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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

“Republicans are seizing the opportunity to make energy politics a centerpiece of their campaign …”

Recently I wrote here about how the US Presidential campaign is hastening the end of the CAGW scare. One of the things I said in that piece was that I didn’t know if Romney intended to make a big issue out of the new energy sources that are now coming on stream in the USA. But, I argued, even if Romney’s only interest in enterprises like Solyndra is that they are corrupt and wasteful rackets for syphoning tax money into the pockets of Obama supporters, I argued that such policking would still have the effect of flagging up the CAGW argument, to the extreme disadvantage of those who still take the CAGW scare seriously.

The central problem for the CAGW team being that whereas until now, others have been trying to knock some sense into their heads, with little apparent success, now the CAGW team itself is going to have to convince a crucial cohort of American voters that CAGW is a problem, when those voters now mostly reckon that it is not. This the CAGW team will be totally unable to do, any more than they have convinced the people whom they describe as “deniers” to stop their complaining about all the dodgy “climate science” on which the CAGW scare has always depended. All that the CAGW people will do is publicise their failure so far to make any persuasive sense.

I learned today, from this article by Walter Russell Mead, that Team Romney is indeed well aware of how Team Obama’s fondness for Greenery has caused Team Obama to impede the development of new energy sources in the USA, and that Team Romney very much intends to make an issue of this.

Says Mead:

Republicans are seizing the opportunity to make energy politics a centerpiece of their campaign.

And then Mead links to an FT story which is behind a paywall, but also quotes from it, as now do I:

“Blue-collar voters were never that sold on environmental issues, and if some Democrats come across as not keen on economic development, it could lose them support here in Ohio,” he said.

Who “he” is there, I don’t know, not being able to read the previous bit of the FT piece that says this, and Mead himself doesn’t say. But I am sure that whoever he is, he is right.

Republicans, from Mitt Romney, the party’s presidential candidate, to the congressional leadership, have made Barack Obama’s alleged stifling of the energy industry a centrepiece of their campaigns this year. …

Mr Romney has said he will approve the Keystone XL pipeline as soon as he wins office and curb the powers of the Environmental Protection Agency.

So, it would appear that the intellectual pressure already being applied to the CAGW-ers is even greater than I said in my earlier piece. Good.

10 comments to “Republicans are seizing the opportunity to make energy politics a centerpiece of their campaign …”

  • Laird

    Sorry, but I still think you’re reading far more into this than is actually there. That article is about shale gas, which Obama has stifled, and the Keystone XL pipeline (which would have transported natural gas from Canada down to Texas), which Obama shot down on flimsy “environmental” grounds. Maybe you can even infer from it support for opening up the oilfields in Alaska. But there’s absolutely nothing there about CAGW, or carbon emissions, or anything remotely related to that whole issue.

    I still believe that Romney will stay as far away from “global warming” as possible. Sure, he wants “energy independence” and lower fuel costs, but he’ll simply dance around the carbon emissions elements of that because it’s a political loser.

  • Paul C.

    Were will they turn up next, though? Like the old James Brown song, they are going to need a brand new bag. Hustle. Scam. Racket. .

  • Gene

    Laird, the Keystone XL pipeline is built for oil, not natural gas. It’s the source of that oil (Canadian oilsands) that has the usual suspects up in arms about it.

    Re new natural gas extraction, it is growing significantly in the U.S. Obama may have “stifled” some portion of it, but we’re still talking about a large increase in NG supplies from North American sources.

  • newrouter

    the Keystone XL pipeline (which would have transported natural gas from Canada down to Texas)

    xl is to carry the canadian oil sands petroleum to gulf coast refineries.

  • newrouter

    mitt romney today

    Today, government at all levels consumes 37 percent of the total economy or G.D.P. If Obamacare is allowed to stand, government will reach half of the American economy. And through the increasing controls government has imposed on industries like energy, financial services and automobiles, it will soon effectively control the majority of our economic activity.

    One must ask whether we will still be a free enterprise nation and whether we will still have economic freedom. America is on the cusp of having a government-run economy. President Obama is transforming America into something very different than the land of the free and the land of opportunity.

    We know where that transformation leads. There are other nations that have chosen that path. It leads to chronic high unemployment, crushing debt, and stagnant wages.

    I don’t want to transform America; I want to restore the values of economic freedom.

    via powerline

  • veryretired

    One of the most commonly held snobbisms of people who eat, sleep, and breathe politics is how stupid and uninformed the average citizen is.

    But, while the person who works in a bakery, or runs a small business, or does any one of a million types of work that have all sorts of complexities and responsibilities, might not know all about the political obsession du jour, he or she does notice when the political intrudes into their lives.

    The people who have constructed a global economic system, a global communications and transportation system, who can administer enormous payrolls and product lines, and can make dozens of decisions about their personal and business lives on a daily basis, are not stupid or uninformed about those things that are important to them.

    They just don’t share the political geek’s obsession with every nuance of this law or that appointment, or some other bit of political hoopla that all the geeks are consumed by this week.

    What we have been seeing these last few years is the spectacle of many, many ordinary people deciding that they will take an active political path for the first time in their lives.

    Part of the reason for this development is the grotesque obstructionism of the current regime and its various environmentalist followers toward any improvement in the energy situation.

    They’ve heard all the blather about this crisis or that new green energy source, and how all it will take is patience and enormous subsidies to reconfigure our economy, but then they get their home utilities bill, and their gasoline credit card bill, and they realize something has gone badly wrong.

    We saw it in 2010, we’ve seen it in this election cycle as incumbents are repeatedly challenged, and we saw it yesterday in Wisconsin.

    Ordinary people are not stupid, not at all. They can tell that political things are out of control, and that certain pols and the ideas they preach are the cause of many of the problems

    The pols and the geeks and the activists may hate it, but the people who get up every day, drive to work, do their jobs, drive home, and take care of their families’ needs are the ones who will ultimately decide which pipelines are built, or energy sources utilized, or government programs passed or cut.

    And any fool who thinks he can withstand that tsunami will be drowned and swept away.

  • Laird

    A very nice encomium to the Common Man, veryretired, but the fact that Obama won in 2008, and according to most polls remains extremely close to Romney even today, suggests that your praise is, shall we say, somewhat overwrought. Granted, there is a difference between stupidity, wishful thinking and willful ignorance, but at the end of the day the result is the same so (for present purposes, anyway) it’s a distinction without a difference.

    If Obama receives less than 40% of the popular vote in November I’ll reconsider my opinion. But otherwise, I continue to subscribe to H.L. Mencken’s aphorism that “No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”

    And by his follow-up: “As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

    We have arrived.

  • veryretired

    While I understand your position, I find your elitist snobbery distasteful.

  • Laird

    So noted. Elitism, maybe, but snobbery? Hardly. Just pointing out the obvious.

  • Paul Marks

    Governor Romney is a ruthless and cynical man (as any examination of how he and his people have treated fellow Republicans shows) – but in poltics being ruthless and cynical are VIRTUES.

    They mean (that if he can only add COURAGE to ruthlessness and cynicalness) Mitt Romney will succeed where John McCain failed.

    Treat Barack Obama the way you have treated other Republicans – that is all I ask Mr Romney.

    “But the media….”

    The media will say you eat babies – WHATEVER YOU DO.

    So go for Comrade Barack (and have your people go for him) and rip his throat out.

    Show him to be utterly corrupt -and (at the same time) trapped in a “Green” fantasy.

    What can he do?


    “No I do not really believe in this Green stuff – I (like my friend Van Jones) am a Marxist just USING this nonsense as a stick to attack capitalism with”.

    Comrade Barack can hardly say that.