Mitt Romney’s Energy Plan: By Big Oil, For Big Oil


As America’s next hopeful CEO…err, President, Willard Mitt Romney is running largely on his business credentials, and the fact that he isn’t named “Obama.” But what does Romney plan to do if elected President? Well outside of repealing Obamacare and cutting taxes, Romney hasn’t been exactly forthcoming about his plans.

But the Presidential hopeful did release an energy plan last Friday that called for “energy independence” by 2020. The only problem? This plan, written by the Big Oil industry, won’t do anything but increase industrial profits at the cost of the average consumer.

Picking Favorites On An Uneven Playing Field

First, just the facts. Romney has already called for eliminating special deductions for electric cars and green home improvements, as well as government funding for green energy projects like wind farms and solar arrays. Romney has also pledged to maintain the $40 billion in subsidies the oil companies receive from Uncle Sam.

The rest of the Romney oil plan is basically a point-by-point of the Republican party platform; fewer regulations + more drilling = larger government receipts. The Romney Energy policy would open new Federal lands to drilling, including large tracts off the coasts of Florida and Virginia. According to Romney, this plan would result in an extr $1 trillion in government revenue, more than 3 million new jobs, and American energy independence by 2020, and all without sending a single dollar to the Middle East.

Unfortuantely, there are so many problems with this proposed policy that I almost don’t know where to start.

Feeding The Hand That Drills

I could start with the fact that the oil and natural gas lobby, which just donated $10 million to the Romney campaign, had a hand in writing this “policy.” Reports indicate that oil magnate Harold Hamm, an Oklahoma billionaire, had a large hand in writing this pro-Big Oil policy. While some may argue that the private sector knows better, many regulations are already so poorly enforced that further deregulation is almost scary to think about. Can America really afford another BP oil disaster?

Moving on, the Congressional Budget Office reports that fully 70% of federal lands are already open to oil and gas exploration; even with new technology and oil discoveries, squeezing another 8 million barrels or so of oil per-day out of existing land leases is an almost impossible task, unless you’d like to see even more oil drilling near landmarks like Glacier National Park. To this end, the Romney plan calls for increasing reliance on Canada and Mexico, hardly an “energy independent” energy policy.

What’s more, Canada’s Nexen, Inc. is trying to buy CNOOC, a Chinese oil importer for around $15 billion. Essentially, Canada wants to sell its oil to China, rather than America. Things to the south aren’t any better, as Mexico’s drilling infrastructure is woefully out of date and production has been falling off of a cliff. As one of America’s biggest oil exporters, any lowering of output in Mexico means higher oil prices in America. That would mean that America’s #3 supplier, Saudi Arabia, would stand to fill the void. And that gets to the crux of the problem.

Freeing The Free Market…What’s To Stop Them Now?

Romney wants to give corporations even more control over America’s energy by regulating them and opening up access to even more federal lands. And for what? There is no obligation mentioned by Romney that the oil will half to be processed and sold in America, to Americans.

What is to stop any of these companies from selling oil to China or India if they can get more money? The U.S. is already exporting gasoline, but that hasn’t brought our fuel prices down because the simple economics of supply and demand. Without the threat of green, alternative fuels driving competition, the oil monopoly will have complete control over America’s energy resources at a time when even Mitt Romney admits petroleum resources are dwindling.

For a guy who has spent his entire life making money, Mitt Romney seems to have a hard time reconciling his plans for America with basic facts and data points. The complete lack of support for alternatives, and Romney’s failure to understand th uneven playing field Big Oil has created for itself, can only lead America down an ugly path.

While the rest of the world, including competitors like China, invest heavily in green energy technology, Romney would take our country backwards by focusing on the fuel of the last 100 years. Romney has said it himself; businesses that stay stagnant, that do not innovate, risk being surpassed by competitors.

Why does he think keeping America on the oil standard will be any different?

Source: CNN

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Earl Richards

    Big Oil, Wall Street and the GOP are a bunch of morally, bankrupt jerks. Romney is already oil-bought. Romney/Ryan will be worse than Bush/Cheney.

    • DaveD

      Completely agree.

      I am always saddened to see that we Americans can’t see past a few talking points from people like Romney and realize they are lining their pockets on the backs of the middle class.

  • Mark

    Love how Mitt hands the buck to the Canadians, Time for a history lesson.

    It took a lot of Canadian tax payer money to get big oil working on the tar sands… $40 billion plus.

    One of the most amazing things to happen in Canada in the last 50 years is the huge investment by the Canadian tax payer in the Tar Sands. With direct investment thru joint ventures, R&D grants and the previously state owned Petro Canada, the Canadian Governments ( Both provincial and Federal) has created the tars sands extraction technology that works at a reasonable cost.
    As long as the price of oil is above $80 a barrel, these governments are now seeing real return on what was one of the largest and riskiest industrialization effort in its history. Private enterprise is now in the drivers seat and the royalties they are producing now more than offset that huge investment.

    The American consumer is and will continue to benefit directly from this massive oil industry subsidy with lower gas prices at the pumps for years to come. That means you have a responsibility to use that gas wisely… and not to insult your friends by hinting as Mitt has that they havnt earned the right to ship part of that oil to a very grateful China. Don’t forget to thank the Canadian Tax payer when you fill up, Eh?

    • Marc P.

      Well said, eh !

  • SteveEV

    And i, however ungrateful it may be, will no longer buy gas. My car is powered by the sunlight falling on my roof. My version of energy independence.

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  • T Adkins

    Just as a correction:
    CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corporation) is trying to buy out Canada’s Nexen.

    So it is more that China wants a more direct line of oil from Canada.
    CNOOC also bought out another oil company from Canada last yest name Opti. Opti was an bankrupt oil sands company and talk was for China to pick it up for about $2.1 billion.

    China is also pushing ahead with nuclear reactors and one of the reactors under development is a thorium molten salt reactor that operates at temperatures at and above 600C(6 times higher than the temp water boils at, also about 1112F). There has been talk of use a reactor of this nature to generate heat just to be used specifically to process the oil sands this use would make oil sand still profitable at under $80 a barrel, and remove natural gas out of the heating process for the oil sands freeing up that natural gas to be sold.

  • sean t

    I’m scared of Romney’s plan!

    • T Adkins

      unfortunately you should be scared, it is a vague ugly plan with bad numbers. It relies on quite a bit of speculation for its supposed saving and many of the things it wants to get up and running wont even impact the economy or market for 10 years, so even if the US went forward with it today and if Mittens was in for 2 terms most of the results wont been seen until he has been out of office for a while. The other issue is he want more mining and drilling for our energy independence most of the focus is the get resources that are traded on the world market so world demand sets the prices along with opec, there is really nothing in place so these commodities wont go up in price.

      As far as the jobs they arent too solid with those numbers, then are those temp jobs permanent jobs how many of those are jobs that were to have been created by the XL pipeline. As far as truly scary the only only part of Mittens plan that they have been clear about is the push to get the XL pipeline approved and started, if you havent looked into how horrible this pipeline is just look into it.

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