Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mitt Romney talks global warming, drugs in Miama, FL - Video

Mitt Romney first praised youth for caring about global warming, then blamed young people for the nation’s illegal drug problem, during his January 27, 2012 speech to members of the Hispanic Leadership Network in Miami, Florida:

“We have got to do a much better job communicating to our children in this country, whether they are Hispanic or non-Hispanics, that drugs are causing deaths around the world.”

“Our young people have a great deal of concern. They’re a very humanitarian people. They’re concerned about issues like global warming and things of that nature, and they’re concerned about humanity.”

“I hope they understand that if they take one of these drugs that are being smuggled into this country, that they are partially responsible for deaths.”

“I want them to understand the tens of thousands of people who are being killed by virtue of drug use in this country.”

“It’s time for the United States of America to take responsibility for the pain and suffering and torture and murder that’s going on throughout Latin America.”

“We are not a good example in this regard, and that much change. If I’m president, I will campaign in a very aggressive way to our young people. Stop taking drugs because you are killing people.” 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rick Santorum: Global warming hoax

Rick Santorum believes his consistent denial of global warming makes him the most qualified Republican presidential candidate to take on President Barack Obama in the 2012 election.

“Cap-and-trade -- both of them bought into the global warming hoax, bought into the cap-and-trade, top-down control of our energy and manufacturing sector,” the former Pennsylvania Senator said of current GOP frontrunners Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney during last night’s CNN Florida Republican Presidential Debate.

It was the only time global warming was mentioned during the debate.

Santorum delivered a rambling explanation of his views on climate science and carbon emissions during a January 6, 2012 town hall meeting with voters in Belmont, NH. A transcript and video of his comments can be found here:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Obama's 2012 State of the Union Address to Focus on Clean Energy

Expect clean energy to be one focus of President Barack Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address tonight - January 24, 2012 - his third since taking office in January 2009.

In a YouTube video posted on Saturday, Obama previewed his “blueprint for an economy that’s built to last.”

Among the things Obama plans to talk about during his 2012 State of the Union address:  

  • American manufacturing with more good jobs and more products stamped ‘Made in America’
  • American energy fueled by homegrown and alternative energy sources
President Obama has made clean energy and the environment a major sub-theme of his reelection campaign ever since announcing his decision to turn down the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline last week. It’s a theme that is prominent in his campaign’s first TV ad of the 2012 election.

“Secretive oil billionaires attacking President Obama with ads fact checkers say are ‘not tethered to the facts’ while independent watchdogs call this President’s record on ethics ‘unprecedented’,” the ad states. “And America’s clean energy industry: 2.7 million jobs and expanding rapidly. For the first time in 13 years, our dependence on foreign oil is below 50 percent.”

The 2.7 million jobs number comes from a 2011 Brookings Institute report, Sizing the Clean Economy: A National and Regional Green Jobs Assessment. correctly notes many of these green jobs were around before Obama entered the White House, while acknowledging the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 “no doubt goosed clean energy employment.” Of course, what researchers Brookings Institute actually counted were jobs across the entire green economy, not just the clean energy sector. Their most impressive finding was that the wider clean economy employs more workers than the fossil fuel industry. 

Getting specific, President Obama takes credit for supporting more than 224,000 clean energy jobs in an online posting celebrating his decision to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

“And the idea, as some in Washington have tried to suggest, that building a pipeline is the ultimate answer to the question of American energy security and job creation is nothing more than a pipe dream,” Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, wrote in a recent op-ed published in USA Today. "The truth is that just two of the Administration’s programs – the DOE Loan Guarantee Program and the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards – will create more than 10 times the amount of jobs generated by the Keystone XL pipeline, which will only generate a few thousand temporary jobs."

