GOP Gets Ready to Approve Predictably Oily Energy Platform at the RNC

Gage Skidmore/CC BY 2.0

The mighty Republican National Convention began in earnest today, after a brief delay caused by what is now Hurricane Isaac. And judging by the massive amount of media coverage devoted to the event, it appears that we're all supposed to care a great deal about this inane carnival, which will be followed shortly after by another, slightly less inane carnival next week—Democrats cannot hope to match the spectacular ridiculousness that pours forth from the likes of Donal Trump, after all.

Romney will accept his party's nomination, and his wife will try to "humanize" him. There will be cheering. Keynote speakers and presidential and vice presidential candidates will be given ample air time to repeat the same talking points they've been trotting out for weeks—Repeal Obamacare. Keep the gays unmarried. People build things and the government doesn't. Obama has ruined the economy, but #WeBuiltIt.

Dog whistles will be blown (Obama has all those "foreign" policies and "foreign" ideas, and hey, whoa, who said anything about his birth certificate). And all of this concern over whether Isaac, a powerful storm that may impact millions of people's lives, will overshadow coverage of such windbaggery only serves to underscore the event's frivolity. In a mildly humorous side note, the same Republicans attending the convention today attempted to gut funds for hurricane forecasting in the budget they voted for last year. But I digress.

After all, as a Treehugger reader, you're probably curious about what the convention will mean for the nation's energy and environmental policies. And indeed, Republicans have put together an energy platform that is to be approved at the convention. But if you have ever read more than 50 words about GOP energy policy over the last ten years, you will be thoroughly unsurprised as to what it contains.

The Associated Press obtained an advance copy outlining the agenda, so here 'tis:

The party is committed to domestic energy independence and an "all-of-the-above" energy policy, backing the exploration and development of the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. It criticizes the Obama administration for picking winners and losers in the energy sector and expresses support for new coal-fired plants that will be low-cost, environmentally responsible and efficient.

It adds: "We will end the EPA's war on coal and encourage the increased safe development in all regions of the nation's coal resources." It calls on Congress to prohibit the EPA from moving forward with new greenhouse gas regulations "that will harm the nation's economy and threaten millions of jobs over the next quarter century."

So: Build Keystone XL. Drill in ANWR. Stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. Yawn. These positions have been requirements for being a Republican for the last three years. And despite the fact that voters trust Obama over Romney on energy 49 to 41%, it looks like Mitt will be sticking with the same platform down the home stretch.

Tags: Congress | Oil