November 14, 2019

We Need to Make Campaign Finance a Civil Rights Issue

Posted on 11. Sep, 2012 by Stephan Helgesen in Politics

In his final State of the Union address in 1944, recognizing that the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had proven “inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt called on Congress to implement a “Second Bill of Rights,” an “economic bill of rights.”

FDR’s concerns then were specifically five-fold, and he hoped that this Second Bill of Rights would guarantee (1) a job with a living wage, (2) homeownership, (3) medical care, (4) education and, notably, (5) freedom from unfair competition and monopolies (read “business practices”).

Over the course of the ensuing decades, we made great strides toward achieving these goals, which coincided with a prolonged balanced expansion of the economy.

However, today, the quality of life for our workers has taken major steps backwards. More than 28 million workers are now unemployed in real terms.

Those who are working face an unprecedented level of income inequality, 90 percent of workers have had stagnant wages in real terms since 1967, and fewer and fewer employers offer pensions and quality medical insurance.

This move back to the past is largely due to the courts’ interpretation of the first Bill of Rights. Through Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, American Tradition Partnership v. State of Montana and SpeechNow v. Federal Election Commission, our judicial system has determined that unlimited campaign spending is “freedom of speech.”

Our electoral process is now captive to massive anonymous contributions from big businesses and extremely wealthy individuals to candidates from whom they obviously expect some sort of fealty if elected.

(As an aside, while the same rulings have also given unions the right to spend freely, they are outmatched by large corporations and the likes of the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, by several factors.)

Much of the scorn for this current situation has been rightfully pinned to Citizens United; however, it’s actually SpeechNow that has been most destructive.

This is the decision that birthed both “Super PACs,” which are explicitly political organizations that can accept unlimited contributions from corporations or individuals but must disclose donors, and “tax-exempt organizations,” which can accept unlimited contributions and are not subject to disclosure requirements.

The result of all of these decisions is that massive corporations are now pouring tens of millions of dollars into tax-exempt and anonymous trade groups to influence the outcome of federal elections.

And while none of the large corporations that now dominate American elections are outwardly anti-civil rights or anti-civil liberties, they support candidates who absolutely are.

Indisputably, these big business contributions, while advancing their companies’ own corporate and management agendas, are directly enabling closed voting booths, insensitive immigration policies, continued attacks on reproductive rights for women, and blatant union busting.

Unfortunately, the potential payoff for these corporations and individuals is simply too great for this current Congress, the SEC and aggrieved shareholders to sufficiently rein in corporate political contributions and their undue influence.

In fact, Congress and the courts, which are the very institutions that are supposed to protect us from oligarchy, are now mostly enabling it.

Thus, we now need to add to FDR’s list the civil right of all Americans to fair elections, with limits on large anonymous contributions. Every American citizen deserves an equal voice, the right to know who is influencing his representatives, and an end to corporate political contributions that work against a fair and inclusive society.

The civil rights movement of the 1960s showed us the impact we can have on corporations through boycotts. There is no “freedom to spend anonymously” in the Constitution; corporations need to disclose in detail their contributions and then be put under the spotlight. People from the left and the right should agree upon that.

And once we know which companies are donating, and to whom, we should demand action. Companies are not just backing candidates to further their agendas — they are backing candidates who are obviously anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-women, and anti-union.

We have the right to know if we are supporting hate when we go buy a light bulb or a chicken sandwich, and we always have the right to protest and boycott.

We as a nation need to again have a government that represents all of America — including the working class, small business owners, students and retirees — rather than one that is controlled by the wealthiest individuals and largest corporations.

Our civil liberties are being recast by those who are little more than prejudicially elected handmaidens of those who have become the oligarchs of America.

If we cannot stop this unrestrained spending through legislative action, which seems unlikely, then we need to at least ensure that strong disclosure laws are in place to guarantee transparency and begin the process of re-establishing our electoral rights.

To restore balance to our democracy, we now almost have no choice but to recognize — in terms of our civil rights — the implications of what the courts have done and what Congress refuses to do.

This article was submitted by Leo Hindery, Jr. who is chair of the US Economy/Smart Globalization Initiative at the New America Foundation, co-chair (with USW President Leo Gerard) of the Task Force on Jobs Creation, founder of Jobs First 2012, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the former CEO of AT&T Broadband and its predecessors, Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI) and Liberty Media, and is currently a private equity investor in media companies.


