This year’s presidential election seems to center around the economy but there are many other important issues that need to be resolved on which the two candidates have vastly different views. One important matter where President Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney differ is the subject of renewable energy subsidies. Renewable energy sources are those that create electricity using non-traditional means, such as wind turbines and solar panels. These industries not only create thousands of jobs, but they also provide some relief to the global environment by reducing the output of air pollutants, particularly greenhouse gases. Helping to develop an industry that not only creates jobs but also protects the environment for the future generations would seem like a no-brainer, but Mitt Romney does not see it that way.
Romney has stated, if elected, he will put an end to the Production Tax Credit which provides tax relief to wind and solar power companies claiming they are a $90 billion annual drain on the federal budget. Yet he plans to keep the $40 million tax breaks given to the nonrenewable, environmentally destructive oil and gas companies, even though they are financially secure and have no need for them. Why would he do such a thing? Most of us already know the answer to that question – because the oil industry is funneling huge amounts of money into his election campaign. Think Progress recently detailed how Romney plans to ignore green energy and the implications it would have on jobs and the economy, not to mention the environment. He does not seem the slightest bit interested in what is best for the future of our country or our world, just in ensuring that the pockets of he and his wealthy cronies are kept full.
President Obama has a different plan. He would like to do away with the huge and unnecessary tax breaks given to the fossil fuel industry and continue or enhance the relief offered to those companies that create energy using renewable resources. The Christian Science Monitor recently outlined how both wind and solar energy companies have a proven track record of creating jobs for Americans while helping to reduce the environmental damage done by the emission of greenhouse gasses.
Romney has also stated that he intends to boost the economy by cutting regulations on fossil fuel producers and making more money available for the oil companies to find new oil reserves. He also intends to revise the Clean Air Act to remove the restrictions placed on greenhouse gas emissions so that coal-burning plants can operate more cheaply. These changes will hamper the EPA’s ability to protect the American people, and the entire world, from the negative side effects of air pollution. It seems such a short-sighted view, protect the dirty, fossil fuel based energy industry now – leave our children to clean up the mess. It seems such a clear choice this election. Vote for Romney who has shown his support for the industries that help him get rich now and ignore the future or re-elect President Obama. His plans to extend the renewable energy subsidies will not only help to create more jobs now, but will protect the environment for all of us.