Entries in energy (25)


Obama Mocks Romney for Seamus the Dog

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(OSKALOOSA, Iowa) -- It’s official: the infamous tale of Seamus the dog is now fodder for the campaign trail.

President Obama finally went there today, teasing Mitt Romney for famously putting the family dog on the roof of his car, as he blasted his opponent’s energy policy.

Touting the job-creating potential of wind energy in Iowa, the president criticized Romney for saying, “you can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.”

“Now,” the president said chuckling, “I don't know if he's actually tried that. I know he's had other things on his car.”

In 1983, Mitt Romney strapped Irish setter Seamus to the roof of his station wagon as his young family drove from Boston to Ontario.

The jab from Obama came as he outlined the stark contrast between his support for wind energy and the view of the presumptive GOP nominee, who is spending the day campaigning in coal country.

“Governor Romney said, let's end the tax credits for wind energy production. Let's get rid of them. He said that new sources of energy, like wind, are imaginary. His running mate calls them a fad,” Obama said before a backdrop of Americana at the picturesque Nelson Pioneer Farm and Museum.

The president, who is pushing Congress to extend a production tax credit for wind energy companies, noted the wind industry supports 75,000 jobs across the country.

“These jobs aren't a fad -- aren't a fad. These are good jobs. And they're a source of pride that we need to fight for,” he said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama to Hit Romney on Wind Energy in Iowa

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(OSKALOOSA, Iowa) -- President Obama will tout the job-creating potential of wind energy on the trail in Iowa Tuesday, contrasting his views with those of Mitt Romney.

At three stops in the large wind-producing state, Obama is expected to hit Romney for not wanting to extend tax credits for wind energy companies.

“My opponent and I disagree when it comes to homegrown energy like wind,” Obama said Monday in Boone, Iowa. “Wind power is creating new jobs all across Iowa.  But Gov. Romney says he wants to end the tax credit for wind energy producers."

“America generates more than twice as much electricity from wind than when I took office," the president continued.  "That’s right.  The wind industry supports about 7,000 jobs right here in Iowa.  Without these wind energy tax credits, those jobs are at risk, 37,000 jobs across the country would be at risk."

“So my attitude is let’s stop giving taxpayer subsidies to oil companies that don’t need them, and let’s invest in clean energy that will put people back to work right here in Iowa,” Obama added. “That’s a choice in this election.”

To make his point, the president will likely highlight a new Energy Department report out Tuesday that found wind power amounted for 32 percent of new electric capacity in the United States, representing a $14 billion investment.

Romney spokesman Ryan Williams, in response to the president’s wind energy push, said, “Mitt Romney is a strong supporter of wind power and appreciates the industry’s extraordinary technological progress and its important contributions to America’s energy supply."

“Unfortunately, under President Obama’s approach, the industry has lost 10,000 jobs while growth in wind power nationally has slowed every single year of his term.  Mitt Romney will instead set the industry on a course for success and growth by promoting policies that remove regulatory barriers, support free enterprise and market-based competition, and reward technological innovation,” Williams said in a written statement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Hits Romney on Wind, Water Policy in Colorado

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages(PUEBLO, Colo.) -- President Obama today used the issues of wind energy and water purity to draw stark contrasts with Mitt Romney, and attempt to lure some of this state’s environmentally-conscious swing voters to his side.

Speaking inside the Palace of Agriculture on the Colorado State Fairgrounds, Obama hammered his Republican rival for opposing an extension of tax credits to help wind energy producers finance new projects and hire new workers. The credits expire at the end of the year.

“At a moment when homegrown energy, renewable energy, is creating new jobs in states like Colorado and Iowa, my opponent wants to end tax credits for wind energy producers,” Obama said, drawing boos from the crowd.  “Think about what that would mean for a community like Pueblo. The wind industry supports about 5,000 jobs across this state. Without those tax credits, 37,000 American jobs, including potentially hundreds of jobs right here, would be at risk.”

In a statement to The Des Moines Register last month, Romney spokesman Shawn McCoy said the former governor “will allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits.”

“Wind energy will thrive wherever it is economically competitive, and wherever private sector competitors with far more experience than the president believe the investment will produce results,” McCoy said.

The position puts Romney at odds with a number of congressional Republicans from states like Iowa and Colorado, some of whom have publicly questioned his stance. The Obama campaign says it will continue to exploit the Republican divide over wind energy tax credits, particularly during the president’s bus trip through Iowa next week.

Obama also raised the issue of water conservation and purification – salient here in Pueblo and throughout the Southwest – as a reason for greater federal infrastructure spending.

