car network
  • Clean electricity produced by the weight of traffic
  • Solar power energy systems and plants
  • Affordable solar power
  • International council for local environmental initiatives
  • Wind turbines
  • Geothermal energy

In the Republican candidates’ own words:

“Energy security can no longer be a catchphrase,” Ambassador Jon Huntsman said during a speech in Durham, New Hampshire in November. “It will be a driving force behind my administration's agenda.”

"The United States is an energy-rich country living like an energy-poor country,” Governor Mitt Romney wrote in an op-ed in October. “We purchase hundreds of billions of dollars of energy from overseas while keeping many of our own energy resources locked up in the ground. Reversing this backward dynamic is a critical pathway to creating economic growth and jobs.”

“We need an energy policy that not only from a national security point of view, but for creating jobs and keeping energy prices down to help manufacturers and other businesses compete,” Senator Rick Santorum said during a speech in Iowa in December. “Now I know [the Obama administration] want to get to 20 percent green energy by 2020, I just didn’t think they’d get there by cutting out fossil fuel energy, but that’s what they’re doing. So we'd repeal that regulation and try to have a program – we’ll put together a program that, again, eliminates subsidies for all energy and says we need a market place, but we need availability of places to get our energy, which means Alaska, offshore, deep water. That means building pipelines.”

“We ought to have a massive all-sources energy program in the United States designed to, once again, create a surplus of energy here, so we could say to the Europeans pretty cheerfully, that all the various sources of oil we have in the United States, we could literally replace the Iranian oil,” former Speaker Newt Gingrich said during a CNN debate in November. “Now that's how we won World War II.”

“The free market – not government – is the solution to America’s energy needs,” Congressman Ron Paul’s website says. “Much of the ‘pain at the pump’ Americans are now feeling is due to federal policies designed by environmental alarmists to punish traditional energy production – like oil, coal, and natural gas – in hopes of making energy sources they favor more ‘economical.’”

Governor Rick Perry called for an “all-of-the-above” strategy when discussing an increase of domestic energy production by using America’s natural resources. In an op-ed in October, Perry wrote, “I will begin by immediately authorizing the release of some federal lands and waters for energy development, so we can start creating good jobs in the energy sector as soon as possible.”

During a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition Forum in Washington, D.C, in December, Perry praised Israel for her work for energy security. “With a robust economy, Israel is a strong trading partner, importing our goods and supplying us with both high-tech innovations and specialized natural resources. I am proud a Texas company, Noble Energy, is supplying a large percentage of the natural gas Israel depends upon today. Israel's security is critical to America's security.”

During the returns from the New Hampshire primary Tuesday evening, The Israel Project is planning to run a television advertisement on how Israel helps America with alternative energy needs. The ad will run on CNN, MSNBC and FOX in the Washington, D.C., metro area.


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