Last week, Mitt Romney released a comprehensive energy plan. While taking a backseat to the economy and job creation, energy issues have been discussed regularly by presidential candidates Romney and Barack Obama, and their viewpoints diverge widely. In its online magazine, conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute broke out the core issues that separate the candidates:

Planned vs. free market energy economies: Obama wants more federal funds going toward clean energy, especially wind and solar power, and to stop giving tax subsidies to oil companies. Romney is advocating more of a free-market model, repeating the conservative attack on federal investment in the Solyndra solar energy company that later went bankrupt as an example of how Obama's policies are failing. He would rather see policies in place that promote more traditional energy sources like oil, gas, coal, and nuclear.

Energy affordability: The article makes a statement that Obama's cap and trade policies and strong Environmental Protection Agency mandates on greenhouse gas emissions reduction are possibly being done to gain support from wealthy donors concerned with radical environmentalism. According to AEI, "In contrast to Obama, Romney remains wary of higher energy prices and plans to unleash the free market as a prime means of cost containment by allowing already successful industries like drilling to flourish."

Energy Independence: Both Obama and Romney agree that freedom from Middle East oil imports is something to embrace. They differ in opinion in how to bring this about – Obama is pushing strong federal government leadership to gain energy independence, and Romney is advocating a free market approach that includes more support for oil reserve drilling in the U.S.

The liberal blog Daily Kos notes that Romney's energy policy plan completely ignores the idea of climate change: "Not once is the word, 'climate,' mentioned. But the plan would, Team Romney claims, create three million new jobs. While renewables would get bupkis, the big five oil giants alone would get another $2.3 billion annually in tax breaks."

Nonetheless, Romney's policy was cheered on by the Renewable Fuels Association and the Biotechnology Industry Organization because it supports the Renewable Fuel Standard that sets federal standards for ethanol and advanced biofuels production. Obama has been supportive of RFS, as well.
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BIO Thanks Romney for Supporting Energy Security and Standing Firm on the Renewable Fuel Standard

Washington, D.C. (August 24, 2012) –The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today thanked Gov. Mitt Romney for his stated intention to "support increased market penetration and competition among energy sources by maintaining the RFS" in "The Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class: ENERGY INDEPENDENCE," released yesterday.

BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood said, "The Renewable Fuel Standard is the bedrock policy supporting the emergence of advanced biofuels. The United States is at a critical juncture in the development of advanced biofuels, which are poised to make a real contribution to energy independence and security. Companies across the United States have made substantial long-term investments in building new biorefineries. The first commercial gallons of cellulosic biofuels were produced this year and the first large-scale biorefineries are set to begin production soon, adding to those gallons. Additional large-scale biorefineries are under construction, with production ready to begin within the next few years.

"Stable support for the Renewable Fuel Standard at the federal level provides assurance to these companies that their investments will come to fruition. Innovative biofuels have already brought competition among energy sources to the marketplace and lowered prices for consumers. Further, construction and operation of biorefineries will continue to generate new employment opportunities."

