“All-of-the-Above” Should Be More than Political Talk
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National political conventions are moments once every four years when the two major parties let voters know where they stand on issues. In their platforms, both the Republicans and the Democrats mention the importance of energy to America’s economy and energy security, and they both use the words “All-of-the-Above” when talking about energy policy.
National Association of Manufacturers president and CEO Jay Timmons notices this and points out the gulf between political posturing and good policy:
While members of both parties talk about an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, the United States has yet to adopt anything of the sort. We have abundant resources at our disposal, but many remain off limits, whether through the inaction of Congress or the overzealousness of regulators, to name just two reasons.
An all-of-the-above energy strategy means just what it says. It means using traditional sources of energy like coal and oil. But, the Environmental Protection Agency through its Utility MACT and Cross-State Air Pollution rules is looking to drive coal-fired power plants out of business. As for oil, permitting delays and other regulatory obstacles continue to thwart new exploration and development offshore.
An all-of-the-above strategy also embraces new opportunities such as those presented by the shale gas boom.
And alternative sources have a role to play too. Nuclear needs to be part of our energy mix—it’s a form of clean energy we have yet to utilize fully. Long-term development of this vital energy source has unfortunately fallen victim to political battles. And, there have been many new and exciting innovations with renewable sources of energy like wind and solar that have helped expand the use of these important resources.
Let me add two more items:
- The administration should approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Its construction and the Canadian shale oil that would flow through it would create 20,000 jobs.
- The permitting process that stalls energy projects—many being solar and wind projects--needs reform.
“All-of-the-Above” has to be more than rhetoric. Words on a party platform have to translate into pro-growth policies to give businesses greater certainty to invest and create jobs and power our economy ahead.