Former GOP candidate [and Harvard University!] show way on energy

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I wrote after the first GOP debate in Cleveland about the absence of any discussion regarding national energy policy. Last week, the GOP candidates for president squared off again, this time in California, in a three hour debate and “energy” was again nowhere to be found. This was especially disappointing in light of the Harvard University report that was released earlier in the week: America’s Unconventional Energy Opportunity - A Win Win Plan For the Economy, the Environment, and a Lower Carbon, Cleaner – Energy Future. Here is an excerpt from the executive summary:

Unconventional gas and oil resources are perhaps the single largest opportunity to improve the trajectory of the U.S. economy, at a time when the prospects for the average American are weaker than we have experienced in generations. America’s new energy abundance can not only help restore U.S. competitiveness but can also create geopolitical advantages for America. These benefits can be achieved while substantially mitigating local environmental impact and speeding up the transition to a cleaner-energy future that is both practical and affordable.

However, America is currently caught in an unproductive, divisive, and often misinformed debate about our energy strategy, which threatens our nation’s economic and environmental goals. There is an urgent need for the U.S. to get on a new path. We set forth an overall strategy for unconventional energy development that meets the most important goals of industry, environmental stakeholders, and governments, and allows the U.S. to responsibly achieve the full benefits of this unique and vital opportunity.

So, where are the voices for the U.S. opportunity? If an iconic liberal university can support shale, why can’t any of the GOP candidates for president? A former GOP candidate for president has grasped the problem/challenge and proposed a solution. Last Wednesday, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani urged the natural gas industry to mount a public relations campaign to overcome what he said was an irrational fear of fracking among some sections of the public. The article Giuliani urges shale industry to fight ‘irrational’ public fear of fracking reports on Giuliani’s speech in Philadelphia to the natural gas industry. “The natural gas industry is not being supported by the national government in the way that it should be…the Obama administration [needs] to make it easier for U.S. shale gas producers to export overseas.”

The next GOP presidential debate is Wednesday, Oct. 28, in Boulder, CO. What a great opportunity for either Gov. Kasich or Sen. Cruz (both from shale states) to tout their shale experience and outline how natural gas can lead the way for U.S. prosperity. I will be watching and hoping!

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