Dems don’t view climate change as winning issue

Posted on 11. Sep, 2012 by Stephan Helgesen in Energy/Environment, Politics

Nobody pays much attention to the party platform—including the party, until some piece of it makes headline news.

At last week’s Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, the official “platform” was destined to the usual low profile until the Republicans made headlines over the fact that the Democrats had dropped the word “God” and removed language regarding Jerusalem as the capital of Israel—both of which were present in the 2008 party platform.

One day after approving the official party platform, the omission was reversed in a contentious voice vote from the floor that attracted even more attention to the matter.

Addressing the relevance of a party platform, NPR said: “The platform itself is a relic from the days when the parties were far more important institutions.”

While the platform may hold little sway over the candidate’s views or what actually happens in the next four years, it does outline some distinct contrasts between the parties on some major issues.

For example, the Republican platform opposes abortion under any circumstance, while the Democratic platform supports abortion at any time. Both, also, have well-known, opposite views on gay marriage.

These differences where highlighted last week in Charlotte as the Democrats gave key speaking spots to Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards and Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke and to openly gay Representatives Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin.

One report cites an Orthodox Jew—sporting a beard and a payot and wearing a black suit and broad-brimmed hat—as saying: “In speech after speech, they promoted gay marriage. I don’t think there was a single speech without it.” Even Michelle Obama’s speech supported the controversial themes.

Clearly, the DNC hasn’t shied away from polarizing issues—which makes the public absence of another platform plank all the more curious: climate change.

The 2012 Democratic Party Platform mentions climate change 18 times, while the 2012 Republican Party Platform mentions it only once (page 40)—and then only to criticize “the emphasis on climate risks in Obama administration military planning documents.”

The Huffington Post calls climate change “one of the starkest contrasts between the recently released Democratic and Republican party platforms.”

Some of the climate change language from the 2012 Democratic Party Platform includes:

“We know that global climate change is one of the biggest threats of this generation—an economic, environmental, and national security catastrophe in the making.

We affirm the science of climate change, commit to significantly reducing the pollution that causes climate change, and know we have to meet this challenge by driving smart policies that lead to greater growth in clean energy generation and result in a range of economic and social benefits. President Obama has been a leader on this issue.

We have developed historic fuel efficiency standards that will limit greenhouse gas emissions from our vehicles for the first time in history, made unprecedented investments in clean energy, and proposed the first-ever carbon pollution limits for new fossil-fuel-fired power plants.

As we move towards lower carbon emissions, we will continue to support smart, energy efficient manufacturing. Democrats pledge to continue showing international leadership on climate change, working toward an agreement to set emission limits in unison with other emerging powers.

Democrats will continue pursuing efforts to combat climate change at home as well, because reducing our emissions domestically—through regulation and market solutions—is necessary to continue being an international leader on this issue.

We understand that global climate change may disproportionately affect the poor, and we are committed to environmental justice.”

“We can … concentrate our resources and attention abroad on the areas that are the greatest priority moving forward.

This means directing more energy toward crucial problems, including longstanding threats like nuclear proliferation and emerging dangers such as cyber attacks, biological weapons, climate change, and transnational crime.”

“The national security threat from climate change is real, urgent, and severe. The change wrought by a warming planet will lead to new conflicts over refugees and resources; new suffering from drought and famine; catastrophic natural disasters; and the degradation of vital ecosystems across the globe.

That is why, in addition to undertaking measures to enhance energy independence and promote efficiency, clean energy, and renewable sources of power here at home, the President and the Democratic Party have steadily worked to build an international framework to combat climate change.

We will seek to implement agreements and build on the progress made during climate talks in Copenhagen, Cancun, and Durban, working to ensure a response to climate change policy that draws upon decisive action by all nations.

Our goal is an effective, international effort in which all major economies commit to reduce their emissions, nations meet their commitments in a transparent manner, and the necessary financing is mobilized so that developing countries can mitigate the effects of climate change and invest in clean energy technologies.

That is why the Obama administration has taken a leadership role in ongoing climate negotiations, working to ensure that other major economies like China and India commit to taking meaningful action. It is also why we have worked regionally to build clean energy partnerships in Asia, the Americas, and Africa.”