During his 2011 State of the Union address, Obama talked extensively about clean energy:

This is our generation’s Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the Space Race.  And in a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal.  We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology -– (applause) -- an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.
Already, we’re seeing the promise of renewable energy. Robert and Gary Allen are brothers who run a small Michigan roofing company. After September 11th, they volunteered their best roofers to help repair the Pentagon. But half of their factory went unused, and the recession hit them hard. Today, with the help of a government loan, that empty space is being used to manufacture solar shingles that are being sold all across the country. In Robert’s words, “We reinvented ourselves.” 
That’s what Americans have done for over 200 years: reinvented ourselves. And to spur on more success stories like the Allen Brothers, we’ve begun to reinvent our energy policy. We’re not just handing out money. We’re issuing a challenge. We’re telling America’s scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we’ll fund the Apollo projects of our time.
At the California Institute of Technology, they’re developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they’re using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities. With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.  
We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if -- I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own.  So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.
Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling. So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: By 2035, 80 percent of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources. 
Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all -- and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.  

Watch video of President Obama's 2012 State of the Union address live online at:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Barack Obama’s EPA speech – Video and Transcript

U.S. President Barack Obama paid a visit to the EPA yesterday, where he talked at length about the environment as Republican presidential candidates spent their final day campaigning here in New Hampshire before packing their bags and heading down to South Carolina. 

