In Brief: the 2008 GOP National Platform – Energy & the Environment

Up next in our quick trip through the 2008 Republican Party Platform we’ll visit the chapters on both Energy and the Environment. Here are the titles and sections for Energy:

Energy Independence and Security

Growing Our Energy Supply

Growing American Energy Production

Nuclear Power: the Earth’s Clean Future

Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Hydropower

Clean Coal

Natural Gas

Energy Cooperation

Reducing Demand for Fossil Fuels

Increase Conservation through Greater Efficiency

New Technologies for Cars and Other Vehicles

Today the cost of both gasoline and natural gas is down – but as we know – that’s doesn’t mean supply and demand won’t change all that soon. Solving the supply problem isn’t difficult – it’s just put out of reach when Democrats are in power or when Republicans are in power they don’t get the job done.

Included in our Party Platform under “Energy Independence and Security” is this:

“Our current dependence on foreign fossil fuels threatens both our national security and our economy and could also force drastic changes in the way we live. The ongoing transfer of Americans’ wealth to OPEC – roughly $700 billion a year – helps underwrite terrorists’ operations and creates little incentive for repressive regimes to accept democracy, whether in the Middle East or Latin America.

It didn’t have to be this way, and it must not stay this way. Our nation must have a robust energy supply because energy drives prosperity and increases opportunity for every American. We reject the idea that America cannot overcome its energy challenges – or that high gasoline prices are okay, as long as they are phased in gradually. We reject half-measures and believe ‘No, we can’t’ is not a viable energy policy.

Together we can build a future around domestic energy sources that are diverse, reliable, and cleaner. We can strengthen our national security, create a pathway to growing prosperity, and preserve our environment. The American people will rise to this challenge.”

Under “Growing Our Energy Supply” is this:

“We must aggressively increase our nation’s energy supply, in an environmentally responsible way, and do so through a comprehensive strategy that meets both short and long term needs. No amount of wishing or hoping can suspend the laws of supply and demand. Leading economists agree that any actions that will increase future energy supplies will lead to lower energy prices today. Increasing our production of American made energy and reducing our excessive reliance on foreign oil will:

  • Bring down the high cost of gasoline and diesel fuel.
  • Create more jobs for American workers.
  • Enhance our national security.”

The Energy chapter isn’t long – and includes references to nuclear power as well as solar, wind, geothermal, clean coal, natural gas and hydropower. It’s a quick read and worth your time.

The title and sections for the chapter on the Environment are as follows:

Environmental Protection

Addressing Climate Change Responsibly

The Solution: Technology and the Market

International Cooperation

Using Cash Rewards to Encourage Innovation

Doing No Harm

Continuing Our Stewardship over the Environment

This chapter actually reads weaker than it needs to – drafters of the Platform would have been well advised to spend some time at the website of the Chicago-based Heartland Institute before putting pen to paper. Republicans should be a lot more confident in the environmental successes during the past few decades as well as in the science that disputes the Al Gore engendered hysteria of the “global warming”-for-profit-business.

Under “The Solution: Technology and the Market” is this:

“[R]epublicans support technology-driven, market-based solutions that will decrease emissions, reduce excess greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, increase energy efficiency, mitigate the impact of climate change where it occurs, and maximize any ancillary benefits climate change might offer for the economy.

To reduce emissions in the short run, we will rely upon the power of new technologies, as discussed above, especially zero-emission energy sources such as nuclear and other alternate power sources.  But innovation must not be hamstrung by Washington bickering, regulatory briar patches, or obstructionist lawsuits. Empowering Washington will only lead to unintended consequences and unimagined economic and environmental pain; instead, we must unleash the power of scientific know-how and competitive markets.”

Under “Continuing Our Stewardship over the Environment” is this:

“[I]t is no accident that the most economically advanced countries also have the strongest environmental protections.

Our national progress toward cleaner air and water has been a major accomplishment of the American people.  By balancing environmental goals with economic growth and job creation, our diverse economy has made possible the investment needed to safeguard natural resources, protect endangered species, and create healthier living conditions.”

For more ideas on how Republicans might approach environmental issues, visit the Heartland Institute’s Environment and Climate News section on their website.

Up next: Health Care Reform

©2009 John Francis Biver