ASP Senior Fellow Andrew Holland sat down for a discussion on the pressing energy issues that are up for debate in this November’s Presidential election. He offers his thoughts on a range of important subjects that are critical to America’s national security – the polarized energy debate, gas prices, what to do with the natural gas bounty, long-term energy planning, and the pros and cons of the two candidates energy policies.
Below are some of the highlights.
While both candidates have put forth an energy plan, Andrew points out that both parties tend to suffer from short-term thinking on energy. From the interview:
“We think only in 2 and 4 year election cycles on energy, when in fact, the problems of energy are made over the long-term and have to be solved over the long term. The infrastructure cycle last over 30, 40, or 50 years on energy and the decisions we make now move on for 30, 40, or 50 years. We are still living with the choices we made in the 1970’s on energy production, what cars we use, on electricity generation.”
He also touches on a subject that is often a burning political issue – gas prices. Prices at the pump have been particularly volatile over the past two years, and politicians have been scrambling to offer ideas on how to lower prices. Andrew points out the fallacy of the idea of drilling our way out of high gas prices:
“Oil is a global market and a liquid market. There really is one price of oil everywhere in the world, doesn’t matter who’s consuming it, who’s producing it – it’s the same everywhere. So when the latest unrest in the Middle East, or the South China Sea, or Sudan happens, that upsets global oil markets, and that causes a price spike. And that price spike will be felt at the pump. Doesn’t matter if we are getting more oil from Alaska or more oil from North Dakota, we are still going to feel that price at the pump.”
However, Andrew does believe there are several good policies in both Governor Mitt Romney’s plan and President Obama’s plan.
“I was reading through Governor Romney’s plan and one of the things that stuck out as something new, and genuinely a good idea, is this idea of empowering states to control onshore energy [production]. And I think that makes perfect sense…local pollution, local benefits. Let the states decide.”
And on President Obama’s energy efforts:
“There was actually a lot of good stuff in the stimulus plan. It was a much reviled bill and polls terribly, but it was actually one of the biggest energy bills ever passed. And some of the investments made are really kind of game changers. Solyndra gets all the headlines, but solar panels right now are extraordinarily cheap, and people are putting solar panels on their rooftops everywhere because they are so cheap. Part of the reason for that is because of the investments made in the stimulus”
To see the full video below: