Mitt, We Have A Problem

Marita Noon 2013 greyDear Mitt,

Congratulations on winning the Iowa Caucus! I know you have worked long and hard for the Republican Presidential Nomination.

On the night of the caucuses, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (DWS), was heard saying: “Republicans, in general, aren’t enthusiastic about any of their choices.” This is clear as evidenced by the search for the “not Romney” candidate.

While DWS was correct, one thing all Republicans are enthusiastic about is beating President Obama. They will unite behind that cause. If you are to be the candidate who unites the Republican Party, you are going to have to differentiate yourself from President Obama to win support beyond Iowa. You’ve got several problems there.

One problem is your view on manmade climate change. The American public doesn’t view global warming as an important issue—this is especially true for Republicans. Yet President Obama continues to tout green jobs. In the name of saving the planet, his administration’s policies are making it difficult for people to feed their families and heat their homes.

People know his Solyndra-esqe failures have eaten up taxpayer dollars at a time when neither individuals nor the government have money to gamble, while adding to his campaign cash. They support the Keystone XL pipeline that would provide jobs and increase our energy freedom—but President Obama won’t make a decision on it. They are seeing their electric bills increasing and food costs going up. Each of these can be traced back to his insistence—in spite of evidence to the contrary—that climate change is a crisis caused by human’s use of hydro-carbons.

In your 2010 book, No Apology, you state, “I believe that climate change is occurring… I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor… I believe the world is getting warmer… I believe that humans contribute to that… I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and global warming that you’re seeing.” As recently as six months ago, you still supported this position.

Your actions as governor were consistent with your belief, like President Obama’s, that humans are the problem and that government can fix it. Your “no regrets” Climate Protection Plan aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, claiming that such actions would help the economy. You supported cap and trade. You claimed that coal-fueled electricity “kills people.”

Yes, I know that you did not follow through on your commitment to the “trading of emission credits.” In October 2011, you did back down on your firm “belief” that humans are contributing to global warming. But, you see, it is these revisions that cause angst for Republicans, conservatives, independents, and Tea Party types.

In order to convince the voters that you are serious, you need to be bold in separating yourself from President Obama.

You could start with acknowledgement that when you were Governor of Massachusetts, it was a different political and economic era. At the time, the only “science” getting any airplay said that global warming was a manmade crisis caused by Americans driving SUVs. Plus, pre-2008, we were living large—believing that the good times would go on forever. It seemed that a few extra cents for renewable energy was worth the investment—after all, we were “saving the plant.”

However, since then, we’ve found that scientists who disagreed with the so-called consensus were silenced; their research wasn’t funded. We’ve also learned that the “alternative” energies are making our electricity bills much higher and the biofuels have really been a pipedream. We now know that we cannot afford them, and they’ve hurt, not helped, the economy. The “green jobs” have dissipated as uncompetitive companies, like Solyndra and Massachusetts’s Evergreen, have been shuttered—leaving thousands of people filing for unemployment.

Washington’s belief that with enough money, we could make anything work has been proven false. People no longer want to subsidize ethanol, wind turbines, or solar panels. Businesses have moved from one state to another; from one country to another, based largely on the cost of energy.

Next, you could address the international implications. Iran is threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz. Because we are so dependent on Middle Eastern oil, its actions could represent a true manmade crisis. China is buying up interest in energy companies worldwide while beefing up their navy—insuring a steady supply for their growing economy. Currently, there is a global oil glut, as sputtering economies use less. For America to be strong, we need to be immune from the geopolitical fluctuations. Our own resources, augmented by the friendly fuel brought to us through the Keystone XL pipeline, offer such a vaccine—plus jobs and economic growth.

Our own abundant reserves of oil, gas, coal and uranium—including the oil off the Gulf and in Alaska, North Dakota’s Bakken Field, the Marcellus (NY and PA) and Utica Shale (OH), West Virginian coal, uranium from New Mexico, and rare earths from Wyoming (just to name a few)—provide America with good paying jobs. North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.5%—thanks to jobs in resource extraction and the hotels, restaurants, and shops that thrive in the booming economy. The Marcellus Shale has given Pennsylvania a boost, while regulations keep New York from the same benefit. Ohio is counting on a similar rebirth due to the Utica Shale.

To support this growth, the Keystone XL pipeline will help take all of that product safely to market. Instead of encouraging these job and economy boosters, President Obama’s EPA wants to impose a ban that will send these growing economies back into decay, and he opposes the pipeline. The EPA is not so blatant as to admit their true intentions: to end all fossil fuel development in the US. Instead they use a back-door attack, with headline-grabbing scare tactics, on the modern technology that brings out this new-found wealth.

America is in an economic war. At this point in our history we need to prioritize. Do we take the scarce taxpayer funds and invest them in a faulty technology that may create a few jobs—only to snatch them away when the project fails, or do we open the door for private investment in proven job providers. Jobs lost to a closed power plant, a moved rig, or a cancelled coal mine will not be absorbed into an industrial wind park. We’ve successfully built millions of miles of pipeline and have millions of wells. We know how to do this and private enterprise continues to develop better and safer technologies. We know they offer good paying jobs and develop strong communities. Let’s build on success in America!

You know that the DNC will trot out their pit poodle, DWS, many times again. Imagine what will happen when she starts yapping about your coal-kills comment, or your government interventions, or the praise Al Gore lavished upon you. Your “no apology,” “no regrets” approach isn’t working. Yes, I know you won in Iowa by 8 votes—with 25% of the vote. If you want to be the nominee, you need to do better than that. Why not get out ahead of the chatter?

I know you are getting advice from a lot of people, and you do not know me. But energy is such an important issue because of the dire consequences of the current course. America’s abundant and affordable energy is one of the few weapons we have in a global economic war.

North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Il, died last month. In the days after his death, a satellite photo of the Korean Peninsula at night was frequently seen along with the news accounts. North Korea, the communist country, is black with the exception of a dot of light at the location of Pyongyang. In contrast, South Korea—the free market, democratic, and developed country—is bright. I am sure you’ve seen the picture. Think about it and the attacks on energy and their ultimate goals. Where do Americans want to live? Darkness or light?

The fight for energy is a fight for freedom, and 2012 will be a pivotal year where America will be faced with making the decision that will determine our future. Will you be strong or squishy; definitive or duplicit? Will you present a stark contrast between a bright future—fueled by America’s abundant, available, and affordable natural resources, and President Obama’s restricted, limited, and experimental energy world? If you choose the former, and can paint the picture of a bright America, you will likely win the support of the voters.

I wish you, and America, your very best!


The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy.

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