Now that the 2012 primaries and presidential race are heating up, we thought we would share some impartial facts and observations on where the candidates stand regarding natural gas development.
The Common Ground
All of the candidates agree that there is a vast amount of natural gas supply. They also agree that, if used appropriately, it could create thousands of jobs and lower gas and energy costs. And all candidates say strict regulations and forbidden drilling areas prevent us from using natural gas to our advantage.
Here is a brief overview on the 2012 presidential candidates’ opinions:
- Gingrich on drilling: “We now have technology that lets us go down as far as 8,000 feet, reach out as far as four miles horizontally. We can now produce commercially available natural gas from shale. We have a 1,100-year supply,” said Gingrich. While the 1,100-year supply statistic is incorrect, Gingrich appears enthusiastic about the abundant natural gas supply and opposes restrictions on development.
- Gingrich would like to increase shale production in the western American states.
- The former Speaker of the House supports drilling offshore reserves to increase natural gas production.
- Gingrich feels we should do whatever we can to take advantage of the vast supply.
- Direct quote on regulations: “No new natural gas regulations, such as those being debated by Congress, should be enacted. The states are regulating the natural gas industry and there is no reason for the federal government to get involved.”
- Santorum is a firm believer in natural gas exploration and increased drilling. He also favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
- The Republican candidate would like to phase out energy subsidies and opposes new incentives for various forms of energy.
- He has spoken very little on energy production and natural gas. However, he believes if heavy regulations were removed, increased competition would lower gas prices.
- He supports the exploration of drilling for natural gas both on and offshore.
- As a Libertarian, he generally supports states making individual laws and regulations on energy, and he opposes subsidies.
- Romney on the benefits of natural gas: “Tapping the Marcellus shale deposits promises not only to supply clean and inexpensive energy to our country for the next century but also to create hundreds and thousands of new jobs.”
- Romney fully supports the use of renewable resources such as nuclear, solar and coal.
- The energy industry appears to be choosing Romney as their candidate of choice.
- Romney believes that shale gas production provides tremendous benefits to our country and is in favor of offshore drilling.
- President Obama at the State of the Union address: “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years, and my administration will do everything it can to safely develop this energy.”
- Obama’s administration has openly encouraged the development of natural gas.
- Most recently, in his State of the Union address, the President said he will direct his administration to open potential gas resources for development offshore.
- Obama has said that natural gas development will create approximately 600,000 jobs which will in turn, stimulate economic growth.
All the candidates see opportunities and benefits in natural gas exploration and development. Who do you agree with most? How do you feel about natural gas exploration?