“And we will continue to champion sustainable growth that includes the clean energy that creates green jobs and combats climate change.”

With the scare tactics involved—calling climate change “one of the biggest threats of this generation,” a “catastrophe in the making,” a “national security threat” that is “real, urgent and severe,” and one of “the greatest dangers we face” likened to “terrorism, nuclear proliferation, cyber and biological attacks,” and “transnational crime”—you’d think it deserved at least as much mention on the podium as abortion or gay marriage.

There shouldn’t have been “a speech without it.” However, according to a report by the Daily Caller, it received only one mention in more than 80 speeches during the first two days.

Additionally, none of its big supporters were given a spot on the podium. Neither Representatives Henry Waxman or Ed Markey—the authors of the failed cap-and-trade bill, nor the high priest of global warming, Al Gore, were given a role in Charlotte.

At the 2012 DNC, unlike 2008 where he “strode onto the stage at Denver’s Invesco Field to a hero’s welcome,” Gore reportedly was “nowhere in sight.” Markey was in town and did participate in an off-site panel discussion on energy hosted by Politico.

There he called clean energy “a debate that wins.” He said, “We think this revolution is something to brag about.” Yet, the best attention the green energy/climate change issue got was a vague reference to “increasing climate volatility” from a “least watched” speech by Tom Steyer, co-founder of the Advanced Energy Economy trade association, a “passing reference” from Bill Clinton regarding “reducing greenhouse gases,” and, on Thursday, former presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry added: “an exceptional country does care about the rise of the oceans and the future of the planet.”

Why so little attention for an issue that is one of the “biggest threats of this generation?”

Perhaps, just days away from the anniversary of the Solyndra scandal, they didn’t want to remind people of President Obama bragging about how Solyndra is the model for green jobs of the future, only to have them fail—costing more than a thousand jobs and hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Or, how the failed green-energy loan guarantee program exposed the favor his friends in high places received.

Maybe they didn’t want to draw attention to Obama’s failed promise to push through a cap-and-trade program—as was a part of the 2008 Democratic Party Platform. Or, to the higher energy costs the green-energy emphasis has brought to manufacturing—causing jobs to be outsourced—and that “disproportionately affect the poor.”

They probably didn’t want to have to answer questions about CO2 emissions being the lowest in twenty years without the onerous, job-killing policies favored by the Democrats. Or, why European countries are abandoning their green-energy policies, ending green-energy subsidies, and are pursuing coal, shale gas, and off-shore drilling.

Whatever the reason, the obvious exclusion at the DNC makes clear that the Democrats don’t view climate change as a winning issue. The strong language included in the party platform is more likely, as NPR stated: “the platform is used as a pressure valve for activists within the party’s base.”

In contrast, Republicans realize the economic damage and job-killing ramifications of pursuing an agenda like that laid out in the Democratic Party Platform. They know that, right now, jobs and the economy are where they need to focus—and that is “something to brag about.”

This article was submitted by the author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon, who serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy.


 

 

 

 

The unconventional convention?

Posted on 10. Sep, 2012 by Stephan Helgesen in Politics

I remember when political conventions used to be a hoot. I got a kick out of watching the Ridiculous Meter go off the charts when TV cameras spied delegates wearing elephant hats, Uncle Sam outfits and other outrageous getups, some straight from Ringling Brothers’ wardrobe wagon.

Seemed, too, that the conventions of old weren’t scripted down to the minutest detail. Thankfully, there were no teleprompters back then to steer the speakers’ every word.

This year there was one genuine moment from the Democrats’ convention that will go down in the annals of convention history.

It was when the delegates were asked for a voice vote on re-inserting the words God and Jerusalem back into the party platform (seems somebody had left them out and the President wanted them back in, thus requiring a vote from the delegates).

Dem Convention Chairman and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for a voice vote three times before showing real democracy by adopting the platform change with less than the 2/3 majority required to do so.

I guess he was going for a version of the old Flip Wilson, ‘the Devil made me do it’ rule here and say that he had to call it that way because it was on his teleprompter!

For my money, this one event was worth sitting through the full three days of the convention – not just for the deer in the headlights look on Villaraigosa’s face – but for the departure from the rigid programming that now characterizes these conventions.

