With the first Presidential debate having occurred between President Obama and his rival Mitt Romney, we have decided to take a look at how the Presidential candidates’ energy policies contrast. With this political season being so divisive we wanted to show how for us a passion for solar energy bridges any political leanings we have at here at Stellar; despite some of us being Republicans and others being Democrats. Here is a basic run through of what the two Presidential candidates have been quoted on the energy and environmental issues:
Obama: Federal government has invested billions in renewable energy projects; said to have doubled renewable electricity to 6%. The Obama Administration supports the extension of the production tax credit for wind electricity. Pledge to reduce the military’s use of fossil fuels costing $20 billion annually.
Romney: Increase funding to coal, oil, and natural gas by 60%. Pledges to cut funding for renewables and opposes extension of wind production tax
Obama: Continue investment in green jobs/technology to build upon 3.1 million employed in the green sector.
Romney: Green jobs should be encouraged by simplifying tax code, reforming labor laws, and peeling back regulations to keep companies manufacturing in the US.
Obama: Finalized carbon pollution reduction rules for motor vehicles, cutting carbon pollution from vehicles built between 2012 and 2025. Proposing carbon pollution reduction for all new coal-fired plants. State department to lead a group of countries in a pollutant cutting program aimed at globing warming pollutants such as methane, soot, and hydroflourocarbons.
Romney: Opposes steps such as a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system. Would block Environmental Protection Agency from setting carbon pollution reduction standards.
Oil and gas production
Obama: Vowed to further cut oil imports in half by 2020. Increased domestic oil production in federal lands and waters. Raised worker and environmental safety standards for drilling.
Romney: Would accelerate drilling permits, open Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic and Pacific Continiental Shelves, public lands, and Arctic to new drilling.
Protect public health from mercury, toxic air pollution
Obama: Finalized standard that limits mercury and toxic air pollution from coal power plants. Proposed similar rules to reduce mercury and toxic pollution from industrial boilers, incinerators, and cement manufacturing. Proposed Cross-state air pollution rules that were struck down.
Romney: Eliminate Obama-era regulations that burden the economy or job creation. ‘Aggressively’ develop coal sources. Against EPA regulations of mercury and air pollutants from coal.
Reduce oil use and imports with efficient vehicles
Obama: Modern standards requiring cars and trucks to achieve an average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Invest in fuel-efficient vehicle and advanced battery research & development. Encourage communities to seek federal investment in public electric vehicle recharging infrastructure.
Romney: End federal loan program helping companies develop and produce efficient cars. Slash investment in alternatively powered cars.
Public lands protection
Obama: Approved seventeen major solar energy projects on public lands to generate 6,000 megawatts of power; will expedite permitting process for increased development of clean energy on public lands to power three million homes. Signed a public lands bill designating 2 million acres and created three national parks.
Romney: Give states authority to allow drilling in National Parks and public lands within state borders.
Green: Beyond Red & Blue
We have noticed that despite the political differences between the founders at Stellar Solar, we feel the divisions can be overcome. Busineses are more likely to see renewable energy these days as less of a political or even environmental issue, and more as an economic one. We don’t know anybody, left or right, who doesn’t want to cut their electric bill and have more money in their pocket each month. Green is the new red, white and blue, just look at our military, one of the biggest investors in renewable energy for national security reasons. Energy dependence goes beyond politics, even both parties as well as our founders would agree that ending dependence on foreign oil is a very good thing.