The 2012 Presidential election is fast approaching, and both Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have spent the last several months defending past records, attacking their opponents, and laying out what they intend to do if (re)elected.
With executive authority over the largest energy user in the US (the Department of Defense), the primary regulatory authorities (FERC, EPA, and BLM, among others), and the energy research hubs of the country (the Department of Energy & its network of national labs), the President is uniquely capable of impacting energy policy for years to come – and by extension, to shape the path of economic development, for better or worse. More so than in the past, energy has played an important role in this election. Whether sparring over the Keystone Pipeline deal or arguing over the number of energy drilling permits issued in the past four years, both candidates have worked to distinguish themselves and lay out a plan for the future. What these plans really say, and how they would work in the real world, is still up for debate.
In the coming weeks, Sense and Sustainability will run a series of articles analyzing the energy & environmental policies of the candidates and discussing ways in which they might impact the actual business of sustainable development. Sense and Sustainability is a non-partisan organization, and these pieces are not intended as endorsements or condemnations. Rather, they are analyses of the policies the candidates have openly discussed, and a discussion of their potential impact on the day to day business of energy and sustainability. The goal is to help you, the American voter, approach the polls on November 6th with a better idea of what the candidates mean, on this issue at least.
We welcome (polite) discussion in the comments sections, and we hope you enjoy the articles.