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The Northerner

Mitt Romney’s energy plan would increase drilling and mining fossil fuels in the US

Brandon Barb, Managing editor

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The Republican National Convention left people on both sides of the political fence wanting to know more about Mitt Romney’s plans for this country. He introduced his five-part plan but never went into full detail about any of his preliminary plans.

The first part of his plan, as said during his acceptance speech, is for North America to be “energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil, coal and gas and nuclear and renewables” by 2020. It is a sweeping declaration but the details on this plan were replaced by jabs at the president and strange laughter after Romney made a joke about Obama’s promise to “slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet,” as if the thought of climate change was something pulled from a 1950 science fiction film.

Truth is, the oceans are rising and climate change is an issue that is cause for concern, not laughter.
While it’s not solely a problem for the U.S., it is a global issue, which if made president, Romney should lead the charge against climate change and research into renewable energy, not leave it up to someone else to figure out.

Then again Romney’s energy plan, revealed last month, focuses on the mining, drilling and burning of fossil fuels that are here in the U.S.
Romney’s energy plan—or as Jeff Goodell of Rolling Stone puts it, “It’s a suicide note”—raises concern as well. He wants to be energy independent in roughly seven years but no president in the last 38 years has been able to achieve that goal, Romney isn’t leaving any of his eggs outside the basket here.

To achieve such independence Romney would, for lack of a better phrase, drill baby drill. He would give the power to the individual states as to whether they would allow drilling in public lands, like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and push for more offshore drilling around Virginia and the Carolinas. The plan would also use the Keystone Pipeline, which would take oil from tar sands in Canada and transport it down to the Gulf of Mexico to be refined.

This plan could hurt the environment a great deal, however with techniques like fracking and the possibility of more oil spills with more offshore drilling. Hydraulic fracturing, fracking, is a way of drilling for natural gas that involves injecting fluid (full of chemicals) into the ground to break up shale rock in order to reach the gas, as defined by www.dangersoffracking.com. But despite the risks, Romney’s plan boasts the making of 3 million jobs, increasing the Gross Domestic Product by $500 million and adding $1 trillion to federal, state and local governments in revenue.

A scary fact is that the plan laid out by the Republican candidate doesn’t mention climate change. With his dependence on fossil fuels, the plan could be “a blueprint for polluting the planet and speeding up climate change,” says Goodell.

Drilling and mining for resources that are right here in the U.S. is a good idea, I will give Romney that, but at the same time the focus should be on what the generations after us will deal with.

After burning all of the fossil fuels we have, there won’t be much of a climate left in, say, 100 years. Romney should be focused on trying to advance what has been done with wind and solar energy — not do what George Bush did and revert back to the old ways.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Mitt Romney’s energy plan would increase drilling and mining fossil fuels in the US