Romney, Obama spar on energy policy

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  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 1:14 p.m.

    worf: "Coal mines were closed because of increased regulations, then out sourced to other countries."

    Two Utah coal mines with recent layoffs or closures both cited declining market conditions as the cause, not regulations. (Consol Emery mine, closed 12/17/10; Arch Coal Dugout Canyon mine, 114 laid off 11/14/11) See the business reporting at the time.

    The US is a net exporter of coal by a factor of 2-4x (imports ~20-40 Mt/yr, exports ~80-100 Mt/yr). Coal imports have increased in the last decade in response to demand for low sulfur coal (Ok, there are your regulations), but with total US coal production at ~1,000 Mt/yr, imports account for only a few percent of the total coal consumption. Low cost natural gas is the longterm threat to coal operators.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Oct. 17, 2012 6:01 p.m.

    I once knew a person who loved watching Perry Mason. This person didn't know what the story was about, but enjoyed how Perry would close the case with good rhetoric.

    The same with politics. Most people judge a debate by how aggressive the candidates talk, but with little understanding of what's going on.

    I guess that's why some people feel Obama won the debate.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Oct. 17, 2012 3:55 p.m.


    Coal mines were closed because of increased regulations, then out sourced to other countries.

    With increased drilling in North America, the global market wouldn't be effecting our gas prices.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 17, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    And another thing...

    Romney's citation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act as evidence of anti-oil policies in the Obama administration is ridiculous. The MBTA has been law for decades, long before Obama was elected. Is Romney suggesting that we are not a nation of laws, or that some people or industries should be exempted from compliance with the law?

    Further, the cases in question were misdemeanors with $15,000 fines and were largely dismissed or settled out of court. In an industry where the major players make profits in the billions, a $15k fine isn't even a footnote on the balance sheet. By Gov. Romney's logic, the North Dakota Highway Patrol is waging a vendetta against energy every time they ticket an overweight drill rig working the Bakken.

    Gov. Romney needs to come up with meaningful examples if he wants to be convincing. In the first debate, the only budget cut he could muster was PBS, whose funding is a tiny fraction of a percent of the total budget. On energy, routine enforcement of longstanding wildlife law is his evidence of a pervasive anti-oil bias. Stop swatting at gnats when there are bears about.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 17, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    Both candidates miffed the gas price question. The correct response should have been, "Gas prices are determined in a global marketplace in response to global supply and demand. A US president has little or no direct influence on or control of gas prices. The low prices of 2008 were related to the global recession and decrease in demand. Higher prices more recently are a response to developing countries like China and India raising their standard of living and the economic recovery in the US. These result in higher demand. We are all competing in the market for the same resources, and that drives up prioes."

    As to coal, Gov. Romney's West Virginia coal miners are losing their jobs because utilities are switching from coal to natural gas because gas is cleaner and cheaper. This is just the free market at work. By the way, this is the same natural gas that Romney is trumpeting as the path to energy independence. For Romney to mourn the loss of coal jobs and say we should be promoting coal production makes no more sense to a free market conservative than to mourn buggy whip makers and farriers a century ago.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Oct. 17, 2012 8:50 a.m.

    Obama--we've created enough pipeline to circle the globe.---Where is it?

    We've increase drilling.---Nope! Sixty percent less off shore drilling permits, and twenty percent less on land.

    Gas prices were lower when I came to office, because the economy was struggling.----Economy is worse now, and prices went up.

    Obama did not explain why we rejected the Canadian oil pipeline, or how windmills were funded by stimulus money that created thousands of jobs in China, Japan, and Australia.

    Can't believe some people feel Obama won the debate. A loud bark doesn't make a leader with character.