Although legacy industries like oil and natural gas have gotten the expected attention during this election cycle, often left out of the national conversation has been talk of alternative energy — once a key part of President Obama’s platform in 2008.
This pattern of omission changed to some small degree during the first presidential debate on Wednesday, when renewables received a few mentions as the candidates sparred on a number of domestic policy issues.
Notably, Obama said:
On energy, Governor Romney and I, we both agree that we’ve got to boost American energy production, and oil and natural gas production are higher than they’ve been in years. But I also believe that we’ve got to look at the energy sources of the future, like wind and solar and biofuels, and make those investments.
Romney seized on Obama’s promise for further investment by noting what he sees as the administration’s failings on subsidies for alternative energy:
But don’t forget, you put $90 billion, like 50 years’ worth of [tax] breaks, into — into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tester and Ener1. I mean, I had a friend who said you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers, all right? So this — this is not — this is not the kind of policy you want to have if you want to get America energy secure.
Obama’s current platform calls for continued diversification of our nation’s energy portfolio. Governor Romney’s strategy, “Plan For A Stronger Middle Class,” focuses primarily on efficiency, with an emphasis on streamlined processes for permitting and less regulatory gridlock. Read All »