Transcript of Obama’s speech to the EPA:
Barack Obama:  Thank you!  Thank you, EPA!  (Applause.)  Thank you, everybody.  Thank you so much.  It is wonderful to see you.  It is great to see you.  Thank you, thank you. 
Now, everybody can have a seat.  I know Lisa is making you guys all stand up.  (Laughter.)  But you can all relax. 
It is wonderful to be here with all of you.  Thank you so much for all the great work you do.  I want to first acknowledge your outstanding Administrator, Lisa Jackson.  (Applause.)  She has done an extraordinary job leading this agency.  But here’s what I want all of you to know:  Not only is she good on policy, not only is she tough and able to present the EPA’s mission so effectively to the public, but she also has your back.  (Applause.)  She is an advocate on behalf of all the people who work so hard here at the EPA.  And so you should know that your boss loves you, even if she doesn’t always show it, I don’t know.  (Laughter.)
The main reason I’m here is simple:  I just want to say thank you.  I want to say thank you to each and every one of you, because the EPA touches on the lives of every single American every single day.  You help make sure that the air we breathe, the water we drink, the foods we eat are safe.  You protect the environment not just for our children but their children.  And you keep us moving towards energy independence. 
And it is a vital mission.  Over the past three years, because of your hard work, we’ve made historic progress on all these fronts.  Just a few weeks ago, thanks to the hard work of so many of you, Lisa and I was able to announce new common-sense standards to better protect the air we breathe from mercury and other harmful air pollution.  And that was a big deal.  (Applause.)  And part of the reason it was a big deal was because, for over 20 years, special interest groups had successfully delayed implementing these standards when it came to our nation’s power plants.  And what we said was:  “Enough.”  It’s time to get this done.  
And because we acted, we’re going to prevent thousands of premature deaths, thousands of heart attacks and cases of childhood asthma. 
There are families that are going to be directly impacted in a positive way because of the work that you do.  Because you kept fighting -- and some of you have been fighting this fight for a long time, long before I was here and long before Lisa was here.  And so your tenacity and stick-to-itness is making a difference. 
Because of you, across the board, we’re cutting down on acid rain and air pollution.  We’re making our drinking water cleaner and safer.  We’re creating healthier communities.  But that’s not all.  Safeguarding our environment is also about strengthening our economy.  I do not buy the notion that we have to make a choice between having clean air and clean water and growing this economy in a robust way.  I think that is a false debate.  (Applause.)
Think about it:  We established new fuel economy standards, a historic accomplishment that is going to slash oil consumption by about 12 billion barrels, dramatically reduces pollution that contributes to climate change, and saves consumers thousands of dollars at the pump, which they can then go spend on something else.
As part of the Recovery Act, you cleaned up contaminated sites across the country, which helped to rid neighborhoods of environmental blight while putting Americans back to work. 
We don’t have to choose between dirty air and dirty water or a growing economy.  We can make sure that we are doing right by our environment and, in fact, putting people back to work all across America.  That’s part of our mission.
When we put in place new common-sense rules to reduce air pollution, we create new jobs building and installing all sorts of pollution-control technology.  When we put in place new emissions standards for our vehicles, we make sure that the cars of tomorrow are going to be built right here in the United States of America, that we’re going to win that race.
When we clean up our nation’s waterways, we generate more tourists for our local communities.  So what’s good for the environment can also be good for our economy. 
Now, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be some tensions.  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be legitimate debates that take place.  That doesn’t mean that it’s not important for every single one of us to think about how can we make sure that we are achieving our goals in the smartest way possible, in the most efficient ways possible, in the least bureaucratic ways possible, in the clearest ways possible.  That’s also part of our mission.
There’s not a federal agency that can’t get better and be smarter in accomplishing our mission, and we have an obligation every single day to think about how can we do our business a little bit better.  How can we make sure the taxpayers are getting every dime’s worth that they’re paying in order to achieve these important common goals that we have? 
But I believe we can do it, and you’ve shown me that we can do it over these last three years.  So I could not be prouder of the work that you all do every single day as federal employees.  I know the hours can be long.  I know that sometimes spending time getting these policies right means less time at home than you’d like, and you’re missing birthday parties, or you’re missing a soccer game, and the spouse is not happy with you.  I know a little bit about that sometimes.  (Laughter.)  I know these jobs are demanding.
But I also know what compelled you to enter public service in the first place -- and that’s the idea that you could make a difference; that you could leave behind a planet that is a little cleaner, a little safer than the one we inherited.
And I have to tell you that part of why I get excited when I see some of the work that you’re doing is because our next generation is so much more attuned to these issues than I was when I was growing up.  I can tell you when I sit down and I talk to my kids, probably the area where they have the most sophisticated understanding of policy is when it comes to the environment.  They understand that the decisions we make now are going to have an impact on their lives for many years to come.  And their instincts are right.  So your mission is vital. 
And just think of what this agency has been able to do over the last four decades.  There’s so many things we now take for granted.  When I hear folks grumbling about environmental policy, you almost want to do a Back to the Future -- (laughter) -- kind of reminder of folks of what happens when we didn’t have a strong EPA.  The year before President Nixon created the EPA, the Cuyahoga River was so dirty from industrial pollution and oil slicks that it literally caught on fire.  In my hometown, the Chicago River -- you probably could not find anything alive in there -- (laughter) -- four decades ago.  Now it’s thriving -- to the benefit of the city.  Today, because of your work, 92 percent of Americans have access to clean water that meets our national health standards.
Before the EPA was created, our cars were spewing harmful lead pollution into the air, with all sorts of impacts, especially on children.  Today, because of your work, air pollution is down by more than half, and lead pollution is down more than 90 percent from a generation ago.
So all of you, and all of those who served before you, have made a difference.  Our environment is safer because of you.  Our country is stronger because of you.  Our future is brighter because of you.  And I want you to know that you’ve got a President who is grateful for your work and will stand with you every inch of the way as you carry out your mission to make sure that we’ve got a cleaner world.  (Applause.) 
So, thank you.  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Video of Barack Obama’s EPA speech:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

President Obama talks clean energy at Washington, DC fundraiser

On the eve of the 2012 New Hampshire Primary, President Barack attended a campaign fundraiser in the nation’s capitol, where he delivered a rousing speech touching on number of green issues.

In his speech, Obama revisited a familiar theme of his 2008 presidential campaign: change.
“Change is the decision we made to stop waiting for Congress to do something about our oil addiction and go ahead and finally raise fuel efficiency standards on cars,” he said. “And now, by the next decade we are going to be driving cars that get 55 miles to a gallon.  And that is going to help our environment.  That will help our economy.  That’s going to help consumers.  That’s because of you.  That’s what change is.”

He sought to define the direction his reelection campaign would take during the 2012 election.

