Get EPA out of the way on energy, GOP platform says

By Stephen Davies

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, July 21, 2016 - Neutering EPA, expanding coal mining and giving states more responsibility for environmental regulation are among the goals contained in the Republican Party's 2016 Platform, adopted at the convention in Cleveland.

“We propose to shift responsibility for environmental regulation from the federal bureaucracy to the states and to transform the EPA into an independent bipartisan commission similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with structural safeguards against politicized science,” the platform says.

Coal is “abundant, clean, affordable (and) reliable,” according to the 58-page document. “Those who mine it and their families should be protected from the Democratic Party's radical anti-coal agenda.”

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The GOP would scrap the administration's Clean Power Plan, which the platform calls “the centerpiece of the president's war on coal.”

An example of how the GOP wants to give states more authority over energy resources is the platform's recommendation that Congress “give authority to state regulators to manage energy resources on federally controlled public lands within their respective borders.”

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The platform contained ample criticism of the Obama administration's handling of energy development.

“The Democratic Party's energy policy can be summed up in a slogan currently popular among its activists: ‘Keep it in the ground,'” the GOP platform says. Administration officials have denied that description of their policies, calling it “naïve” and “unrealistic.”

The platform also says:

  •  Government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. “We support the development of all forms of energy that are marketable in a free economy without subsidies, including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power, and hydropower.”
  •  “Climate change is far from this nation's most pressing national security issue.” The platform calls the administration's goal of getting the Defense Department to generate a quarter of all its electricity from renewables by 2025 “the triumph of extremism over common sense.”
  •  It endorses an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy (borrowing a phrase from the administration), but it says renewable energy sources - wind, solar, biomass, biofuel, geothermal, and tidal energy - should be developed using private capital. The platform does not mention ethanol by name.
  • It supports “responsible development of nuclear energy, including research into alternative processes like thorium nuclear energy,” and opposes a carbon tax on the grounds that it “would increase energy prices across the board, hitting hardest at the families who are already struggling to pay their bills in the Democrats' no-growth economy.”
  • The GOP is “committed to aggressively expanding trade opportunities and opening new markets for American energy through multilateral and bilateral agreements, whether current, pending, or negotiated in the future.”

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