About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world's largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIO produces BIOtechNOW, an online portal and monthly newsletter chronicling "innovations transforming our world."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 84 Comments
      Smith Jim
      • 2 Years Ago
      "...repeating the conservative attack on federal investment in the Solyndra solar energy company that later went bankrupt as an example of how Obama's policies are failing..." Solyndra was a tiny fish in a large ocean. Solyndra failed because of competition from more successful solar companies which is exactly what SHOULD happen in a free market economy according to conservative ideals. Hypocrisy? You decide.
        Pete K
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smith Jim
        Romney will have egg on his face when China wins the war on solar energy...and I call it that because I think it's the only way the GOP can get behind something...
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Pete K
          open minded of you....
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Pete K
          calling everything a "war" does a huge disservice to actual War.
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smith Jim
        It's even funnier: All western solar firms are struggling and going out of bussiness, because China is heavily subsidizing its own solar industry and keeps prices artificially low.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Free market... this has so far heavily increased the investments in oil sand in the US... oil sand... THE most poluting production of oil ever! It takes roughly 1 barrel of oil to produce two barrels (!!!). A large scale poluting production that seems inevitable if the US government do not control the oil production market. An absurdity that this takes place already now and that it will get further support by the republicans! If you want the US to get going without oil from the Middle East then the US needs to think alternatively! See how for instance Germany and Denmark is converting to advanced energy production methods which will make them word leaders in that field (!)... Come on US... you've sent the first maned rocket on to the moon, invest in the future and it will pay off...!
      sdn
      • 2 Years Ago
      Romney just lost my vote. Large scale infrastructure change can't be handled by the free market alone. They need business to work together with central planning. Climate change is a significant reality that's already here.
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      They're not as far apart as they want us to believe they are.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave
        Dave, I wish you were right, then I would not fear a Romney presidency. However, the tea party has voted down stimulus, bridge repair, any remedy for climate change, and attempts to make the poor poorer, along with gutting social security, for current retire's and us. US median income is still only $40,000, there still a NEED for social security by the vast majority of Americans. This guy, and party is the worst possible choice.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          @ joe.... Wooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww....
          Ford Future
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          Also, Republican tea party has blocked funds for SEC enforcement to do audits. No Audits = Wall Street FRAUD. So, the rich will get screwed by the crooks.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          EZEE, by"rich"... we mean those who never rightfully owned most of the money you would say they are trying to keep. Once they start making millions of dollars, NOT by the sweat of their brow or the talent they possess... but their money makes more money... That is Not their money to keep, it is wealth earned through the system.
          Nick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          Ford Future The rich often are the crooks.
          Ford Future
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          http://democrats.financialservices.house.gov/press/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=1455
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          The tea party voted down. $780 billion in stimulus, which, due to baseline budgeting, is added to the budget every year? I'd only it were true... Lyndon Johnson took the social sevurity trust fund, dumped it and revenue into the general fund, allowin it to be spent every year, thus leaving nothing to gut. Nothing is there, except $30 trillion in unfunded liability. And, the rich are crooks, for wanting to keep their own money. Those who wnt to take it from them, having done nothing to earn it, are the noble poor.
          Ford Future
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          Exactly. Romney's tax rate alone gives him an incredible economic advantage over the vast majority of Americans. Plus, he can afford to hide his money and avoid all tax in offshore accounts. Tax Cheating, isn't Earned Income, it's Robbery.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          To Dave's point, the Republican Party had their own stimulus plan that they want everyone to forget about now while they bash the Obama Stimulus. "Republicans also crafted a second $715 billion substitute that was almost as expansive as the $787 billion bill Obama signed into law" "Republicans never explained how $715 billion worth of tax cuts and spending could be good public policy while $787 billion worth of tax cuts and spending was freedom-crushing socialism." http://swampland.time.com/2012/08/14/paul-ryan-and-the-stimulus-a-match-designed-to-make-my-head-explode/
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      Pike Peak - Awesome Translogic Video on the right: Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima and his Monster Sport E-Runner 'Pikes Peak Special' EV. Wicked FAST. Looked like the tires were insufficient to handle the speed this thing was producing. Fire puts it out early. But, watch the video: Fearsome Speed.
      Scambuster
      • 2 Years Ago