“The debate we’re going to have in this election is about where do we go from here,” Obama said.

“We should be in a race to support the best scientists and researchers who are trying to make the next breakthrough in clean energy and medicine,” he later added.  “And those should happen right here in the United States of America.”

The President also poked fun at his Republican rivals.

“Republicans in Congress and these candidates, they think that the best way for America to compete for new jobs and businesses is to follow other countries in a race to the bottom,” he said. “They figure, well, China pays low wages, we should pay low wages. Let's roll back the minimum wage.  Let's prevent folks from organizing for collective bargaining in this country.  Since other countries allow corporations to pollute as much as they want, why not get rid of the protections that ensure our air is clean and our water is clean.”

Seeking to fire up supporters for the tough fight ahead, Obama pointed to the words of Republican presidential candidates on the campaign trail in New Hampshire.

“And everything we fought for during the last election is at stake in this election,” he declared. “The very core of what this country stands for is on the line. The basic promise that no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, this is a place where you could make it if you try.  The notion that we're all in this together, that we look out for one another. That's at stake in this election.  Don't take my word for it.  Watch some of these debates that have been going on up in New Hampshire.” 

White House photo of President Barack Obama visiting a home in Cleveland, Ohio by Pete Souza. 

Mitt Romney’s EPA black out at New Hampshire Primary Debate

Mitt Romney pleaded ignorance when asked to comment on the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule at the January 8, 2012 NBC News Facebook debate in Concord, NH:
John Distaso, NH Union Leader: Great, for Governor Romney, I'm gonna stay with you for one moment here.  On the-- talking about regulation.  One of your prime, New Hampshire supports, Senator Kelly Ayotte, has said, quote, "New Hampshire should not be the tailpipe for pollutants from out of state power plants."  Many Senate Republicans attacked an EPA rule limiting air pollution that affects downwind states.  But she and others, including Scott Brown, joined with the president and Senate Democrats to block a repeal effort.  Now is this an example, this cross-state air pollution rule, of fair regulation?  Something that we in the Northeast are very concerned about, in terms of-- pollution?  Or is this over-regulation, job-killing over-regulation?
Mitt Romney: Well, I'm not-- I'm not familiar with this specific regulation, as it-- as it applies to-- to New Hampshire, but I do believe that we have a responsibility to keep the air clean.  And we have to find ways to assure that we don’t have the pollution of one state overwhelming the-- the-- ability of another state to have clean air.  I know in my state of Massachusetts, we-- we receive a lot of air from the rest of the country, obviously, given the winds coming from the West of the country to the East.
And so the responsibility in our state, was to get the cost-- get the-- the emissions from our power plants down.  That's one of the reasons why we moved to natural gas.  And-- and really, by the way, this-- this discussion about energy and security and getting the cost of gasoline down.  The-- the big opportunity here is not just a new oil distribution system, but it's natural gas.
We have massive new natural gas reserves that have been found in Pennsylvania, in-- in North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas.  Natural gas cheap, a fraction of the cost per BTU of-- of oil.  If we want to help people in New England have-- not only homes and businesses that emit less pollutant into the air, and therefore would have cleaner air, and also have lower-cost energy, it's let's build out this natural gas system so that we can take advantage of that new enormous source of American economic strength.

The recent U.S. Senate vote to save the EPA clean air rule made national headlines.

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, who has endorsed Romney, is on the former Massachusetts Governor’s list of potential running mates. She has joined Romney on the campaign trail on a number of occasions.