Over in Tampa, the previous week, the Republicans had their own magical moment when Dirty Harry Clint Eastwood decided he’d go off-script and talk to an empty chair that supposedly held the President. I cringed watching the great actor and director reduce himself to a comedic role for which he clearly wasn’t prepared.

It was like seeing Richard Nixon doing stand-up, telling jokes about Spiro Agnew.

Conventions have become Petri dishes into which are added all manner of speakers designed to address every conceivable voter demographic or special interest group.

I counted the following: celebrities, working mothers and single women, the handicapped, Black Americans, Latinos, labor unions, athletes, pro-abortion groups, the military, small business owners, teachers, conservationists, anti-big energy and anti-big government types, and seniors.

I kept waiting for them to get really specific, bringing on speakers representing New England ball-bearing manufacturers, blind ATV off-roaders, transsexual spelling bee winners and maybe disgraced dead politicians, but it never happened.

There were no great surprises for the Repubs. They didn’t exhume Ronald Reagan and prop him up in front of an American flag near the podium. They just had “workmanlike” (quote from the media) speeches by the candidates.

The Democrats on the other hand did recycle former President Bill Clinton (the Dem commentators and surrogates called him “former President Clinton” I think to remind their faithful that Bubba wasn’t on the ballot).

Clinton proceeded to give a lecture on domestic realpolitik that focused largely on himself and his eight years in office and a father/son talk on the birds and the bees.

I stopped counting the, “Listen to this; it’s important” lines as I was transfixed by his crooked index finger that was busy doing an intricate dance of the sugar plum fairies while he droned on, effectively keeping the real President waiting behind the curtain.

Then the President spoke, and my mind went back to FDR and his Fireside Chats, John Wayne in any war movie, Knut Rockne at half-time, and finally it landed on Davy Crockett at the Alamo. The Beatles crept in there too, with the ‘Long and Winding Road.’ It was heady.

I’m sure glad I didn’t have go anywhere afterwards because I couldn’t have driven my car for fear I would have been cited for driving under the influence.

Words and exceptional speakers will do that to you, and I’ve found I need to decompress after the conventions to regain my equilibrium. Thank goodness the debates are a month away so I’ll have plenty of time to prepare for my next political rush.

- Editor

Can government and religion partner?

Posted on 01. Sep, 2012 by Stephan Helgesen in Politics, Social/Cultural

Every ten years the people counters of the U.S. Census Bureau descend on Americans with clipboards in hand to ask the nation a myriad of questions, the most important of which is: “How many people are really living here?”

If you’ve experienced an actual visit from one of the census bureau’s workers you know that their questions don’t stop with that one. They will ask you as many as you’re willing to answer. They’re a bit like Jehovah’s Witnesses, but with one big disadvantage. Unlike their door-knocking JW brethren, they don’t have the powerful back story of the Bible to aid them in pressing their case. What they DO have is the power of the government and an official ID on their side.

The Census Bureau’s information is very useful, and I relied on it while researching this article. I also looked at the Rasmussen and Gallup polling organizations in my quest to find the ‘big game’ in the political jungle – the Republicans and the Rinos (Republicans in Name Only), the Democrats and the Dinos (Democrats in Name Only) and the Swing Voters and Svinos (Swing voters in Name Only). Now that we got the terminology out of the way, how about some facts?

Let’s take the most current national elections of 2010. In the actual elections, according to the Census Bureau, Hispanic voters accounted for 7% of the vote, Blacks 12% and Asians 2.5%.

The most common reason given for not voting was, “I was too busy” at 27%. 16% said, “My vote wouldn’t make any difference.” Fully 68% of the 72% registered homeowners did vote. Only 50% of the 61% registered renters voted. Finally, 61% of the voters were from families making $100K/yr. or more while only 30% came from families making $20K/yr. or lower.

Around the time of the 2010 election, a Gallup poll revealed that 31% self-identified as Democrats (a 22-year low), 29% as Republicans and 38% as Independents. Later in 2011 the company found that self-identified Independents rose to 40% (the largest in 60 years), Republicans dropped to 27% and the Democrats held steady at 31%.

Fast-forward to June 2012 and a Rasmussen poll showed that 35.4% of the people polled identified themselves as Republicans, 34.0% as Democrats and 30% as Independents. Comparing the 2011 numbers from Gallup with the 2012 numbers from Rasmussen and the results are: Republicans gained 7%, Democrats gained 3%, and Independents lost 10%.

