Mitt Romney released his much-hyped jobs plan [PDF] yesterday. Looking at the energy section alone, I identified nine inconsistencies and factually incorrect statements.
1. Cites projected job losses associated with a regulation Obama has already scrapped
But as anyone who follows environmental issues closely likely knows by now, President Obama announced on Friday that he was scrapping plans to update the ozone rule. Obama’s announcement came on Friday morning, a full 100 hours before Romney released his jobs plan.
2. Claims President Obama has “stifled the domestic energy sector”
Unfortunately, the first three years of the Obama administration have witnessed energy and environmental policies that have stifled the domestic energy sector.
But as I’ve pointed out repeatedly, there are more active drilling rigs in the United States right now than there have been at any time since 1987. And oil production is up 11 percent under President Obama, after decreasing 15 percent under President Bush. Jobs related to coal mining have also increased sharply in the past year.
3. Touts program championed and funded by President Obama
Mitt Romney believes the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) model — ensuring longterm, non-political sources of funding for a wide variety of competing, earlystage technologies — holds the most potential for achieving significant advances in the energy sector. Investment should be channeled through programs, such as “ARPA-E,” that seek to replicate DARPA’s success in energy-related fields.
Here’s USA Today, explaining the fact that Obama is the only president who has provided funds to ARPA-E:
Research, however, shows that Romney and Obama may have more in common on this issue that Romney apparently realizes. Obama is the only president who has dedicated any money to ARPA-E, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which was created without a budget by the America Competes Act of 2007 that President George W. Bush signed into law. The agency remained unfunded until the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus plan put $400 million into the program. It received another $180 million in 2011.
4. Cites conflicting figures on job losses associated with Obama’s temporary moratorium on deepwater drilling
Page 89: “The result was a sweeping moratorium on underwater drilling that destroyed more than 10,000 jobs.”
Page 94: “19,000 jobs destroyed by Obama administration’s Gulf drilling moratorium.”
5. Claims Keystone XL pipeline would create more than 100,000 jobs
[T]he Obama administration has delayed the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which could bring enormous supplies of Canadian oil from Alberta to our market. The project could also create more than 100,000 American jobs.
TransCanada, the company that wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline, has cited job-creation estimates ranging from 3,500 jobs to 20,000 jobs. The State Department estimates that the project would create 5,000-6,000 temporary jobs.
6. Cites widely debunked Spanish green jobs study
The study this chart is based on has been thoroughly debunked, and was produced by a libertarian think tank that gets money from Exxon Mobil.
7. Opposes pricing carbon, despite economic adviser’s support of a carbon tax
Cap-and-trade died in Congress, but a similarly blithe disregard for the economic impact of his policies prompted President Obama to find another path to reach the same objective.
But Romney’s economic advisor Gregory Mankiw is a major proponent of taxing carbon. In 2007, he wrote, “if we want to reduce global emissions of carbon, we need a global carbon tax. The first and more difficult step is to convince American voters, and therefore political consultants, that ‘tax’ is not a four-letter word.”
8. Claims the Clean Air Act wasn’t intended to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions
Additionally, the Clean Air Act was passed to protect us against pollutants that pose dangers to human health. It was not intended to control carbon-dioxide emissions, and is poorly tailored to that purpose.
But the United States Supreme Court disagrees:
On April 2, 2007, in Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), the Supreme Court found that greenhouse gases are air pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act.
9. Claims President Obama has “been waging war on the entire coal industry”
Rather than focus on refining technologies that burn coal cleanly, President Obama has been waging war on the entire coal industry.
But the Obama administration’s Department of Energy has repeatedly awarded grants for studying and developing technologies to burn coal cleanly.