“Water is the lifeblood of our communities,” Obama said. ” It was 50 years ago this month that President Kennedy came to Pueblo, and he signed the ‘Fry-Ark’ [Fryingpan-Arkansas Project] bill.”  The measure led to the construction of dams and reservoirs on the Fryingpan and Arkansas Rivers to store and deliver water to the region.

“Today my administration is making sure 50 years later that you’ve got the resources to finish the job so that we are leaving your kids and your grandkids clean water, clean drinking water that — that is long overdue,” he said. “That’s the kind of investment in America that creates jobs now and makes life better for the future. That’s what this election is about. That’s the America we want to build.”

Romney opposes Obama’s plan to boost federal spending on infrastructure projects around the country as a way to create jobs.

Before arriving at the fairgrounds, Obama and his entourage stopped for breakfast at Romero’s Café — a local, family-owned Tex-Mex diner that specializes in red and green chilis. The president ordered enchiladas Tejanas, three corn tortillas stacked and stuffed with chorizo and topped with cheese, but told the cashier to hold the onions.

“You’d better take the onions out because I’m going to be kissing babies,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Pegs Obama’s Energy Policies as Out of Date

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Alex Wong/Getty Images(FORT LUPTON, Colo.) – Returning to Colorado for the first time since being defeated in the state’s primary in February, Mitt Romney focused his speech Wednesday on energy, laying out what he would do to capitalize on energy already stateside and pinching the president for taking credit for the increase in oil production.

“I recognize that what you’re seeing in terms of growth of the energy sector is happening in places like this, where men and women working in oil, coal, gas, are able to create jobs, help keep the cost of energy down to the extent that we can – that’s good not only for American families, it’s good for American enterprise and manufacturing,” Romney said, standing in front of an oil pump at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. “Now the president tries to take credit for the fact that oil production is up. I’d like to take credit for the fact that when I was governor, the Red Sox won the World Series, but neither one of those would be the case.”

Romney went on to paint the president’s energy policies as “simply out of date,” renewing an argument he first made Tuesday in Michigan that sought to link Obama to “old-school liberal policies.”

“This is a choice for the American people,” Romney said. “They can decide to stick with President Obama. And many feel he’s a nice guy. I don’t have a problem with the man personally. But his policies are rooted in perspectives of the past.

“His ideas about energy are simply out of date. His other policies flow from the thinking of the liberals from years ago,” he continued. “Liberals, their view was, ‘If there’s a problem in our economy, the government ought to take things over and run it.’”

Romney said that if he is elected, he will “open lands for exploration,” “expand leases on western land” and “open up ANWR,” referencing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“I’m going to get drilling in the Gulf going again. I’m going to make sure we drill for oil in the outer continental shelf, people in Virginia have been waiting and waiting for the approval to drill for oil in the outer continental shelf off their coast, they want to do so, their governor wants to do so but the Obama administration says they want to study it some more,” Romney said. “They should have done more studying on Solyndra and less studying on that drilling in the outer continental shelf.”

Romney said he supports fracking regulations to be done at the state level and “not have the federal government take it over.”

“I want to make sure we can use our coal now recognize that as we take advantage of our energy resources a number of very good things happen,” he continued. “One people get lower cost energy, that’s good for American middle-class families, all families. Two we get more energy jobs. Those 75,000 more jobs in oil and gas and coal, I want to see those job numbers keep going up. And number three, if we have low cost energy, which is a major input for all sorts of manufacturing you’re going to see a resurgence of manufacturing gin America.”

Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for the Obama re-election campaign, promptly accused Romney of being “dishonest about both President Obama’s record on energy and his own.”

“Contrary to Romney’s rhetoric, President Obama has aggressively pursued an all-of-the-above energy strategy – helping to expand domestic oil production, incentivize research and development for clean coal, nearly double the production of renewable energy, and encourage natural gas production – which has increased every year under President Obama to an all-time high,” Smith said. “And his policies have paid off in energy jobs, the oil and gas industry has added tens of thousands of jobs, employment in coal mining has reached a 15-year high, and his investments in the clean energy sector have supported more than 200,000 jobs.

“The real question is why Mitt Romney has embraced a backward-looking strategy of pushing to give more tax breaks to the big oil and gas companies and eliminate protections against Wall Street speculators manipulating oil prices,” Smith said. “These policies may help the big oil donors that Mitt Romney has cultivated, but they will do nothing to relieve middle-class families’ pain at the pump.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Ad Attacks Romney as Pawn of Big Oil

Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s re-election campaign is joining an escalating air war over gas prices and oil subsidies with a new TV ad in several states attacking Mitt Romney as a defender of “Big Oil.”

