President Barack Obama’s energy plan is disastrous for the country. In January 2008, then-presidential candidate Obama stated, “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” Higher electricity prices mean the cost of everything will “necessarily” increase, from the price of heat to the price of gas at the pump. Neither college students nor other Americans can afford this. An increase in electricity costs will undoubtedly result in increased college operating costs, necessitating another increase in tuition.

President Obama also opposes the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline, despite the boon this pipeline would bring to the United States. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu discussed the administration’s energy plan: Keep fossil fuel prices high in order to make “alternative” options artificially more appealing. He stated, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Although Mr. Chu later recanted this statement, the failure of the administration to take any action to lower gas prices has discredited this change of heart. The administration used stimulus funding to subsidize about 25 alternative energy companies, three of which later failed. After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, President Obama also approved a moratorium on oceanic oil exploration, which prevents companies from accessing key offshore oil reserves. This shrinks the supply of oil, which raises prices. Obama’s energy plan hurts the U.S. economy and unnecessarily spends billions of taxpayer dollars.

By contrast, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s plan provides an energy solution that helps the economy instead of hindering it. Romney supports the completion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the United States. This will create thousands of jobs for American workers — engineers, architects, etc. — and provide cheaper energy for Americans. Romney opposes the current policies that aim to increase electricity prices. He supports using America’s coal reserves to provide energy security and reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. According to the Department of Energy, the United States contains one-quarter of the world’s known coal reserves — utilizing this coal will decrease the cost of energy. Romney’s plan aims to eliminate restrictive regulations put in place by President Obama that will strangle the coal industry and prevent the private sector from being able to continue research into making coal more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Romney opposes President Obama’s subsidies to alternative energy companies — companies that may soon collapse and leave taxpayers with a financial loss. Romney will allow the private sector to decrease the price of energy from oil and coal through market competition. Unlike the energy policy of President Obama, Romney’s plan will result in less expensive energy and a stronger economy.

This was written on behalf of the University’s chapter of College Republicans by Phil Brenz and Brent Goodman.

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