In November, Republicans hope to take control in Washington D.C, promising, among other things, to improve the economy. While a wide spectrum of issues must be addressed by the President in November, some issues hit close to home for those of us who live on the Gulf Coast where the environment is very important to many aspects of our lives.
An important step for the Republican hopefuls will take place in August when the Republican National Convention is held in Tampa, FL. August 27th through the 30th, which will determine the Republican Party candidate for the Presidential election a couple months later. The four nominees are Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney.
Each nominee intends to address the important issues facing our country—the war, immigration, energy, the national budget—but here, at Gulf Coast Blog, we are most interested in how they will address the energy crisis how they will protect the environment. The current energy crisis not only costs Americans money, but also tends to encourage policy decisions that are detrimental to the environment.
While it’s too soon to choose a candidate, (and is not something we feel comfortable publicizing on the web!) we have looked at all four candidates and how they intend to solve these problems. Rick Santorum intends to increase independent energy sources, which would in turn create jobs and decrease the cost of energy for Americans. His core principles include creating security and independence, developing consistent policy for long term growth, relying on market forces and private research and development, removing harsh regulatory restrictions on oil and gas exploration, expanding domestic energy resources, and reducing energy costs for families. He has outlined several ways to accomplish these goals, including approval for the Keystone XL pipeline that President Obama declined. Santorum’s focus is on creating jobs, while promoting an energy independent America.
Similarly, Ron Paul wants to reduce restrictions on drilling to increase domestic production of the substantial amount of oil contained in the U.S. Unfortunately for Ron Paul, and luckily for the environment, the government currently prohibits the expansion of domestic exploration for energy resources. Ron Paul believes that relying on the free market rather than government restriction and repealing federal taxes on gasoline will help reduce the high cost Americans see at the pump.
In addition to the reduction of restrictions on domestic drilling, Newt Gingrich wants to provide monetary incentives to coastal states to allow offshore drilling. He believes that the West should also be available for oil drilling. Environmental lawsuits, which Gingrich believes hold up energy production, would now include a “loser pays” clause that would hold the loser responsible for paying the winner’s legal costs. He would also finance cleaner energy research and projects including royalties for gas and oil. Many of his plans follow this pattern of incentives to encourage interested parties to pay for research or drilling.
The last nominee, Mitt Romney, believes in a balance of job creation and environmental protection. His regulatory reform focuses on speeding up processes that impede the expansion of energy reserves used from within the U.S. For example, he wants to implement fast track procedures for companies already established with safe records as well as establish a fixed timeline for approval of resource development. Like the other nominees, Romney also believes that energy resources in the U.S. should be opened up for use with the allotment of basic research funds to developing other energy sources.
These are just some of the issues the nominees represent, but they are important ones. If environmental and energy issues are properly addressed by our next President, Americans may see an increase in jobs and a decrease in energy prices. More information on each nominee can be found on their websites. Furthermore, the Republican National Convention committee has made it very easy to receive news about the event. They have a Twitter account, @GOPConvention, as well as a Facebook page for those interested. Visit their website http://gopconvention2012.com/ for information on hotels, volunteering, and much more.
“2012 GOP Convention Tampa Bay, Florida.” 2012 GOP Convention Tampa Bay, Florida. Web. 19 Mar. 2012. <http://gopconvention2012.com/>.
“Mitt Romney Announces Support of Harold Hamm.” Mitt Romney for President. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <http://www.mittromney.com/news/press/2012/03/mitt-romney-announces-support-harold-hamm>.
“Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee.” Ron Paul Restore America Now. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/energy/>.
“Solutions.” Newt Gingrich 2012 -. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <http://www.newt.org/solutions/>.
“UNLEASHING AMERICA’S DOMESTIC ENERGY.” Rick Santorum for President. Web. 19 Mar. 2012. <http://www.ricksantorum.com/unleashing-america%E2%80%99s-domestic-energy>.