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The American Bridge 21st Century PAC has launched a new video showing the hypocrisy of Mitt Romney's current stances on energy and oil exploration. While Romney's campaign web site is somewhat vague on energy, using phrases like "Open America’s energy reserves for development," in interviews he has been more candid:
“Well, the best thing we can do to get the price of gas to be more moderate and not have to be dependent upon the cartel is drill in the gulf, drill in the outer continent shelf, drill in ANWR, drill in North Dakota, South Dakota, drill in Oklahoma, and Texas.” [Fox and Friends, 3/16/12]
But in his book released not even a year earlier, Romney was much more accurate in his assessment of the value of oil exploration:
“We consume roughly 24 percent of the world’s oil but possess only 2.4 percent of the world’s oil reserves. Even if we were to begin to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and on the continental shelf, it wouldn’t be enough to appreciably have an impact on our dependence on other nations for oil. And if we were to open the domestic oil spigot too wide and drain our last fields, we would risk leaving America even more vulnerable twenty-five years from now than it is today. But there should be no objection to preparing the energy infrastructure to tap known reserves and to discover more reserves: This is a vitally important insurance policy against future energy shocks or threats to national security. And it is always possible that new, very large discoveries could surprise us.” [No Apology, 2011, Pg. 247]
In addition to that massive short-term flip-flop, Romney's web site is loaded with false claims:
The Obama administration’s energy policy has been simply incoherent. For instance, it has blocked off-shore drilling in U.S. waters while applauding increased drilling off the coast of Brazil. Similarly, it has blocked construction of a pipeline that would bring Canadian oil to the United States, knowing full well that the result would be Canadian oil flowing to China instead. And it has pursued numerous regulations that would drive up energy prices while destroying millions of jobs.
As the Obama administration wages war against oil and coal, it has been spending billions of dollars on alternative energy forms and touting its creation of “green” jobs. But it seems to be operating more on faith than on fact-based economic calculation. The “green” technologies are typically far too expensive to compete in the marketplace, and studies have shown that for every “green” job created there are actually more jobs destroyed. Unsurprisingly, this costly government investment has failed to create an economic boom.
The first claim is that Obama blocked off-shore drilling in U.S. waters. The reality is that he temporarily blocked Gulf drilling after the BP oil spill, but has consistently championed expanded drilling in other circumstances:
Obama did stop the Keystone XL pipeline as Romney suggests, but he did it because the claims about the project from people like Romney were shown to be false. It would hurt oil prices and would not deliver the promised jobs.
Romney also claims that Obama has waged a war against coal. Another falsehood:
Finally, Romney assaults green energy, saying its too expensive and kills jobs. Numerous studies have shown this to be false, including PERI, CAP, PEW, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the American Solar Energy Society.