Noon: Next president will determine energy use

Marita Noon
On Twitter @EnergyRabbit
Marita Noon

On energy, the Democrats generally want more government involvement — more government-led investment and federal regulation. In contrast, Republicans want the free market —consumer choice — not government to determine the winners and losers.

The Democrat candidates believe that climate change is a man-made crisis caused by the use of fossil fuels. Therefore, both Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opposed the Keystone pipeline and lifting the oil export ban. Each supports restricting drilling on federal lands and federal hydraulic fracturing regulations to supersede the states’ policies. Sanders and Clinton favor increased Environmental Protection Agency efforts to encourage the use of renewable energy sources.

They would continue the policies advocated by President Obama — with Sanders being more progressive than Clinton. He wants to institute a tax on carbon emissions, ban all drilling on federal lands and has sponsored the “keep it in the ground” bill. She would “phase out” hydraulic fracturing on public lands, end tax credits for fossil fuels and increase government fees and royalties. Both support tax credits for renewable energy.

Overall, the Democrats' approach can be summed up as anti-conventional fuels — resulting in higher costs for consumers.

Regardless of their specific views, none of the Republican candidates see climate change as an “existential crisis,” as Clinton called it on "Kimmel Live" — and their energy policies reflect that.

Donald Trump is the biggest opponent of climate change, having called the man-made crisis view a “hoax.” In his book, "Crippled America," Trump opens his chapter on energy with a tirade on climate change in which, talking about historic “violent climate changes” and “ice ages,” he acknowledges that the climate does change, but concludes: “I just don’t happen to believe they are man-made.”

Sen.Ted Cruz is next. He’s stated: “If you’re a big-government politician, if you want more power, climate change is the perfect pseudo-scientific theory … because it can never, ever, ever be disproven.” He, too, supports the view that global warming is a natural phenomenon rather than man-made.

Sen. Marco Rubio believes the climate is changing. He’s said: “The climate’s always changing — that’s not the fundamental question. The fundamental question is whether man-made activity is what’s contributing most to it. I know people said there’s a significant scientific consensus on that issue, but I’ve actually seen reasonable debate on that principle.” He’s added: “And I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it. Except it will destroy our economy.”

Gov. John Kasich’s views cut “against the grain in the Republican Party” in that he believes climate change is a problem — though he doesn’t support curbing the use of fossil fuels. His state, Ohio, is rich with coal, oil, and natural gas, and he believes low-cost reliable energy is “the backbone of America’s economy.” "The Hill" quotes him as saying: “I believe there is something to (climate change), but to be unilaterally doing everything here while China and India are belching and putting us in a noncompetitive position isn’t good.”

All four agree the Keystone pipeline should be built, are critical of the EPA’s aggressive regulations (instead, they support the regulation of energy production at the state and local level) and want to spur economic growth by increasing American energy production and reducing our reliance on foreign sources.

Overall, the Republicans views can be summed up as embracing the positive potential of America’s energy abundance — resulting in lower energy costs.

If you believe that effective, efficient, economic energy is the lifeblood of the American economy, you know how to vote in November. The contrast is obvious.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc., and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy — which expands on the content of her weekly column.