Bold plan for independence, or more partisan overreach?
Just as we were going to press, the Romney-Ryan campaign released an energy plan that sets forth what purports to be a bold policy goal: to achieve North American energy independence in just eight years.
That goal is interesting in its own right. But it’s even more interesting against the current backdrop of economic and policy trends affecting energy and utility companies. And make no mistake, energy policy issues are heating up again. Just one day before the Romney plan was released, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). Two weeks earlier, the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation that would extend federal tax credits for wind energy. Meanwhile, debate is raging in policy circles over dividend taxes, which are set to increase to pre-2003 levels if Congress doesn’t act to extend the Bush-era tax cuts.
The November elections are set for just two months after this issue of Fortnightly hits readers’ mailboxes. Given the major energy policy issues now in play, Romney’s stated positions merit a closer look.