Just two months ago, Ayotte provided a nuanced explanation of her vote to save the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule:
Kelly Ayotte: Mr. President, I rise today to discuss Senate Joint Resolution 27, a resolution of disapproval of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.  I appreciate my friend - the Senator from Kentucky - for bringing his concerns forward through this resolution.  However, this is an issue that I have been extensively involved with as New Hampshire's former Attorney General, and I believe this resolution is misguided. This issue requires a balanced approach, and when looking at environmental regulations, we must view each on a case-by-case basis.  In that vein, I cannot support this resolution. 
The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is designed to control emissions of air pollution that cause air quality problems in downwind states, and is estimated to reduce power plant sulfur dioxide emissions by 73 percent and emissions from nitrogen oxides by 54 percent from 2005 levels.  It is important to note that similar pollution standards have been in place for six years - first implemented by the Bush administration in 2005 - and many utilities have already taken steps to comply with the rule.  The rule encourages the use of the best technology available so downwind states such as New Hampshire will be able to achieve national clean air standards.  Without this rule in place, New Hampshire will be unable to achieve national clean air standards due to air pollution that is outside of the state's regulatory control. 
We have a long, bipartisan tradition in New Hampshire of working to advance common sense, balanced environmental regulations.  That's the perspective from which I approach this resolution.  From my time as the state's Attorney General, I understand well that New Hampshire is one of several downwind states in what is infamously known as "America's tailpipe." For far too long, air pollution generated by Midwestern coal-fired power plants has been allowed to flow into the jet stream unabated and to settle in the New England region - leading to diminished air quality in my home state on New Hampshire.
As Attorney General, I worked to protect Granite State residents and our environment from air pollutants generated by Midwestern coal-fired power plants. The reality is that air pollution does not stop at state borders, and New Hampshire should not be the tailpipe for pollutants from out-of-state power plants.  It is a matter of common sense to ensure that one state's emissions are not unduly harming another state's air quality.
I urge my colleagues to oppose the Resolution of Disapproval. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

In NH, Newt Gingrich explains Environmental Solutions Agency

Newt Gingrich fielded a question about his plan to replace the EPA with something called the Environmental Solutions Agency at the January 8, 2012 NBC News Facebook Debate in Concord, New Hampshire.

“Speaker Gingrich,what exactly is an ‘Environmental Solutions Agency?” asked John Distaso, a political reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader.  “I think a lot of people might not know or understand that, why you wanted to disband the EPA and set up something that kind of looks like the EPA.”

Here is a transcript of the former House Speaker’s response:

Newt Gingrich: If you look at the EPA's record, it is increasingly radical.  It's increasingly imperious.  It doesn't cooperate.  It doesn't collaborate.  And it doesn't take into account economics.  The City of Nashville, recently, had a dump that was cited by EPA.  They went out to find out what was it being cited for.  And they told them, frankly, "We don't know.  We can't find the records that led to this citation.  And we're not exactly sure what to reference, but it must be bad or we wouldn't have sent it out."   
In Iowa, they had a dust regulation underway, because they control particulate matter.  And I do agree on clean air.  There are things they should do (UNINTEL).  But dust in Iowa is an absurdity.  And they were worried that the plowing of a cornfield would leave dust to go to another farmer's cornfield.  And they were gonna -- they were plannin' (UNINTEL) regulation.
In Arizona, they went in on the dust regulation and suggested to them that maybe if they watered down the earth, they wouldn't have these dust storms in the middle of the year.  And people said to 'em, "You know, the reason it's called a desert is there's no water."  Now this is an agency out of touch with reality, which I believe is incorrigible, and you need a new agency that is practical, has common sense, uses economic factors, and in case of pollution, actually, incentivizes change, doesn't just punish it.

Newt Gingrich’s 21st Century Contract With America provides a more focused description of the role the Environmental Solutions Agency would play:
We must also replace the EPA, which pursues an anti-jobs agenda the economy simply cannot sustain. A pro-growth Environmental Solutions Agency in its place will operate on the premise that most environmental problems can and should be solved by states and local communities. Rather than emphasizing centralization and regulation, it would emphasize coordination with states and local communities, the sharing of best practices, and focus on incentives for new solutions, research and technologies.

Newt Gingrich photo by Gage Skidmore

Friday, January 6, 2012

In NH, Rick Santorum Talks Climate change - Video and Transcript

Rick Santorum spoke at length about his views on climate change while responding to a voter's question at a January 4, 2012 town hall meeting in Belmont, NH.