The conclusions, based on these numbers, would be that both the Republicans and Democrats are gaining strength and that many previously self-identified  Independents and now moving towards the major parties.

This brings up several questions: do you trust people’s responses; to what do you attribute these shifts and can this information really be used to predict outcomes?

I would argue that the pollsters should have been asking different questions, as the electorate is really all over the map AND don’t always identify with the labels they’re given to choose from.

They should have asked: “Are you, a) a fiscal and social conservative, b) a fiscal and social liberal, c) a fiscal conservative and a social liberal or d) a fiscal liberal and a social conservative?”

There’s another aspect to all of this polling stuff. People lie, all the time, and for different reasons. These days it’s really hard to tell which political stripes are real and which ones are just painted on.

Personally, I think we need to streamline the questioning business. My solution is to give the census responsibility and all the political polling jobs to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They’re always presentable and extremely polite, and who better suited to get the truth out of us than those who tell it for a living? Take that Rinos, Dinos and Svinos.

- Editor

The “Yes, you can” vs. “No, you can’t” energy plan

Posted on 01. Sep, 2012 by Stephan Helgesen in Energy/Environment

President Obama’s energy policies have kept investment and jobs out of America; Romney’s energy plan can bring money and jobs back.

Analysts are picking apart Romney’s 21-page energy plan that was introduced in Hobbs, New Mexico, on Thursday. Is energy independence by 2020 possible, or is it, as the Financial Times posited, “an act of hubris?” More important than whether or not his energy play is realistic is the international implications of his “independence” assertion and how he plans to get there.

As the news coverage reminds us, “Every US president since Richard Nixon has set an objective of reducing the country’s reliance on foreign oil, and most of them have failed.”

President Obama’s approach has been to “end the age of oil.” To that end, he has poured billions of dollars into green energy projects—many of which were risky investments that have now failed or are headed for failure.

His approach has done nothing to reduce our reliance on foreign oil—though we are importing less due to the bad economy and high prices, and the new oil boom presently centered on North Dakota. To companies looking to invest in any kind of extractive endeavor, his policies have screamed “You can’t!”

Romney’s plan is to open up US resources off the east coast and in Alaska; make it easier to obtain permits for oil and gas production, and other energy projects; transfer control of development from the federal government to state authorities; approve the Keystone XL pipeline; and ensure that environmental regulations do not prevent the use of coal. The Romney plan, shouts “You can!”

How will Romney’s plan invite global investment back to America, while Obama’s approach chased it away? The Gulf of Mexico saga offers a simple example.

Drilling rigs cost millions of dollars a day to operate. Following the Deepwater Horizon accident, the Obama administration put a moratorium on activity in the Gulf.

Rigs sat idle; people were laid off; and companies lost billions. Ultimately, many of the rigs left our shores for countries that welcomed them—taking the potential jobs and revenues with them, and adding to the economic damage in the region.

Like the rig owners need to have their assets working, all companies need to have growth. If they cannot work in the US, they are virtually forced to do business in other countries.

Those countries often have governments that do not respect the rule of law, making doing business there more risky than similar activities in the US. But, at least they can do business there. In America, they can’t. Additionally, the cheaper labor and lower taxes made the risk/reward ratio attractive.

However, recent history tells us that the reward may no longer be worth the risk.

Russia

A few days ago, ConocoPhilips announced that it is retreating from its position in Russia by disposing of its 30 percent stake in the NaryanMarNefteGaz joint venture to its partner Lukoil, the Russian oil group, and is now focusing mainly on developed countries and on North America in particular.

Last month, a Russian decision against BP “demonstrates the perils faced by foreign investors in Russia.” The Financial Times reports: “the ruling has sent a chill through Moscow’s foreign investment community” and shows “the uncertainties faced by western companies that go into business with powerful local partners.”

Nigeria

Also last month, Shell shed its prolific onshore Nigerian oil assets for $850 million, less than the estimated $1 billion value.

Shell is now refocusing its Nigerian efforts offshore, “where rigs are better insulated from oil theft, militancy, and the legal constraints of operating in an area that is vulnerable both environmentally and economically.” Shell’s appetite for Nigerian exploration has been waning for months.

