Question: What do you envision as the energy policy for this country?
Herman Cain: I believe that the federal government with this administration, as well as to some extent the previous administration – the Bush administration to some extent, because I believe that Bush could have pushed harder on some of these things…
My energy strategy is:
#1 Remove some of the barriers that are preventing oil companies from maximizing the oil that we have right here in this country.
Start with the EPA. The biggest complaint I here from people in the oil business is how tough it is to get approvals and permits through the EPA and the Interior Department.
So the way we remove that barrier is I’m going to appoint a Regulatory Reduction Commission for every federal agency to take a look at all the regulations and hoops that people have to jump through.
And for the EPA commission, the members of that commission will all be people from the oil business, the energy business, the coal business, the natural gas business who have been previously abused by the EPA.
Those will be the people on that committee. They will tell me how to fix it.
Secondly, a lot of the lands out west that the federal government confiscated when they found these deposits of shale oil. Let’s issue 99-year leases to entrepreneurs to go out and develop that. In some instances, let’s sell these public lands.
So this is how you remove these barriers.
Let a business organization go out there to develop it and create a private-public partnership. As a federal government, we shouldn’t try to do it. So if the government technically and legally owns the land, I would work with an oil company or a natural gas company and say, “Okay, make us a proposal where the government will get some revenue off of this, you get revenue off of this. So it’s a win-win.”
Get the government out of the way.
The other thing I would do is, in addition to reducing the regulations, in order to maximize our oil, maximize our coal, our natural gas and our shale. If we do that and maximize what we have here, you would be amazed at how quickly the world market will respond to the fact that we’re serious about energy security. So I will look and find ways to speed up the process.
This doesn’t mean that we’re not going to have responsible regulations. But you and I know there are a lot of regulations that are useless and all they do is to serve to be a barrier to us moving forward.