The 30-second spot, airing in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia, portrays Obama as under attack by wealthy oil companies and their allies who feel threatened by his calls to eliminate taxpayer subsidies and invest in new energy sources.

“In all these fights, Mitt Romney’s stood with Big Oil -- for their tax breaks, attacking higher mileage standards and renewables,” the narrator says.

The ad also reacts to a $3.6 million ad campaign launched last week by the American Energy Alliance -- a nonprofit group with Republican ties -- that is sharply critical of the president for gas prices and his handling of the Keystone XL pipeline and the failed solar start-up Solyndra.

“When you see this ad,” the Obama ad says in response, “remember who paid for it.  And what they want.”

The American Energy Alliance is reportedly funded in part by billionaire oil magnates Charles and David Koch, though the group does not have to disclose its donors or say what they contributed.

“It’s no surprise President Obama is spending his soon-to-be $1 billion war chest to attack Mitt Romney and deflect blame for his failure to control gas prices,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul.

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said the ad suggests Obama is “panicked” about the impact high gas prices may have on his re-election.

“Instead of implementing solutions, the president is once again trying to mislead voters with a negative attack ad in an attempt to get re-elected,” Kukowski said.  “So much for the hope and change the president promised.”

Obama’s new ad -- called “Remember” -- is his third of the 2012 election campaign and second on the topic of energy, responding directly to attacks by outside political groups.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Concludes Tour with Campaign-Style Pitch for Green Energy

Official White House photo by Pete Souza(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- President Obama wrapped up his two-day, four-state energy tour Thursday with a rousing campaign-style speech in the battleground state of Ohio.

The trip ended just as it began, with the president blasting Republicans who say more drilling is the best solution to spiking gas prices.

”They make fun of clean energy,” the president told the rowdy crowd at Ohio State University of his GOP rivals. “They call the jobs produced by them phony jobs....They make jokes about them at their rallies.”

Once again, the president declined to name names. “Lately we’ve heard a lot of politicians, a lot of folks who are running for a certain office -- they shall go unnamed -- they dismiss wind power.  They dismiss solar power,” he said, laughing.

While the president touted increased drilling under his administration, he argued that investments in green energy would ultimately ease the pain at the pump.

"The point is, there will always be cynics and naysayers who just want to keep on doing the same things the same way that we’ve always done them,”  he said. “We’ve got a choice....We can keep developing new energy and new technology that uses less oil, or we can listen to these folks who actually believe that the only thing we can do is drill our way out of this problem."

Facing election-year attacks from Republicans for the rising cost of oil, and with 65 percent of the public disapproving of his handling of gas prices, the president has spent the last two days defending his all-of-the-above approach with stops in Nevada, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama: "As Gas Prices Go Up, People Feel I’m Not Doing Enough"

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With the price of gas becoming an increasingly critical issue on the campaign trail, President Obama admitted on Monday that “as long as gas prices are going up, people are going to feel like I’m not doing enough.”

“I understand that, because people get hurt when they’re going to the gas station and seeing those prices rise every day,” Obama told ABC’s Orlando, Fla., affiliate WFTV.

The president’s comments came in response to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll that found 65 percent of Americans disapprove of how the president is handling the rising price of gas, while just 26 percent approve.

Obama has defended his “all-of-the-above” energy strategy against Republican attacks in recent weeks, touting the “historic achievements” of his efforts to reduce the nation’s reliance on foreign oil.

Calling for an end to $4 billion in oil and gas subsidies, the president has argued that the nation should invest in alternative energies to ease the pain at the pump.

“Obviously, what we want to do is to get gas prices as low as we can, as quickly as we can, but the most important thing in order to do that is to reduce our demand on oil,” Obama told WFTV.

The president also blasted his Republican opponents who claim they can bring gas down to $2 a gallon.

“Nobody believes that,” Obama said.  “They know that’s just politics.”

As for Republicans calling for increased drilling, the president said they are not telling the truth.

“The issue here is not that we’re not drilling enough.  The problem is we only have 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves and we use 20 percent of the world’s oil,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama to Sell Energy Plan on Local Airwaves

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will promote his energy policy on Monday through a series of local TV interviews taped at the White House.

“Despite the gains we’ve made, today’s high gas prices are a painful reminder that there’s much more work to do free ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil and take control of our energy future,” the president said in a written statement marking the one-year anniversary of his Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future.  ”And that’s exactly what our administration is committed to doing in the months ahead.”

The renewed push by the White House to sell its energy strategy comes as new polls shows rising gas prices are becoming an increasingly critical issue on the campaign trail.

Rising gasoline prices have surpassed the federal budget deficit as Obama’s single weakest issue, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, which shows 65 percent of Americans disapprove of how the president is handling the rising price of gas, while just 26 percent approve.

