Interesting article in today’s New York Times about the differing Democratic and Republican long-term approaches to energy policy.

“Over the next decade or two, the differences could have a major effect on billions of dollars in government spending, on the relative prices of gasoline versus renewable fuels and on the efficiency of American cars and trucks”, reports the Times.

It continues: “For Democrats, the goal of energy policy is largely about reducing oil consumption and has become inseparable from the goal of reducing the risk of climate change. Though they differ on the details, the Democrats all closely link the goals of “energy independence” and slowing global warming.”

“All of the Democratic candidates would repeal billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil companies, spend billions more each year to develop alternative fuels, and require cars and trucks to be far more fuel-efficient.”

“But for Republicans, energy policy is quite separate from the issue of climate change — and some of the candidates have been skeptical that global warming needs to be addressed.”

“For them, energy policy is primarily about producing more energy at home — more oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; more use of American coal to produce liquid fuel; and, as with Democrats, more renewable fuels like ethanol.”

“The Republican contenders, maintaining the traditional conservative approach of relying on market forces, are much more reluctant to impose change through restrictions on oil and coal or mandates for alternative fuels.”

“The Republican candidates have mostly been silent about repealing tax breaks for oil companies. Though all the candidates support investment in biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel (Iowa, after all, dominates the early primary race in both parties), most of the Republicans oppose mandatory restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions that would effectively penalize the use of oil and coal.”

Pemalise oil? Now that would be a radical idea…

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