Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman delivered his energy policy speech today, just an hour after visiting the University of New Hampshire’s one-of-a-kind energy plant, which takes methane gas from a landfill and turns it into energy to power the campus.
While most of the other candidates displayed their different stances on energy tax credits and subsidies in Pella, Iowa, today, Huntsman chose to stick it out in New Hampshire and discuss getting rid of America’s “heroin-like addiction to foreign oil.”
Huntsman said 10 out of the last 11 recessions were preceded by sharp spikes in the cost of oil. Huntsman also said it was the doubling of oil prices that helped bring the U.S. economy to its knees three years ago.
Huntsman outlined three steps to “unshackle ourselves from the scourge of foreign oil.”
1. Remove the regulatory constraints on the production of domestic energy.
“There is no reason drilling cannot be safely conducted in the Gulf, across the states and in Alaska,” Huntsman said.
Huntsman also supports the Keystone Pipeline, which would bring oil from Canada into the U.S.
“Every barrel from a friend is one less from a foe,” Huntsman said.
2. Level the playing field for competing fuels and end oil’s monopoly on transportation.
“I believe it’s time to let creative destruction loose in our energy sector,” Huntsman said.
Huntsman said the Obama administration issued fuel efficiency rules that bar heavy-duty vehicles from converting to natural gas. He also said the Environmental Protection Agency has imposed rules on vehicles converting to natural gas.
3. Make sure America leads in exploring the next generation of energy technologies.
“States are laboratories of innovation, yet federal rules handcuff them with red tape,” Huntsman said.
Huntsman said California leads the nation in geothermal and 15 percent of Iowa’s energy comes from wind.
Huntsman finished the speech by laying out three actions he will take on his first day in office if elected:
“I will direct my administration to clarify rules that ensure the safe and rapid expansion of offshore drilling and fracking.”
“I will move to open our fuel distribution network to all forms of energy, biofuels, natural gas and electricity.”
“I will systemically begin to eliminate every subsidy for energy companies, whether it be oil, natural gas, wind or solar.”
Huntsman was also sure to mention he drove a natural gas car as governor of Utah and built a system of natural gas fueling stations.