October 8, 2012

OneVote: Energy & Environment


Maggie: Gas for our cars, heat and light for our homes and, of course, electricity to power up all our gadgets; energy keeps our country going. But the presidential candidates and our team OneVote disagree on where that energy should come from.

Kailyn: Obviously, I drive. So gas is a major concern for me.

Team OneVote Member: I think that domestic drilling is something that we need to do because even if we don’t do it, other countries are doing it.

Team OneVote Member: I think global warming is man-made, just because there is substantial scientific proof to support it. We need to take the necessary steps to try to reverse the damage before future generations have to deal with it.

Maggie: So where do the candidates stand on energy and the environment?

Mitt Romney wants less government regulation of energy, so America can more quickly develop its oil and natural gas reserves and further invest in nuclear power.

Mitt Romney: I’ll make sure we drill in the outer continental shelf and drill in Alaska and I’ll bring in that pipeline from Canada and keep that oil from going to China.

Maggie: Romney says states should have more authority over development. And he would open up more land to oil drilling, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore Alaska.

Team OneVote Member: We import a lot of oil from overseas. We’re importing it from OPEC, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and other nations, some of which don’t even like us. We need to drill here more in America.

Maggie: President Obama says he is also committed to decreasing America’s dependence on oil from other countries, but that we need to that while protecting the environment.

President Obama: As long as I’m president, we’re going to keep on encouraging oil development and infrastructure, and we’re going to do it in a way that protects the health and safety of the American people.

Maggie: The president ordered a temporary stop to deep-water drilling for oil after the huge BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago. But his administration has opened up more than 75 percent of potential offshore oil and gas reserves, and oil production in the U.S. is at an eight-year high.

Obama opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. President Obama has pushed for more clean energy; things that don’t pollute, like solar and wind power.

President Obama: We’re offering a better path, a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal.

Maggie: He wants to give tax breaks to wind and solar energy, but get rid of the tax breaks for oil companies.

Nyantan: I don’t think that we should invest in offshore drilling, but we should start to begin investing in clean energy sources like wind and solar power, which are abundantly available in the United States. And offshore drilling, I just feel is like a Band-Aid on the issue of energy.

Maggie: Mitt Romney wants an all-of-the-above approach to energy. He says we need to use both clean energy but also continue investing in oil and coal.

Mitt Romney: Number one, I’m going to take advantage of our energy – our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, our renewables…

Maggie: Romney believes in what he calls “a level playing field” for energy. He won’t give tax breaks to wind or solar.

Romney and the President disagree on the proposed Keystone Pipeline System that would carry crude oil from Canada to several refineries in the United States.

Romney supports construction of the entire Keystone Pipeline, while President Obama wants to hold off on parts of the Keystone Pipeline while experts study the environmental impact.

Climate change is another issue on which the two candidates differ. President Obama says there is overwhelming scientific evidence humans are causing the climate to change. The president supports cap-and-trade, which would set limits on how much greenhouse gas a business can emit. And companies are able to increase that limit by buying or trading carbon credits. Mr. Obama says it will help control pollution and give businesses an incentive to develop cleaner energy.

Mitt Romney opposes cap-and-trade. He says limiting emissions will end up hurting businesses and industry by increasing operating costs, which in turn will force companies to start cutting jobs.

So that’s where the candidates stand. But where do you stand? It’s almost time for our OneVote presidential election!

It’s your chance to let the country know who teens want in the White House, in the nation’s largest mock election for students.


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