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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Romney’s energy rhetoric is so soaring and inspiring, you’ll have to look twice for it

Author: Guest Writer/Thursday, August 23, 2012/Categories: Uncategorized

Being moved – emotionally – by Mitt’s ambitious and in-no-way-empty energy plan

By Reilly Capps

Mitt Romney sure is inspiring, isn’t he? Reading his energy policy, released today, gave me goose bumps. It’s easy to envision the quote that led off the pamphlet, from his book “No Apologies,” being carved in stone on some towering monument:

“Spending our energy dollars here for domestically
produced energy while also funding research,
development, and production of new sources of
energy creates jobs, strengthens the dollar, and
reduces our exposure to supply risks and volatility.”

That’s vision, right there. You can see why people are so excited about this guy. I only napped once during that. Never mind the rhythm of the words, the genius of the word choice. Look at the substance. “Strengthening the dollar” is the main thing I look for in energy policy. “Supply risks and volatility” killed my cat.

Others have other visions, but I don’t find them so compelling as this sweeping new proposal to just keep on using oil and coal until we die from one of America’s all-time big-picture thinkers, Willard M. Romney. There’s just something so Churchillian about his call to, essentially, give up on solar and wind power, since they still cost more than coal does (as long as you don’t include the environmental costs).

But more than the policy details, which are so ample they would require several sentences to list here, it’s the rising and rousing way he talks about our energy challenge -- our country’s greatest challenge -- and innovative energy solutions, which must excite anyone with half an imagination.

When talking about wind power, Romney doesn’t stultify, as others will, with boring policy notes about “harnessing the very breath of the Earth.” 

Instead, when mentioning the word “wind,” which he does thrice – three times! three! in a tiny, 21-page plan!-- he’ll use thundering, Lincoln-esque tones, such as: “We should not be in the business of steering investment toward particular politically favored approaches.”

Wow. That’s deep.

When talking about solar power, he won’t devolve into wonky politician-speak about how “solar powers shows us clearly that a loving God shines down on us, and His warmth is all we need.”

Instead, when mentioning the word “solar,” as he does twice – two whole times! that crazy dreamer! -- he’ll channel Demosthenes and Solon, and write: “wind and solar power, two of the most ballyhooed forms of alternative fuel, remain sharply uncompetitive.”

“Sharply uncompetitive.” That’s a bumper sticker, right there.

But he’s at his best, I believe, when he’s talking about climate change. He won’t bore you with insider droning about how “Americans, through our very greatness, our mastery of technology and machines, may accidentally be engineering the mechanisms of our own demise.”

No, when he talks about climate change, he sounds downright Jeffersonian, saying … well, I don’t see “climate change” in his plan … maybe he uses the term “global warming” … no … let’s see … maybe in the appendix … no.

Well, he never mentions climate change or global warming. Nowhere. Not once.

But this was just his main energy proposal, and it was only 21 pages. I’m sure he’ll have lots more to say on climate change down the road.

After all, in 2003, he wrote to New York Gov. George Pataki about their continuing efforts “to reduce the power plant pollution that is harming our climate. I concur that climate change is beginning to effect on our natural resources and that now is the time to take action toward climate protection …” Then he bragged about how his state was the first to put a cap on carbon dioxide.

So it’s a matter of time before Romney gives us more soaring, gut-churning, brow-soaking words about humanity’s greatest challenge and America’s greatest opportunity, a challenge and an opportunity which he, visionary that he is, recognized nearly 10 years ago, and 10 years ago did something about.

Ten years ago.

Maybe he said everything he needed to say back then.

He’s such a broad thinker that he’s said nearly everything on the subject that a person can say.

When it comes to energy and climate change, that’s how far ahead of the curve this genius really is.

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