President Obama has demonstrated he does not know how to solve our energy problems and address our need for energy security. I would suggest he visit Pennsylvania to see how we do it right.
Below Pennsylvania's mosaic of cities, suburbs, villages, lakes, farms and highways lay vast reserves of energy. Pennsylvania is developing these energy resources, creating a surge of economic activity and good jobs at good wages for Pennsylvania men and women.
Pennsylvania produced over 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2011. It has 409 wells in the Marcellus Shale, a geologic formation that stretches into New York and West Virginia. These wells have given the Keystone State an added $1.7 billion in economic activity a year.
I support American energy. In my first 100 days as president I'll approve the Keystone Pipeline so we can create jobs and energy security by growing our partnerships with allies like Canada rather than sending their oil to China instead. I'll also sign an executive order unleashing America's domestic energy production without picking winners and losers. I'll allow states to choose where they want to explore for oil and natural gas so all states can have Pennsylvania's opportunities.
In addition, I'll eliminate Obama regulations that have onerous economic burdens, including rules on CO2 emissions and the radical environmental rule change by President Obama designed to shut down power plants. I'll order a review of all regulations, making sure they meet common sense cost-benefit tests.
It's not just Pennsylvania that understands that America must unleash its energy production. North Dakota, Texas, Arkansas and others, are tapping into oil and natural gas reserves using hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing has made trillions of cubic feet potentially available, and has driven the price of natural gas down to its current level of $2.04 per million Btu from $7 or $8 per million Btu between 2004 and 2009, and increase recoverable natural gas. Natural gas is a clean burning fuel. Emissions from natural gas burning automobiles are 25 percent cleaner than from gasoline or diesel engines.
My economic freedom agenda begins with unleashing America's domestic energy potential through the New American Energy Revolution. This revolution relies on market forces and private sector research and development capabilities to create new jobs and provide energy security from our enemies. Thanks to improved technology, this can be done so in an environmentally responsible manner and in a manner that helps families in need of good jobs. I will also expedite the approval of leasing and permitting for domestic oil and gas companies in crucial onshore and offshore locales on day one of my administration.
I continue to support exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska and on other federal lands. The role ofgovernment should be to unleash our resources, not keep them in the ground. The private sector and entrepreneurs have shown how to grow the economy, create jobs, and help struggling communities in the process. Unlike President Obama, I will allow states, rather than the Environmental Protection Agency, to set their own regulations regarding the use of hydraulic fracturing technology, giving America access to vast proven oil and gas reserves.
Unfortunately, radical energy agendas are nothing new to Mitt Romney either. While governor, Romney supported restrictions on carbon emissions-especially those targeting the abundant resources of coal. In Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky and throughout America, coal has been important to economic success. Mitt Romney bragged that Massachusetts was "the first and only state to set CO2 emissions limits on power plants." Massachusetts was also the first state to set carbon dioxide emissions on power plants. In a press release on December 5, 2005, then-Governor Romney said, "These carbon emission limits will provide real and immediate progress in the battle to improve our environment. They help us accomplish our environmental goals while protecting jobs and the economy." Now under President Obama's similar approach more than 100 power plants are closed or are planning to close. This is not good for our economy or for families and businesses in need of lower energy prices.
Perhaps since residents of Massachusetts are used to paying the highest healthcare premiums in the nation under RomneyCare, they will be OK with high energy prices as well. Those are the policies that produced the 47th lowest job creation rate in the country under Governor Romney. This is not the vision for freedom and opportunity for all that most Americans and most states desire. This is Obama-lite.
President Obama's flawed energy policy and Governor Romney's support of radical environmentalists have produced policies which prevent the development of American energy and punish the American consumer, instead of unleashing America's domestic energy potential and securing our future. Pennsylvania has shown a better way; we should not be stopping that progress now with Big Government and job killing regulations.
I'm in favor of growing the American economy through pro-growth tax and regulatory policies, including unleashing the energy sector in Pennsylvania and across America. This has always been my policy. Picking winners and losers is a job for the free market and not government. President Obama's no, no, no American energy "strategy" will not provide the bright future we desire. Governor Romney's no, maybe, no energy track record is not the bold free market leadership we need for our future, our businesses, our families, and for our national security. Unlike in the stock market or on Wall Street, in government, past performance is indicative of future performance. Governor Romney also once said that he is for cap and trade as long as the whole world is part of it. In contrast to promoting Big Government and global schemes that disadvantage America, my focus is on promoting freedom and opportunity here at home for all Americans. Unleashing the American entrepreneurial spirit and all forms of America's domestic energy potential will do just that for Pennsylvania and across our land.