Obama and Romney on fossil fuels

2012-11-05

in Economics, Politics, Rants, The environment

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both think their best odds of winning the election arise from a full-throated endorsement of fossil fuels, with no mention of climate change:

Mr Obama’s energy policy goes beyond a new-found enthusiasm for oil and gas. He has even borrowed a phrase from the McCain-Palin campaign—“All of the above” (rather than “Drill, baby, drill”). “Most of the above” is more accurate. And it may hurt him. Clean Air Act rules administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are accelerating the retirement of coal-fired power stations while cheap gas eats away at coal’s share of electricity generation. This is the main reason that Kentucky and West Virginia, once states where the Democrats were competitive, have swung firmly to the Republicans. Mr Romney is far friendlier to coal mining, an industry he praises for employing 200,000 people. He wants to develop coal aggressively and roll back the environmental regulations that have battered it.

Hopefully both candidates are lying. That is fairly plausible when it comes to coal, which Mr. Romney also sought to restrict as governor of Massachusetts. The perceived need to pander to the coal industry is revealing. The immediate benefits of coal production – in the form of profits and jobs – completely overpower the reality that coal kills vast numbers of people through air pollution and threatens the entire world through climate change.

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. November 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Why, even now, climate change cannot be mentioned in the presidential election.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 6th November 2012.

Here’s a remarkable thing. Neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama – with the exception of one throwaway line each – have mentioned climate change in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

They are struck dumb. During a Romney rally in Virginia on Thursday, a protester held up a banner and shouted “What about climate? That’s what caused this monster storm” The candidate stood grinning and nodding as the crowd drowned out the heckler by chanting “USA!, USA!”. Romney paused, then resumed his speech as if nothing had happened. The poster the man held up? It said “End climate silence.”

While other Democrats expound the urgent need to act, the man they support will not take up the call. Barack Obama, responding to his endorsement by the mayor of New York, mentioned climate change last week as “a threat to our children’s future”. Otherwise, I have been able to find nothing; nor have the many people I have asked on Twitter. Something has gone horribly wrong.

. November 15, 2012 at 10:11 am

Has Obama turned a corner on climate change?

In response to a reporter’s question during his first press conference after reelection, President Obama says he aims to curb the effects of climate change while growing the economy.

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