The election’s polarization around climate, energy and the environment isn’t about the costs or relative importance of shifting to renewable power, protecting public lands or cleaning up air and water. It’s about the struggle between America’s economic past and its future.
Mitt Romney and the Republican Party have doubled down on a fading finance- and commodity-dominated economic order. It is one where innovation in research and development finds no domestic markets because incumbent interests hold on to outmoded capital stocks instead of modernizing them, and where innovative manufacturing is sacrificed to other sectors of the economy. As Romney said, inaccurately, in the first debate, lashing out at President Barack Obama: “You provided $90 billion in breaks to the green-energy world. Now, I like green energy as well, but that’s about 50 years’ worth of what oil and gas receives.”
The Republicans’ strong tilt toward coal and oil isn’t new. Former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were both oil executives, and Senator John McCain embraced “drill, baby, drill” as a mantra in his presidential campaign against Obama in 2008.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment