The New Hampshire Union Leader recently published an op-ed by GAIN spokesman Craig Stevens in which he discusses the ongoing 2020 Democratic primary race. He goes into detail regarding the candidates’ radical stances on energy policy, positions which he theorizes are not based on facts, but rather aim to attract far-left voters.
Take the candidates’ approach to energy policy. Despite the fact that the United States is at the top of its proverbial energy game — producing record amounts of oil and gas — the proposals in circulation among some 2020 hopefuls lack any grounding in the realities of America’s ability to produce energy resources or the ongoing need to use them.
Rather than making the most of our vast resources, unmatched workforce and leading innovation, candidates are choosing instead to pursue the most quixotic of goals in hope of standing out to early voters. Primary season is traditionally known for bringing out the best in a candidate. It should not justify irresponsible and unrealistic policy.
Stevens specifically calls attention to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, whose outlandish energy proposals include calling for a complete ban on development of oil and gas resources on public lands, and prohibiting crude oil exports. This position clearly does not align with American interests; as 80% of US energy consumption in 2018 came from fossil fuels. Joe Biden’s own environmental plan, labelled by his campaign as a “clean energy revolution” is estimated to cost Americans over $5 trillion. However, natural gas was endorsed as a positive fuel source for America by President Obama himself in 2014.
Working towards a sustainable energy future for generations to come is important. But these aren’t serious proposals, and they ignore the inherent strengths of American energy.
Not all that long ago, natural gas was hailed as a “bridge fuel,” a foundation of bipartisan energy policy. In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama argued that natural gas “can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change.”
A disconcerting number of today’s candidates and activists, however, seem to have a different view. They fail to recognize the important role natural gas plays in meeting our nation’s energy needs while lowering carbon emissions at the same time.
Stevens concludes by applauding Democratic candidates like Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock for approaching energy policies with a rational and realistic point of view, and encourages other candidates to follow suit.
Radical proposals make for a good stump speech, but they don’t always translate to the real world. As the campaign advances, here’s hoping we see more pragmatism and considerably less energy fantasy.
Read the full article here.