Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. While downtown, I took the opportunity to attend a few energy themed forums hosted by various media outlets discussing how the topic of energy impacts the election, the economy and the environment.
The Atlantic, A forum on Energy and the Environment:
For those unfamiliar with The Atlantic, it is known as a publication that advances bold ideas on the urgent issues of our time. According to its website, “since its inception in 1857, it has evolved into a multi-media must-read, illuminating fresh thinking on politics, business, technology, entertainment, and culture. It stirs vital national conversations through groundbreaking perspectives and a distinctively unbiased approach.”
The Atlantic held a forum that focused on the topic of Energy and the Environment. A couple of key questions that were asked during this event included, what strategies and policies should the next President of the United States adopt to consolidate these gains in energy production? Is there an ideal mix of conventional and renewable energy sources that will help grow the economy while protecting the environment? To answer those questions and more, both Congressman Kevin Cramer, (ND-R) and Congressman Bill Johnson (OH-R) took to the stage. The first question was addressed by Congressman Cramer and he spoke of how Mr. Trump’s policy is “more fossil fuels, less rules while preserving our environment.” Additionally the Congressman went on to say that Mr. Trump, whatever the issue, looks at it from an “America First” point of view. No matter if it is the Trans Pacific Partnership, the Paris Climate agreement or their predecessors like the North American Free Trade Agreement, he will do what is best every time for America and its citizens. Then it was Congressman Johnson’s turn and he came right out of the gate talking about how honest he and other Republican members of congress are when talking about where our energy portfolio comes from and how it is based on natural gas, crude oil, coal and nuclear. Then he followed that comment up by saying when talking about renewables those opportunities “need to be market driven not mandated by D.C.” One of the major themes I walked away with is that these two gentlemen and many like them truly believe that producing energy and protecting the environment are not mutually exclusive.
To watch the video click here: http://www.theatlantic.com/live/events/striking-a-balance-rnc/2016/
The Washington Post, A forum on Energy and Economy:
The Post’s forum hosted the former Governor of the great state of Mississippi, The Honorable Haley Barbour who took questions from the crowd and a moderator, covered a wide range of energy topics. I had the chance to ask him a question about regulations. I was interested on his take on whether the states or the feds are best to regulate the oil and gas business, and where and when those lines should intersect. In answering my question, he went into great detail about the history of how states have regulated the oil and gas industry, excluding on federal lands and off shore. He explained from his perspective “that since the beginning states have regulated production, drilling, unit size, fracturing etc.” He shared that the control should stay with the states and went even further to share that the President’s budget had monies for seven different departments to regulate the industry, and it was his opinion that there is no need for that.
To watch the video (third video down) click here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-live/wp/2016/07/13/the-washington-post-will-be-live-at-the-republican-and-democratic-convention/
Politico, A Forum on Energy and the Election:
If you have not read POLITICO, it is a global news and information company at the intersection of politics and policy. Since its launch in 2007, POLITICO has delivered journalism about politics and policy making that is more useful to people with a professional interest in public affairs; and that is more fun to read for a community of people who love the drama and sheer sport of politics.
This forum featured several congressmen, business leaders and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce among others. The discussion focused on how the topic of energy was going to influence the candidates and/or the election itself. The conversation kicked off by looking at what is in and what is out of the Republican Party platform such as issues like carbon capture. Much of what was discussed was allowing the market to use things like carbon as a commodity instead of looking at it as a problem. There was even a reference to the anti-oil and gas movement of “Keep it in the Ground”, again suggesting let the innovators find solutions as a way of dealing with current issues instead of shutting industry down. America should continue to lead on issues like the environment by letting innovation solve problems.
To watch the video click here: http://www.politico.com/events/2016/07/politico-caucus-energy-and-the-election-at-the-rnc-225020?slide=0
These three forums are just a small sample of some of the great events and opportunities that were available to convention goers all week long in Cleveland. Leaving the city after all of the parties, speeches and activities a few things were clear. First, Cleveland did a great job keeping everyone moving and safe. Second, energy will continue to be a topic of important national discussion. Lastly, Ohio will play a key role once again not only on energy and the debate about it, but the overall election.