• 3 minutes Could Venezuela become a net oil importer?
  • 7 minutes Reuters: OPEC Ministers Agree In Principle On 1 Million Barrels Per Day Nominal Output Increase
  • 12 minutes Battle for Oil Port: East Libya Forces In Full Control At Ras Lanuf
  • 24 hours Could Venezuela become a net oil importer?
  • 27 mins Oil prices going Up? NO!
  • 2 hours Reuters: OPEC Ministers Agree In Principle On 1 Million Barrels Per Day Nominal Output Increase
  • 1 day Tesla Closing a Dozen Solar Facilities in Nine States
  • 12 mins Could oil demand collapse rapidly? Yup, sure could.
  • 24 hours Gazprom Exports to EU Hit Record
  • 1 day EU Leaders Set To Prolong Russia Sanctions Again
  • 1 day Why is permian oil "locked in" when refineries abound?
  • 23 hours Oil Buyers Club
  • 17 hours Oil prices going down
  • 16 mins Renewables to generate 50% of worldwide electricity by 2050 (BNEF report)
  • 1 day EVs Could Help Coal Demand
  • 1 day China’s Plastic Waste Ban Will Leave 111 Million Tons of Trash With Nowhere To Go
  • 1 day Saudi Arabia plans to physically cut off Qatar by moat, nuclear waste and military base
  • 15 hours Russia's Energy Minister says Oil Prices Balanced at $75, so Wants to Increase OPEC + Russia Oil by 1.5 mbpd
  • 10 hours Battle for Oil Port: East Libya Forces In Full Control At Ras Lanuf
Alt Text

Russia Boosts Oil Production Before OPEC Meeting

Russia pumped almost 11.1 million…

Alt Text

Did OPEC Need To Cut Oil Output At All?

Global oil demand continues to…

Alt Text

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Is On The Horizon

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is…

Daniel J. Graeber

Daniel J. Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer and political analyst based in Michigan. His work on matters related to the geopolitical aspects of the global energy sector,…

More Info

Trending Discussions

What the Future Holds for U.S. Energy Policy

What the Future Holds for U.S. Energy Policy

Domestic energy policy in the United States played a central theme during the first debate among presidential contenders. Both incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney said they favored a policy that focused on domestic energy resources. While most of the energy debate featured recycled rhetoric from much of the campaign so far, the candidates offered differing opinions on the shape an energy-independent United States will take.

Romney was able to gain some traction in the U.S. presidential contest in what has been an otherwise lackluster campaign. The former Massachusetts governor seemed to wander comfortably into centrist territory against an incumbent seemingly uncomfortable with sharing the stage. On energy, both leaders said they favored a United States that was more dependent on its own resources than on oil imports from overseas, though they differed on substance.

Obama during the initial salvo highlighted his administration's track-record on domestic oil and gas production. The Energy Department had said drilling offshore during the first six months of the year increased 50 percent when compared to the same period in 2011. Higher domestic crude oil production, meanwhile, meant the United States should rely on foreign suppliers to meet less than 40 percent of its energy needs in 2013 for the first time since 1991.

Romney, however, took issue with Obama's rhetoric on domestic production, saying the president has cut the number of permits for federal land in half. The Republican challenger added that offshore Alaska presented a lucrative opportunity for U.S. energy independence, though he ignored the fact that Shell was already working there and more leases were included in Obama's five-year lease plan.

Obama, meanwhile, referenced his "all-of-the-above" energy policy by saying "we've got to look at the energy source of the future, like wind and solar and biofuels." In his retort, Romney said the "$90 billion" in breaks given to green energy projects in one year represents "about 50 years' worth of what oil and gas receives." Federally-supported energy companies like solar panel company Solyndra have failed in the U.S. market while oil majors continue to make substantial profits despite what Romney says is a lack of federal support.

Regardless of the numbers, candidate Romney suggested some of the federal funds spent on green energy could have been spent more wisely. "I'm all in favor of green energy," he said. But most of those investments, he argued, have funded ventures that have failed, as did Solyndra.

Instead, Romney said he'd "bring that pipeline in from Canada," referencing the much-lauded Keystone XL pipeline. The project, however, has come to represent among environmental activists all that's wrong with a petroleum economy. Keystone XL is designated for so-called tar sands oil from Canada. Rival company Enbridge this week was ordered by the EPA, an agency Gov. Romney opposes, to do more work in Michigan to clean up a tar sands spill that happened more than two years ago. That spill was the costliest onshore incident in U.S. history and still needs a more thorough response. "And by the way," said Romney, "I like coal."

Both candidates touched on the same themes but from different perspectives.

"On energy, Gov. Romney and I, we both agree that we've got to boost American energy production," said Obama.

"Energy is critical, and the president pointed out correctly that production of oil and gas in the U.S. is up," said Romney.

Something left out of the debate, however, was the consequences of their decisions. Does the future of U.S. energy independence lie in a pipeline from Canada that carries a type of crude oil that raises concerns even among Canadians? Or does it lie in a green energy sector that can barely stay afloat even with the support of taxpayer dollars.

The future of U.S. energy policy, for better or worse, lies in the hands of the American voters.

By. Daniel J. Graeber of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment
  • bmz on October 08 2012 said:
    You forgot to say that the big difference between the two is rhetoric versus action. Republicans talk-the-talk; for the last 40 years they have been promising energy independence if we would only give the oil industry more tax subsidies. We gave them more tax subsidies and received ever decreasing domestic oil production and reserves. Only under Pres. Obama has the oil industry actually increased reserves and production. When the Democrats came up with a bill which would actually make us energy independent by subsidizing the conversion to a natural gas powered transportation sector, the Republicans filibustered. Was it that they did not really want energy independence, or were they afraid that it would give us energy independence and boost the popularity of Obama? You tell me.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News