The president will pitch his “all-of-the-above” approach to energy production in interviews with stations from Austin, Cincinnati, Denver, Des Moines, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando and Pittsburgh.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Delivers Counter Argument to Obama's Energy Speech

Toni Sandys/The Washington Post(FARGO, N.D.) -- On the same day President Obama will deliver a speech on energy in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney pivoted his stump speech to focus on that very subject, accusing Obama of not understanding energy, much like he often accuses him of not understanding the economy.

“This is a president who does not understand energy.  He is the problem; he is not the solution.  It’s time to get him out of the White House,” said Romney, speaking at the Wrigley Mechanical warehouse in Fargo, N.D.

“Now today, today the president is going to be in New Hampshire talking about energy in North Dakota.  He's about as far away from North Dakota as he can get and still be in the United States.  His idea of course is to be far enough away from the people who know what's really going on right here to maybe try and blow one past folks,” said Romney.  “But that's not going to work because of course we're all connected in the modern world.  And he's going to talk about how he's responsible for the increasing production of oil in this country, oil and gas in this country.”

Romney, who supports fracking -- a method of obtaining oil and gas by pumping fluids into the ground to break apart rocks and release sources of energy -- railed against the Obama administration for trying to regulate it.

“As a matter of fact, he's got 10 different federal agencies trying to push their way into fracking so that they can slow down the development of oil and gas in this country,” said Romney.  “And then more and more I think…no brainer decision.  When someone says we want to bring in a pipeline that’s going to create tens of thousands of jobs to bring oil in from Canada, how in the world could you say no?”

“This is a president who's not been helping the situation.  And then he takes his EPA and uses them to try and stifle the development of oil and gas in this country and coal.  And then he gets his EPA and tries to get them to start regulating fracking,” he continued.

Romney was also asked by one member of the audience about the second amendment, the second time in as many days that Romney has been asked about his stance on gun control.

“I will protect the right to bear arms in this country,” he said.  “I have a couple of guns myself, and -- shotguns, that is -- and I know that people have their own choices in this regard.  I know there will be an attack on the Second Amendment, just as there was recently an attack on the First Amendment.”

“Obamacare is an attempt by this administration to say, for instance to the Catholic Church that they have to provide to the employees of, let's say, universities that are in the Catholic Church, they have to provide to them sterilization treatments for free, and contraception, and morning after pills, and that violates the conscience of the church, the conscience of individuals, and fortunately, there's an effort in Washington to stop that, to reverse that,” Romney said.  “This is a president, I agree, who is attacking the principles of the Constitution.” 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gingrich Calls Obama’s Embrace of Algae Energy ‘Weird’

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(FEDERAL WAY, Wash.) -- Newt Gingrich has been hitting Obama’s energy speech since the president delivered it Thursday, calling the speech funny enough to be on SNL and “something worthy of Leno or Letterman.”

Gingrich’s biggest talking point about Obama’s speech attacks the president for his embrace of investments in biofuels such as those made from algae.

He is referring to a point in Obama’s speech when the president said, “We’re making new investments in the development of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel that’s actually made from a plant-like substance known as algae.”

“Believe it or not, we could replace up to 17 percent of the oil we import for transportation with this fuel that we can grow right here in America,” Obama said.

On Thursday night, Gingrich mocked the president’s speech in front of an Idaho crowd, by suggesting that he should take a bottle of algae with him and “go around and we can have the Obama solution.”

“And maybe what we ought to do at is we ought to get t-shirts that say, ‘You choose.’  Gingrich went on to suggest the slogans, ‘You have Newt: Drill here, Drill Now, Pay Less. You have Obama: Have Algae, Pay More, Be Weird.”

Gingrich himself has taken a lot of flack on the campaign trail this year for presenting ideas that the other candidates have called “grandiose” and “zany.”

In particular, at a speech in Florida, Gingrich presented his idea for a colony in space.  ”By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the Moon and it will be American,” Gingrich said in January. (Gingrich’s space idea actually was parodied on SNL in February.)

While Gingrich said a base on the moon would only take 9 years -- and could be done by the end of his second term, Friday he said the concept of algae biofuel that Obama presented could take years longer.

“It’s a terrific concept, and I think in 20, 30, 40 years it will be at scale, maybe,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich said that while he is a “big fan” of science, Obama’s biofuels endeavor could be like the bankrupt Solyndra project. “You know the President had this magnificent solar power investment and took 500 something-million of your money, [he] visited the plant because it was the plant of the future,” Gingrich said. “I suspect in the next few weeks we’ll see him at some algae plant.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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