Climate & Energy

Everything you need to know about where Obama and Romney stand on energy policy

Cross-posted from Climate Progress

Reuters

Clean energy is an important part of the economy of Colorado, which is the location of the first presidential debate on Oct. 3.

Colorado’s robust wind industry and 70,000 jobs in green goods and services could suffer if the Production Tax Credit for wind isn’t extended by the end of 2012. The presidential candidates differ on this, as well as other energy issues. Hopefully the Denver debate, scheduled to focus on the economy, will also address energy policies so vital to Colorado and the nation.


The United States is in the midst of significant changes in our energy outlook. We are producing and burning more natural gas for electricity, while reducing coal use. Domestic oil production is at a 15-year high while oil imports are at a 15-year low. Renewable electricity doubled over the past four years, while worldwide carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change grow. The next president will face these and other serious challenges posed by a changing energy world.

President Barack Obama’s first term featured the adoption of essential toxic and carbon pollution reduction measures to protect public health. In addition, he modernized fuel-economy standards for the first time in two decades, which also helped the auto industry; invested in energy efficiency and renewable electricity; and created tens of thousands of jobs.

Gov. Mitt Romney’s energy agenda couldn’t be more different. He would undo new safeguards from mercury, carcinogens, soot, and smog from industrial sources. He opposes the improved fuel-economy standards, and would continue and expand tax breaks for big oil companies, while openly disparaging clean energy and investments in wind power.

In short, there are stark differences between the two presidential candidates that must be discussed on Oct. 3 so Americans have a clear view of the energy path each candidate would lead us down.

Below is a more detailed direct comparison of their positions on the most visible energy challenges facing the nation. Following this chart is documentation on the candidates’ positions:

Click to embiggen.

Oil and gas production

Obama:

Romney

Big Oil tax breaks

Obama:

Romney:

Clean energy

Obama:

Romney:

Reduce oil use and imports with efficient vehicles

Obama:

Romney:

Gasoline prices

Obama:

Romney

Green jobs

Obama:

Romney:

Public lands protection

Obama:

Romney:

Climate change

Obama:

Romney:

Protect public health from mercury, toxic air pollution

Obama:

Romney

Keystone XL pipeline

Obama:

Romney: