2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is losing the key support of moderate voters by taking a strongly negative position on renewable energy; the details are outlined in the release of his proposed energy plan.
The plan will eliminate government support for renewable energy, particularly wind and solar power, and drastically change environmental protection policies. Romney will increase production of coal, oil and natural gas while repelling new pollution legislation. The plan would also rework the existing Clean Air Act, which Romney claims is outdated. However, the plan does nothing to address climate change. Romney has stated that he rejects the National Academy of Sciences’ reports that links coal, oil, and gas emissions to global warming. He believes government spending to reduce emissions “is not the right course for us.”
Furthermore, Romney claims that the government can’t continue to support measures to reduce emissions and protect the ozone when unemployment is at the current levels.
The growth rate for jobs in the solar industry is nearly 10 times greater than the United State’s national average employment growth rate of 0.7 percent. The solar industry has grown over 70 percent in the last year alone and now employs over 100,000 Americans at more than 5,000 businesses around the country. Part of that growth is in fact due to support from the current presidential administration for the solar industry in the last few years.
Comparatively, the fossil fuel industry has had a negative growth rate of 2 percent when measured in the same time period. Out of 2,100 solar installation firms recently surveyed by the Solar Foundation, over 50 percent said they would be adding jobs in 2012. By August of next year, the Solar Foundation predicts growth in the solar industry to be 24 percent, an addition of 24,000 jobs.
“Time and again over the last few years, the solar industry has proven to be a bright spot in a grim economy,” said Matthew Bartlett, Founder of AtisSun Solar. “It supports thousands of American families through employment and helps millions more by reducing their energy expenses and carbon footprint. I truly hope Romney’s plan can be revised to take that into account.”