      Every four years, the Men of Power select two primary candidates from each political party for the American voters. These primary candidates would make various promises and try in vain to differentiate themselves from the opposing party's choice. Upon closer examination, these candidates all represent the status quo and make empty promises. America will continue to wage wars around the world; to levy heavy taxation upon the working class; to destroy America's manufacturing and industrial base. The decline of America's auto industry has been long in coming. And like mindless sheeps, the American voters would gather around these "candidates of the people," yelping and cheering for their hero shepherd who can only lead them to self-destruction. American voters are fools.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scambuster
        The Presidency has been gathering more and more power, even under Obama, but it still needs a sypathetic cogress to exact any sort of change at all. Did anyone notice how Obama started with a sypathetic congress but after a couple months a few "flipped" and suddenly he couldn't change anything? Hmm. Think that was an accident? And even if there is a majority that allow things to begin happening then congressional loopholes start popping up that can be exploited - and everything halts again. Status quo, baby. Just keeping an eye on the ball... Is the ball under the shell on the left, the right, or is it in the middle? Oh. It's not even on the table... Hmm...
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Grendal, When you say "Obama started with a sypathetic congress but after a couple months a few "flipped"" who are you refering to? The only Dem. to Rep. flip I know about was Ted Kennedy dying and eventually being replaced by Scott Brown. The only Congressman I know that changed party was Arlen Spector, and he actually went the other direction and left the Republic Party and joined the Democrats. Just curious, not bashing.
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scambuster
        Correct. It's powerful interest groups, well-connected families etc.. who decide who the candidates shall be. We had 2 Bush in office (father and son); nearly had 2 Clintons, and a lot of industrialists and oil men. If you're poor or middle class, there's almost no way to get elected let alone get on the ticket.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sounds like the same old rhetoric to me. Republican: The free market will fix everything. We'll give tax breaks and incentives to big companies to make sure they flourish. Global warming is a myth that hinders the free market. Democrat: Using government money and incentives here and there will generate growth. Global warming is a problem and we are doing what we can and, if put into office, will do even more. That is, of course, my highly simplified summary of the positions.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        Yeah that's hilarious because there's no such thing as a free market in the USA. Especially when you have the hand of the federal government picking the winners and losers. Republicans don't know what a free market is. I am an advocate of free markets and know that when they talk about it, it is to garner support from some of their voters. But they never vote or act in accordance. Neither of the 2 party candidates will ever move towards a free market system. Too many favors to repay to industry during their term! ( check out opensecrets.org to see who's funding the candidates - interesting stuff )
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        With reality, glacier melt and record temperatures and drought, backing the Democrats, this year there's no choice. Either it's Obama, or your crazy.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          The right puts in financial terms. Your money is wasted on the myth of global warming. You'd get to keep all the money you give in taxes if you just let us into office. They want to spend your money and we don't. Again, a simplification, but that's what someone will hear. And I'm not bashing them, but that is basically their platform.
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      So, the Republican message is, ONLY Oil industry jobs are supported. No wind, solar, nuclear or manufacturing jobs, all these go to China. That's not enough jobs.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Well admittedly China might do a much better job. But we need to cut the oil welfare. If we knew the true dollar figure for the subsidy of oil ( including military action, tax breaks, legal protectionism, environmental cover-ups, allowing the big corps to basically write their own laws ), your brain would explode.. right after mine does!
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        This also means in areas where the US currently leads, we'll simply GIVE AWAY those industries, and Jobs and salaries for 100 years to China.
      John Fish Kurmann
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow. This post is utter bullshit. How does Romney's support for continued massive subsidies to fossil fuel production anything like a "free market approach"? Neither candidate is in favor of a genuinely free market, they just differ somewhat in which industries they want to subsidize and promote. Obama favors increased support for clean energy industries, which Romney cannot do because the Republican party has gone insane on the subject of energy and climate disruption. Obama has called for an end to some current direct subsidies to fossil fuel industries, but he hasn't really pushed for those policy changes. His administration has supported some new limits on indirect subsidies those industries receive by being allowed to dump their toxic pollution into our air and water, but he did not push hard for an end to their biggest subsidy, which is the fact that the prices of their products do not reflect the carbon dioxide they emit to the atmosphere when burned.
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just use change to LPG Autogas and screw the thieving Arabs, the first step tax diesel fuel & diesel trucks off the roads force them to change to LPG Autogas. Invade the Philippines in a no weapons of mass destruction war that China will do anyway, they have more high quality deuterium under the their sea that replenishes itself every 24 hours, the area is massive bigger than any Saudi oil field, with micro bead based fuels arriving in the next 5 years that are safer a lot less volatile than gasoline its the way to go. Invade Iran steal all their oil.
        Chris M
