Time to face the facts: Mitt Romney is going to win the GOP nomination. Barring some totally crazy left-field development, Romney is on track to become the Republican presidential candidate. As such, we should be taking his energy proposal seriously -- and it's 100% ugly.
Yes, I know the polls still put Herman Cain up near the top. But have you seen this? If not, watch 'till the end--it is utterly and mind-blowingly awesome:
Aside from thinking in any way that producing this ad was a good idea, Cain's tax proposals have been lambasted by everyone, even in his own party, his foreign policy is best described as near-gibberish non-sequitars, and he's not even campaigning in Iowa. This gentleman is most certainly not going to win. And Rick Perry is now officially a nightmare for moderate Republicans everywhere.
Anywho, back to Romney and his repulsive energy plan.
Mitt Romney is the political establishment's best-known chameleon, so it should come as no surprise that his energy proposals merely echo and amplify the prevailing narratives crafted by GOP spin doctors. In short, it's this:
1. Give Big Oil, which already sucks down billions in subsidies every year, $4 billion more to play with.
2. Open up drilling just about everywhere. Alaska, the Gulf, everywhere! He'd also seek to...
3. Streamline and fast-track approval processes for drilling operations.
4. Do away with all of the environmental regulations Republicans have spent the year trying to do away with (despite the fact that Americans overwhelmingly don't want them to). Which of course means...
5. Amend Clean Air Act to exclude regulation of carbon.
This mishmash of backwards-looking energy policy is enough to make anyone living in the 21st century, and still hoping for a 21st century approach to energy, nauseous. It's cynical beltway politics through and through -- Romney will no doubt please corporations with the new handouts, and will take up the anti-regulatory mantle from the Tea Party. At least we could take solace in knowing that if the political winds somehow changed to favor climate action, the uber-chameleon would change his line too -- Romney wants to believe in climate change, and probably wants to see more clean energy, too. Just not as badly as he wants to get elected.