At Faith and Freedom Coalition, GOP candidates go after EPA
Republican presidential hopefuls attacked the Environmental Protection Agency during a social conservative event in Iowa over the weekend, and said the United States should allow for more production of energy domestically, have fewer regulations and end a moratorium on deepwater oil drilling.
Speaking at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition event on Saturday were Atlanta businessman Herman Cain; U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann; Texas Gov. Rick Perry; former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich; U.S. Rep. Ron Paul; and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum. About 1,000 people attended the group’s 11th annual fall banquet at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Tickets were $55.
Cain said if he had to choose one energy-related decision to change, he would have allowed people to decide what light bulbs to use in their homes.
“America believes in choice,” he said. “Green energy is a joke. You ought to be able to pick what light bulbs you want.”
Bachmann called the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve “the most perfect place in the world to drill for oil,” and said “God has given us such a tremendous gift” through the country’s energy resources.
“I want to open up American energy production and be the leader in the world and be the head and not the tail,” Bachmann said.
Bachmann also called for shutting down the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy, saying tasks performed by those agencies should be left to the states. And she said the moratorium on deepwater drilling is worse than the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“The one that has really hurt the economy in the most devastating way is the moratorium that President Obama put on after the oil spill that occurred,” Bachmann said “There was devastation that occurred because of the oil flow that occurred but there was nothing that was worse than the moratorium that he put on.”
Perry went after the deepwater oil drilling moratorium as well, saying it’s the most devastating energy policy from the current administration.
“This president has killed more jobs with his regulatory schemes that have gone forward and that knee-jerk reaction of stopping drilling and that is some of the fastest things that we can turn around with a new president,” he said.
He also called for more domestic energy production and limiting the roll of the EPA, saying he has a plan to make America more energy secure.
“The idea…that we would send hundreds of billions of dollars offshore to countries that are hostile to our future is nonsensical to me,” Perry said.
Gingrich advocated for replacing the Environmental Protection Agency with what he called an environmental solutions center, and said he would make permanent any kind of tax credit for wind and solar energy and continue development of crop-based fuels.
“This is the most anti-American energy administration in history and it’s just unbelievable,” he said.
Paul didn’t call for eliminating the EPA but did say he’d get rid of the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior. And Santorum called for drilling “anywhere we can” and cutting all energy subsidies, saying he believes the ethanol industry can compete on a level playing field.
“There’s either a deliberate attempt by this administration to destroy the energy future of our country or they’re just simply incompetent,” he said.