His comments were caught on video by C-Span:

Transcript of Rick Santorum's climate change talk in Belmont, NH: 
Voter: I was wondering how you’ve integrated your financial policies with the findings of current climate change science.
Rick Santorum: The question is on how do I get my policies with climate change science.
I get asked this question a lot, and you look at the data and you can see some change in the climate.
But then again, pick a point in history where you haven’t seen a change in the climate.
The climate does change.
The question is, what is causing the climate to change.
And I think most scientists, in fact, I assume all scientists would agree there are a variety of factors that cause the climate change.
I don’t think any scientist in the world would suggest there isn’t a variety of factors, and I think the vast majority of scientists would say there’s probably a hundred factors that cause the climate to change.
And so why have we decided that this one particular factor, carbon dioxide, is in fact that tip of the tail that wags the entire dog. 
Why from a scientific point of view do we make the assertion that this is in fact what is the case when there is a whole lot of other factors out there that could be affecting it?
So, that’s the question.
Some people have very strong feelings that it is that. 
There are a lot of other people who don’t.
Here’s the question. 
Let’s even assume, for purposes of argument, not that I agree with it, but for purposes of argument, that they are right.
Then what would be a rational response?
Well, if you have a problem and you want to craft something, what should that thing that you’re crafting do?
Solve the problem.
Do any of the proposed solutions put forward by Al Gore and his friends do anything to solve the problem?
Even the scientists who support the theory will admit to you that it doesn’t do anything to solve the problem. 
So query, why support the solution, other than you may have some other agenda that may be in place here. 
And let’s go back to what that agenda is. 
There’s a common theme that you should be hearing here.
They don’t trust you to allocate resources in a way that they believe is best, and so they want to have a system that forces you to do what they think you should do in running your business and your lives. 
Rick Santorum may want to pay a visit to the EPA website, where he will learn that scientists and policy makers have identified a number major greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere by human activities, including methane, nitrous oxide, and flourinated gases.


New Hampshire Primary 2012: Green's coverage of Rick Santorum's latest comments on climate change is making global news:

The Guardian - Elections 2012 Live With Richard Adams

Mother Jones - Santorum: Climate Change is a Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy

DeSmogBlog - Santorum Misrepresents Science Again

Treehugger - Rick Santorum is Beyond Confused About Climate Change

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jon Huntsman shares energy plan in Manchester, NH

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman shared his plan for energy independence at a town hall meeting with employees of Public Service of New Hampshire held in Manchester on January 4, 2012. The one time Utah Governor and U.S. Ambassador to China was also endorsed by former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge at the event.