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        The conversion from gasoline to LPG is costs money, the conversion from diesel to LPG is even more expensive, requiring a complete engine replacement. LPG is currently cheaper than gasoline only because of lower demand, a massive increase in LPG equipped vehicles would drive up the price. Duterium is found everywhere in roughly equal amounts, no rational need to invade any nation to get it. Besides, the US had already invaded the Phillippines, found we didn't like being an empire, and granted them independence. What would you do with duterium? You could burn it just like the other hydrogen isotopes, but it's far too extravagantly expensive to do that. We don't have any fusion reactors that actually produce more energy than they consume, and since every step towards "breakeven" meant ever larger and more expensive reactors, it's entirely possible that a power producing fusion reactor will be too expensive to be cost-competitive. Some people thought we'd get the Iraqui oil by invading - didn't work out at all. Iran is better defended and has powerful allies, invading there would be an even bigger fiasco than the Iraq invasion.
      Rob Mahrt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Add to the criticism that "dependance on foreign oil" in a very simple sense is irrelevant. Oil is produced and traded in a global market. OPEC increases and decreases production at will to stabilize prices in their favor, their single monopolistic goal is profit maximization... of an inelastic good. In any things oil, OPEC wins, period, no matter what we do short of 50+% of cars on the road operating on electricity, and 50+% of the trucks operating on Natural Gas, which at this time the US essentially;y has a monopoly on. That is until China and just about ever country realizes they have easily accessible (with new techniques) natural gas under their feet.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob Mahrt
        The oil markets have an exchange that allows buyers, not needing the actual oil, to speculate on this commodity. That's what drives the highs and lows of the market. And again, the Republican position is no limits on these speculators. The Democratic position is that these players should need the oil and prove they can afford the contracts they buy. Just like the CDO market, the Republican position, would allow another market with a domino trigger of unqualified players losing a position and driving the market into massive failure, requiring a government bailout.
      Actionable Mango
      • 2 Years Ago
      Remember when you all chastised "Drill baby drill" and Bush the evil oil Texan? Fun Fact of the Day: There are four times as many oil rigs operating under the Obama administration than there were under the Bush administration. Source: Obama's official website http://www.barackobama.com/news/entry/friday-facts-reducing-our-dependence-on-foreign-oil
        Chris M
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        But- But- But- Obama is supposed to be opposed to all drilling - according to the Teapublicans! Funny how facts and evidence keep contradicting the Tea-party messages. That's why I'm not a Tea-partyer, I prefer to live in the reality based community.
          Actionable Mango
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          The only reality-based community would be the swing voters. There is so much hypocrisy and corruption in both parties that you have be ignorant or purposely blind to support either party 100%.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        Actionable Mango You were never going to win that one on ABG ! Ford Future's comment sums it up perfectly ; If Romney says it, it's evil ! If Obama say's it, it's enlightened and part of a better plan!
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        I don't mind pointing out the utter idiocy of any party. Many of you seem to mistake me for a GOP supporter. I like or dislike policies. I don't care whether a person has an (R) or a (D) next to their name. Neither Romney nor Obama will reduce drilling. The big difference here is that everyone will assume Romney is big oil because he has an (R) next to his name and Obama is against big oil because he's all "Hope and Change". Really there is no goddamn difference. Ask yourself why hasn't the EPA allowed ever-increasing fracking under Obama? In an era where Obama has continued or even expanded extraordinary rendition, enhanced interrogation, Guantanamo and the new Guantanamo-like prison in Afghanistan, the Patriot Act, secret wars, flying robots murdering innocent humans, non-transparent government, massive increases in fracking, and so much more, I feel like party labels are just that... labels. I hate all these things regardless of the party in power. As Obama has continued with all of these Bush policies and more, I am astonished so many liberals, which hated such policies under Bush, like him so much.
          Actionable Mango
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          Dammit... why HAS the EPA allowed dramatically increased fracking under Obama. My kingdom for an edit button.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        So, we don't need Romney then. Gas for now, Solar for the EV Future.
        carney373
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        Misleading. The increase in rigs occurred because of permission granted under Bush that took years to implement and happened under Obama. Obama has approved far less, and the crunch will be felt next term.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        AM So with 4 times as many oil rigs operating since 4 years ago (regardless of who is President) according to the drill-baby-drill folks the price of crude oil should be dropping like a stone, right? I mean, 4 times as many oil rigs should do something, right? It turns out that average yearly oil prices have just continued to rise during the exact same time span that there was a 400% increase in oil rigs. In fact, the price has gone from an average of $53.48 a barrel for 2009, to our current 2012 average of $93.02/bbl. So a 400% increase in drill-baby-drilling has led to a roughly 45% increase in oil prices. Not exactly what the Drill Babies have been saying would happen. Thanks for helping point out the utter idiocy of the drill-baby-drill fantasy we are being fed by the Tea Republic Party.
        Rob J
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        The best thing is that GOP supporters always quip that all the laws allowing those new drill rigs were actually put in plash by Bush.
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