Romney supports RFS in energy plan

By Sarah Gonzalez

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, August 23, 2012- Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney supported the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in his energy policy released today. The main goal set in the white paper is to achieve North American energy independence by 2020, primarily through increased domestic fossil fuel production.

His agenda includes encouraging private sector development of new energy technologies, in which he supports “increased market penetration and competition among energy sources by maintaining the RFS,” and ensuring “that policies for expanding energy development apply broadly to energy sources, from oil and gas exploration, to coal mining, to the siting of wind, solar, hydroelectric, and other renewable energy facilities.”

 Together we can feed the Bees

The Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing requests to waive the RFS, which livestock, poultry and dairy representatives say is contributing to high feed prices in the midst of a historic drought. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) released a statement today applauding Romney's support of the mandate, adding that “the market is currently taking advantage of the flexibility built into the program and oil refiners continue to meet their obligations.”

“By working to remove barriers to market access for renewable fuels, as Governor Romney suggests, America can help spur an economic recovery while securing our energy future,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “We look forward to hearing more details of Governor Romney's energy ideas as the campaign continues."

Romney unveiled his latest energy plan in New Mexico Thursday, identifying his strategies to achieve North American energy independence by increasing domestic energy production and working more closely with Canada and Mexico. 

The candidate's strategies involve opening more federal land to oil and gas drilling, including offshore development off the coasts of Virginia and the Carolinas. He would also allow states to receive permits more quickly, speeding up the process for drilling new wells. The plan gives states more power for permitting, leasing and regulation. 

Noting that “oil and gas production on federal lands somehow plummeted last year,” the Romney campaign states that “President Obama has intentionally sought to shut down oil, gas, and coal production in pursuit of his own alternative energy agenda.” According to the white paper, it takes 307 days to receive the permits to drill a new well. 

Approving the Keystone XL pipeline is also a prominent action in his plan. Romney notes that that “America still imports more oil from OPEC than it does from Canada and Mexico.” He also points to the Obama Administration for interfering with energy production through overregulation. Romney vowed to improve the environmental review process by “setting clear deadlines and statutes of limitations, requiring better coordination between federal agencies, and allowing state reviews to satisfy federal requirements.”

“Overregulation, permitting delays, endless reviews, and senseless litigation interfere with all forms of energy production, from oil and gas drilling to nuclear and coal power generation to the construction of wind farms and solar plants,” according to the white paper.

While the Romney plan includes support for research investments in wind and solar energy, it does not include government subsidies for the sectors. 

“Instead of defining success as providing enough subsidies for an uncompetitive technology to survive in the market, success should be defined as eliminating any barriers that might prevent the best technologies from succeeding on their own,” according to the white paper.

Read Romney's energy plan here.



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