Gas, Nuclear, Renewables

Romney outlines energy plan

Gov. Mitt Romney unveiled his energy plan, which includes proposals to expand offshore drilling, approve the Keystone XL pipeline and loosen environmental regulations, on Aug. 23. The goal of the plan, as stated in a 21-page document, is “to dramatically increase domestic energy production and partner closely with Canada and Mexico to achieve North American energy independence by 2020.”

The plan stresses the importance of allowing the continued growth of coal-fired generation and the loosening of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard.

Additionally, the plan calls for the expedited approval of nuclear reactors – to “support state leadership to provide safe and effective regulatory management of uranium development.”

A renewable energy standard, the plan says, would be “counter-productive and should be left to the states.” Instead, renewable energy should benefit from streamlined regulations provided to traditional energy resources.

Natural gas development – particularly hydraulic fracturing – is also outlined in the plan, which calls for an end to attempts from the federal government to restrict natural gas production and to instead allow states to develop environmental regulation.

Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said the industry is glad Romney recognizes that many sources of electricity must be used.

“We also applaud Governor Romney’s recognition that the federal government can help ensure access to diverse, reliable sources of energy,” Resch said. “Every energy source, from oil and coal a century ago to modern natural gas drilling operations, receive federal support to help power our economy. According to a study this year by the Howard Baker Center at the University of Tennessee, federal support for solar deployment is consistent with federal support received by all other major energy sources.”

Resch also said a policy is needed to help the U.S. reach energy independence.

“We agree with Governor Romney that a level playing field is critical; smart policy that’s good for traditional energy sources is also right for solar to reach the Governor’s energy independence goal,” Resch said. “Long-standing, bipartisan federal support for domestic energy production provides a stable, predictable business environment that leverages private dollars to finance entrepreneurs to continue innovation, driving more affordable energy for American homes and businesses.”

To read the entire plan, click here.

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