In February, Ian Craig, Shell’s director for sub-Saharan Africa, said: “The greatest challenge, however, is the massive organised oil theft business and the criminality and corruption which it fosters. This drives away talent … increases costs, reduces revenues both for investors and the government and results in major environmental impacts.”

Argentina

In April, the Argentinian government under, President Cristina Kirchner “nationalized” Spain’s flagship oil company, Repsol’s YPF unit and caused Repsol’s stock to plummet.

The relationship between Repsol’s YPF and Kirchner’s corrupt government has been troubled for at least four years, and the fate is now in the hands of the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in New York.

South Africa

In South Africa a different verse of the same song is playing out, as apartheid-era type violence plagues mining operations.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Investors already have been worried this year by a debate about nationalization of South African mines.” WSJ reports: “Mining accounts for about 9% of South Africa’s gross domestic product.

But despite the country’s rich resources, South Africa has failed to ride the global commodity boom due to lack of investment in infrastructure.”

Addressing the violence at a platinum mine, owned by London-based Lonmin (one of the world’s largest primary producers of platinum group metals), that claimed 44 lives, Mathews Phosa, the treasurer general of the ruling African National Congress, said: “The incident at Lonmin has had a very negative and a very devastating impact internationally. It has created a lot of uncertainties for investors. We need to assure investors that this will never happen again.”

These are just a few examples of the risks multi-national companies are taking—nationalization, theft, corruption—by doing business in countries with unstable governments.

The increased risk results in lower rewards. Yes, the extractive industries do have to go where the resource is located, but all things being equal, they’d rather, as ConocoPhillips has acknowledged, do business with “developed countries”—if they can.

Romney’s energy plan is the equivalent of rolling out the red carpet and inviting the global investment community to America, where, despite Representative Maxine Waters’ suggestion, we do not “nationalize” private industry—and we do have the resource.

A soon-to-be-released report from Noble Royalties Inc. and Netherland, Sewell and Associates Inc., based entirely on data from US federal government sources, reviews the potential of oil and gas development on Federal Lands in Alaska, the lower 48 onshore, and the Gulf of Mexico and offers insight into how the Romney energy plans could totally change the dynamics of America’s economy.

The report states that leasing on federal lands is at a 30-year low—50 percent of what it was under the Clinton administration.

The report points out that allowing drilling in Alaska, just enough to fill the pipeline back up to historic levels, would generate $318.1 billion in gross revenue—which would result in $39.3 billion in new royalty revenues to the federal government.

Combining the Alaskan numbers with oil and gas extraction from the lower 48 onshore and the Gulf of Mexico, bringing leasing on federal lands back to historic levels would generate $785.4 billion in new revenue for the federal coffers.

Note: this figure does not include potential development from the east and west coasts or leasing beyond historic levels. The report finds that new activity on Federal lands will create $5.02 trillion in taxable revenue and significantly increase jobs (think North Dakota with the lowest unemployment in the country).

Not only will increased development on federal lands create new wealth and new revenue streams, but not adding to the current low-level of leasing will cause a loss of $40 billion over the next five years, due to declining reserves in Alaska.

The numbers from this new report are conservative. Remember they are based on known historic results (91 percent of undiscovered resources on onshore federal lands are either inaccessible or restricted), and do not include potential development.

Additionally, the report only addresses oil and gas development on federal lands. It doesn’t include development on private land—which will also create new revenue streams for the federal government, development on either coast, and it doesn’t address other resources, such as coal, uranium, copper, tungsten, or rare earth elements that are all in demand in a global market and are found in abundance in the U.S.

If a President Romney uses the benefit of the bully pulpit to tout the new access to American resources, even half as much as President Obama has done to push green energy, companies could come flocking back to do business under the stable, rule-of-law, American government. Good paying jobs would be created, local economies would be stimulated, and new wealth would be developed—all without a penny of government investment.

This, not “independence by 2020” is the true benefit of the Romney energy plan—though as the WSJ states, “the ‘independence’ trope polls well.” Instead of “You can’t!” the Romney energy plan says: “You can!” It opens up a third option to solve America’s economic stagnation.

There are more options than just raising taxes or cutting spending, the Romney energy plan has the potential to bring investment back to the US and introduces “wealth creation” that is like finding a pot of gold buried in the American backyard.

This article was submitted by the author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon, who serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy.



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