Transcript of Huntsman’s remarks on energy:
Voter: Governor, we’re importing a lot of foreign oil and exporting those dollars overseas.
Talk a little about your energy policy to reverse that trend and how we can be more self sustaining with our energies in the country to support our economy. 
Jon Huntsman: Well, I want to start by leading a conversation in this nation that points out how ridiculous it is to maintain this heroin like addiction to imported oil, and the transfer of wealth to the tune of $300 billion a year that lands in countries that having nothing more than a transactional relationship with the United States.
I would say, “We’re losing a huge opportunity here, when we can be doing it based upon what we have in great abundance here.”
So we wake up to the reality in this country that – we were talking about this earlier – we have more gas than Saudi Arabia has crude oil.
I say, “How stupid are we?”
I mean, when are we going to wake up and get with the picture here, and start converting more to transportation, converting more to power and electricity generation, and converting more to basic manufacturing, where we’re at maybe 19 percent. 
They want to go higher, but they need that clarion call from the bully pulpit that says, “Folks, it’s not a mandate, but here’s where our country is going in terms of energy independence. Jump on the bus. We’re not looking back, we’re moving forward.”
I’ll tell you how many companies would start moving in that direction.
There’s just been no clarity in terms of where we go.
So as the first Governor to sign onto the Pickens Plan, I like the natural gas part of the Pickens Plan, and I’ve talked to T. Boone Pickens several times about energy and our energy needs.
And I say, you can talk about the multiplicity of products that we can begin drawing from.
That’s all a reality. I think it’s very real.
I think the sun and the wind will play a role in the future.
I think inevitably that’s where science and technology takes us. 
The question becomes, if we’re going to do it in a non-subsidized fashion -- we’re all learning that you can’t do it in a subsidized fashion. It crashes and burns.
We’ve got to build a bridge from our today to that inevitable tomorrow, whenever that is.
And I say, lets begin building that bridge with the products we have in abundance.
And here’s the one thing I want to do. 
When elected president, because you can’t, again, I’m not one to promise the moon.
I say, here’s the one step I’m going to take, because I lived this reality when I drove a natural gas car as Governor.
I never thought I’d drive a natural gas car.
I ran into an entrepreneur in the northern part of our state. 
He said, “I’d love to take that black Suburban of yours and convert it to natural gas.”
I said, “I had no idea that you could even do that.”
So you know, thinking in terms of wanting to move towards greater energy independence, I said, “Go for it.”
Tooled around the state.
We started a wide ranging conversation around the state about alternative fuels only to find that the rate limiting feature was there was no distribution.
There were no fill up stations.
And the last thing the Governor wanted was to get caught 300 miles from nowhere.
So I went to our public utilities and said, “Folks, you can either be ahead of this debate or you can be behind. I think you’re going to want to be ahead. I need some help in building some infrastructure so we can designate a natural gas corridor and get the marketplace moving so people begin buying up.”
Which they did.
People responded to that and they were right on it.
We ended up designating a natural gas corridor, which I thought was pretty cool.
But the one thing I want to do as President, I want to break up this one product distribution monopoly, because it’s not serving our needs.
And it favors oil, and only oil. 
And I say, that’s not right.
That’s not fair to all the other products that we want to begin drawing from.
And I think it could be the most powerful contribution towards energy independence of anything.
Because, let’s face it, if we’re going to make energy independence or steps towards that goal a reality, we’ve got to have the infrastructure with which to do it.
You know, words are just words unless you can actually talk about the infrastructure.
So I want to do to that distribution system what we did to broadcast communication back in the early 1970’s when we went from three stations to a multiplicity of stations.
And I say, it’s going to take the Federal Trade Commission.
Of course, it’s going to take the Senate Judiciary Committee.
They all have to be part of it.
But let’s start the journey, and let’s get a President who can actually advocate in favor of making that very important step, without which it’s a whole bunch of talk and we don’t have the infrastructure in place with which to get something done.
So I think that would be the most important contribution we could make, and I want to get behind it.

Video of Jon Huntsman’s energy comments courtesy of C-Span:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mitt Romney: New Hampshire stops in Manchester, Peterborough today

Republican presidential candidiate Mitt Romney will host two town hall meetings in New Hampshire today – January 4, 2012. 

Fresh off his narrow first place finish in the Iowa Caucus, Romney will be at Manchester Central High School at 12:45 PM. The school is located at 207 Lowell St. in Manchester, NH.

The former Massachusetts Governor will then host a second town hall meeting starting at 5:45 PM at the Peterborough Town House – 1 Grove Street in Peterborough, NH.

New Hampshire Primary 2012: Green has been documenting Mitt Romney’s comments on global warming and the environment since May of 2011. Below are highlights from my coverage:

Mitt Romney photo by Jessica Rinaldi

Rick Santorum in Brentwood, New Hampshire tonight

Rick Santorum will host a Town Hall Meeting in Brentwood, NH tonight – Wednesday, January 4, 2012. The event gets under way at 7:30 PM at the Rockingham County Nursing Home, located at 117 North Road.

Santorum's visit comes just one day after his second place finish in the Iowa Caucus. He trailed Mitt Romney by just 8 votes in the Hawkeye State. 

