Mitt Romney responded to two questions about the environment and energy at a Town Hall Meeting held on October 10, 2011 in Hopkinton, NH.
At the event, Romney made it clear that he opposes the EPA’s efforts to address the problem of climate change by regulating carbon emissions, while promoting natural gas as a low carbon energy source:
I believe we should have exacting standards on those that pollute our air and our water. And we have an Environmental Protection Agency which oversees the protection of air and water.
Sometimes however, they take the Environmental Protection Agency and turn it into an agency that stops the development of our economy and kills jobs. That I won’t allow.
And so, when the Environmental Protection Agency says that they’re going to regulate how much carbon dioxide is emitted, I’m saying that’s beyond the scope or the responsibility of the Environmental Protection Agency. That is not something I would support.
Number two: I will encourage the development of our own energy resources. We have extraordinary amounts of natural gas.
New technology allows us to get natural gas out of the earth. And natural gas is far less polluting and CO2 emitting, by the way, than coal and oil. Let’s use our natural gas resources and ultimately our nuclear resources to become energy independent and to have clean energy as well.
So I’m going to keep your water and your air clean and I’m going to get us off of foreign energy.
Mitt Romney also responded to a specific question about the Keystone XL Pipeline:
Voter: Back to the environment, you want to be energy independent, so what is your take on the tar sands XL Pipeline - proposed pipeline from Canada to the United States.
Romney: Absolutely. If we’ve got oil in North America we can get through a pipeline, absolutely bring it into the U.S.
Look, I’d like to use the oil shale for the developing of oil, the Marcellus gas in Pennsylvania. We just had a new oil find, I understand, in North Dakota.
Let’s develop our own energy resources. We are an energy rich nation acting like an energy poor nation. It’s time for us to stop doing that and to stop spending $500 billion a year buying energy from outside the country, often times from nations that don’t like us very much. Let’s develop our own resources and use those resources to become energy secure and to create jobs for Americans.
The President has this green jobs initiative. Exactly how many green jobs have we seen? And the number of jobs that we lose through traditional energy will exceed the number that we gain through his green energy initiative.
I like renewable sources of energy, but let’s not pretend that wind and solar alone will get us energy secure. We also have to have carbon based fuels and nuclear fuels. Let’s develop all of our resources, in order for America to create jobs here and also be able to become energy secure.
A full video of Mitt Romney’s Town Hall Meeting in Hopkinton, NH is available on C-Span.