What The Presidential Campaigns Are Saying About American Natural Gas

With only 61 days until the upcoming presidential election, voters across America are sharpening their focus on President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney’s campaigns, their policies, and respective visions for our nation’s future.

Despite the many differences, both candidates and their parties are touting the key role that America’s abundant, clean-burning natural gas resources can and must play for our nation’s future. From more good-paying jobs, especially for women, and a stronger economy, to a cleaner environment and a more secure America – the benefits of natural gas are as staggering as they are undeniable.

In fact, the Houston Chronicle – in an editorial this week entitled “Natural gas should fuel political common ground” – writes this:

Energy is rising to the top of the political agenda in this presidential election season. As well it should. … Sound energy policy is the key to creating well-paid jobs on a large scale and a powerful economic recovery. … We see a world of possibilities. But those will only come to full fruition if the politics of energy and the environment can get unstuck and meet on common ground. We believe they can and must. … Common ground: A clean-burning fuel that is plentiful and has proved to have dramatic impact on CO2 levels. … Clearly, the potential of natural gas to revolutionize the nation’s transportation sector energizes imaginations as much as it does utility plants and trucks. … We stand on the edge of a supremely promising era of progress and prosperity powered by natural gas and enhanced energy conservation – both made possible by old-fashioned American ingenuity. … Will our political leaders have the imagination and willingness to set aside differences and work toward a common goal? Voters of both parties will be watching with more than casual interest.

Here’s what the party platforms are saying about natural gas:

Democratic Party Platform:

  • Our dependence on foreign oil is now at a 16-year low, and a new era of cheap, abundant natural gas is helping to bring jobs and industry back to the United States.
  • We can further cut our reliance on oil with increased energy efficiency in buildings, industry, and homes, and through the promotion of advanced vehicles, fuel economy standards, and the greater use of natural gas in transportation.
  • Harnessing our natural gas resources needs to be done in a safe and responsible manner, which is why the Obama administration has proposed a number of safeguards to protect against water contamination and air pollution. We will continue to advocate for the use of this clean fossil fuel, while ensuring that public and environmental health and workers’ safety are protected.

Republican Party Platform:

  • All estimates of America’s oil and natural gas reserves indicate an incredible bounty for the use of many generations to come. At a time when unemployment has been above 8 percent for 42 consecutive months, the longest stretch since the Great Depression, and some 23 million Americans are either unemployed, underemployed, or have given up on finding work, we should be pursuing our oil and gas resources both on and offshore.
  • The current President has done nothing to disavow the scare campaign against hydraulic fracturing.
  • We will respect the States’ proven ability to regulate the use of hydraulic fracturing, continue development of oil and gas resources in places like the Bakken formation and Marcellus Shale, and review the environmental laws that often thwart new energy exploration and production.