New Hampshire Primary 2012: Green has been tracking the former Pennsylvania Senator’s comments on energy and the environment since he first entered the race for president in June of 2011.

Here are a few highlights of my coverage:

Rick Santorum photo by Gage Skidmore

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Iowa Caucus: Rick Santorum talks energy, Keystone XL in Ottumwa - Video and Transcript

Rick Santorum discussed energy policy, the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and his views on the environmental movement at a December 31, 2011 New Years Eve rally in Ottumwa, held just days before the January 3, 2012 Iowa Caucus.

Transcript of Rick Santorum's remarks:

We need an energy policy that not only from a national security point of view, but for creating jobs and keeping energy prices down to help manufacturers and other businesses compete.

One regulation the Obama administration just put in place is a regulation that according to the utility industry will require 60 coal fired power plants to be shut down over the next few years.

Now I know they want to get to 20 percent green energy by 2020, I just didn’t think they’d get there by cutting out fossil fuel energy, but that’s what they’re doing.

So we'd repeal that regulation and try to have a program – we’ll put together a program that, again, eliminates subsidies for all energy and says we need a market place, but we need availability of places to get our energy, which means Alaska, offshore, deep water. That means building pipelines.

Alright, I get a kick out of this Keystone XL debate.

Oh, we have this critical aquifer that we have to worry about.

Has anyone looked at the number of pipelines that go through that aquifer now?

I mean, you can’t even see the aquifer if you look at a schematic of how many pipelines are there.

This is just, again, pandering to radical environmentalists who don’t want energy production, who don’t want us to burn more carbon.

It has nothing to do with a pipeline.

It has to do with an ideology.

A religion of its own that’s being pushed on the American public.
 Video of Rick Santorum's remarks:

In Iowa, Rick Santorum talks coal, water pollution - Video, Transcript

Rick Santorum fielded a voter’s question about water pollution at a December 31, 2011 New Years Eve rally in Ottumwa, Iowa. Here’s video and transcript documenting what the former Senator from Pennsylvania and 2012 Republican presidential candidate had to say on the issue:

Voter: I’m concerned with a candidate who has some kind of an environmental policy.

60 miles east of here is a town in Middletown, Iowa, we have an army ammunitions plant that manufactured nuclear weapons and large ammunition, and 207 test wells out of 208 there are contaminated with ground pollution.

An 18-month environmental cleanup has now turned into a cleanup that’s supposed to last until 1946 and could be ongoing from that.

I’m curious what we’re going to do, because we only have so much water, and that water has to take care of all us.

And I’m concerned we’re already at the point of too little too late.

What are we going to do protect our water resources in this country?

Rick Santorum: I must admit, one of the things I learned in politics a long time ago, when you don’t know the answer to a question, you admit it and you don’t keep talking and prove to people you don’t know the answer.

I don’t that specific, this is the first I’ve heard of this situation and I apologize, so I can’t really comment on what’s happening there.

I can say that one of things I’m proud of, I happened to have worked on a bill in 2006 that broke a logjam between, not Democrats and Republicans, but the East and the West having to do with reclamation of abandoned coal mines, and the tremendous amounts of groundwater and other pollution that was coming from these abandoned mines.

Most of the coal mining as you know is now done in the Western states and the way that abandoned mine reclamation is funded, it’s based, it’s funded on a tax on coal from the state from which it comes.

Well obviously most of the abandoned mines are not in the West, they’re in the East.

And yet, all the tax revenue now is being raised in the West, and so, of course the Western producers didn’t want to send their money East, they wanted to use it to clean up their own situation or enhance the environment in that area, and that was a logjam for a long, long time.

But I worked with Mike Enzi and the Senator from Wyoming and we put together a comprehensive bill that now we unlock that monies and now a lot of that Western revenue is going to come and cleanup a tremendous amount of water in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and other place there was a lot of coal mining, which there is not as much today.

So if you’re looking for someone with a record of being able to work not just across party lines, but across national lines to get things done, we were able to do that.