If you follow national politics you will notice the recent trend from the various presidential campaigns announcing their energy polices. Most candidates from both parties are talking about what they will do if elected and presenting their views on energy and the issues and challenges that come with development. One candidate even choose to make their energy policy announcement in Ohio last week. If you watched the first Democratic Party debate in Las Vegas, four of the five candidates spoke about climate change. It will certainly be a topic of conversation when the Republican Party rolls into Cleveland in a few months for the nominating convention.
I had the chance, many years ago, to be a paid staffer on two different presidential campaigns. You want to talk about a different kind of energy, there is nothing like the rush of working on something as grand of a scale as that; it was an amazing opportunity.
Of the candidates that have talked about their energy plans and vision, many have talked about the Keystone XL pipeline, LNG exports, the Clean Power Plan, methane emissions, ozone standards, development and rules on federal lands. I would encourage you to check out the plans, as they vary as much as the candidates and parties do.
With that being said, at the national level there is a lot of the talk these days about the different forms of energy and the ups and downs within each market, as well as the debate over items like crude oil exports or drilling in the artic. These topics are important but don’t forget to pay attention to what your local candidates are saying as most are up this November. This year, a local election year, seems to already have been forgotten about before it even takes place, due to the elephant (or donkey) in the room, which is the national election over a year away.
I would argue that as important as that election will be, your local officials play a role in your day-to-day life more than President “so and so” ever will. Take the Community Environmental Legal Defense Funds charter amendments as an example. I doubt those are on the President’s radar, but a large group of mayors and trustees in eastern Ohio have been talking about them these last few years. Also look at the pipelines that current do and will run through northern Ohio, and discover what the various city councils and county commissioners have to say about those activities. What do they think about drilling? How do they spend monies earned from leasing and royalties? Do they work with you to resolve issues?
My advice is don’t skip out on this election while paying attention to what is next. Much like in football, you can only run one play at a time and those who try to think about what is next make mistakes on what they are doing now. Local elections matter.
Ohio will no doubt be active this year and next as the long list of national candidates make their way to the Buckeye State campaigning. As with this presidential election, like those in the past, look around when you see those events on TV, you will find many local candidates lining up to support their favorite. But they can’t be there if we don’t elect them first this year. With either political party, you win from the ground up. Like I said, local elections matter.