Romney Releases Energy Plan for the 19th Century: We Are Doomed

It's "drill, baby, drill" with no federal regulation.

  • States will be empowered to establish processes to oversee the development and production of all forms of energy on federal lands within their borders, excluding on lands specially designated off-limits;
  • State regulatory processes and permitting programs for all forms of energy development will be deemed to satisfy all requirements of federal law;
  • Federal agencies will certify state processes as adequate, according to established criteria that are sufficiently broad, to afford the states maximum flexibility to ascertain what is most appropriate [emphasis mine]

...what does a Romeny-Ryan ticket look like for the environment? It looks like we'll be on the fast-track to the top of the list for more "hottest" and "driest" records for our climate, while making sure Big Oil continues to top the "richest" lists as well. ... AP reported that Romney pocketed $7 million just this week from industry executives in Texas.

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"Just because coal, gas and oil are mined and drilled on US soil (or under its waters), it doesn't mean it will stay in this country. Just ask the group of folks in Montana who were arrested last weekprotesting the coal that's being blasted from the mountains there only to be shipped to China. Then there is the new 25-year deal for West Virginians and Kentuckians to send their coal to India ."

Romney's New Energy Plan

So called, good citizens see nothing wrong with wringing the last drop of fossil fuel out of the Earth. 

It's just about profit, Joan, profit this quarter for the Fossil Fuel Industry. The future beyond the next quarterly report doesn't exist for Romney's financial backers.

At least some columnists see the immorality of Romney's take.

Wineke: Romney's take on global warming bad omen

...Romney’s criticism isn’t that Obama hasn’t done enough. Romney’s criticism is that Obama had the gall to take climate change seriously.

And here is the difference between the two men: For all his failings, Obama takes his obligation to the future seriously and Romney takes winning the day seriously.

It is the difference between a statesman and a businessman whose entire career has been focused on closing the deal and meeting the next quarterly report.

Unfortunately, the reality is that we really don't have much out there that can replace fossil fuels to the degree that we use them that can be used now. Some things, such as passive solar can be used now, some active solar - which requires both plastics and rare-earth elements - imported from China and limited in their export. Wind power is very practical, but it only provides a tiny fraction of the energy used. Biofuel, as it's done now, through corn, is being criticized by groups as diverse as WHO for using what could be food in a world of starving people especially faced with near-global crop failure, as well as US ranchers. Moreover, more energy is put into creating this corn-based biofuel via petroleum based fertilizers and natural gas-powered burners than the resulting corn-based biofuel yields. 30 years ago it was experimental. By now, it should have gotten off the ground if it could work, but it's still having subsidy money put into it to "start" it Algae is a promising biofuel, which could provide a significant amount, although not all, of our energy needs. See How It Works for a simple explanation about using this.

There are numerous ideas and proposals, but the reality is that we are going to have to use fossil fuels to a large degree for the next few decades anyway. In the mean time, this may be human kind's last chance to use the fossil fuels to create a system for using sustainable energy, relegating petroleum to a small usage for lubricants.

We needed to have made the switch to "alternative fuels" starting in the 1970s, on a Manhattan Project scale. Since then, the problem has greatly worsened, with each person in an industrialized country using far more energy, people in developing countries using more, and there being nearly double the world population. Much of what is being done is merely "feel good" stuff - like walking to the store to get plastic bottles full of drinking water hauled 1000 miles. We are just going to have to make do with what we have, and use less. It will be an economic decline, but the message of "buy more" in a disposable economy is part of what has to go.

Even if it can be done, the situation with petroleum shortages, climate change, and clean water availability is going to get far worse before it gets any better. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't start it now, as it may be the difference between environmental catastrophe and global extinction. If we work toward it now, we might have something sustainable for nearly everything in another 30 years. If we don't, we'll be out of petroleum then, and having as many as 11 billion of us fighting over the diminishing coal supply in 30 years, and still no "plan B"


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