A Free-Market Energy Blog

Robert Francis O’Rourke on Energy (Eco-Beto is keep-it-in-the-ground)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 26, 2018

“Beto knows that climate change is the defining existential threat of our time.”

– O’Rourke Campaign Website

“All campaigns are to some degree an act of public manipulation,” Charles Blow stated recently in his New York Times column, “hopefully to the good, but often to the ill.” The Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke run for US Senate in Texas (against incumbent Republican Ted Cruz) has been a case study in public manipulation, elevating image over substance in a Red state.

The manipulation centers around the Spanish nickname “Beto” by a fourth-generation Irish American, followed by the pitch: fourth generation Texan … family man … civic minded … grass roots campaigner … consensus builder … No money from PACs.

His website evokes a politician for all parties and seasons:

Beto is traveling to every part of Texas to meet with Texans in their communities. Whether they’re Democrats, Republicans, Independents or even non-voters, all Texans deserve an accountable, full-time, full-service Senator who’s committed to working tirelessly for our state. Now is the time for Texas to step up and lead.

Texas Deserves Better” is the slogan. But what are the policy positions of the rock-star Democrat who is currently a US representative, from the 16th congressional district, in El Paso?

Beto wants socialized medicine and other government this-or-that, standard Progressive fare in the age of Bernie Sanders progressivism. And on energy and the environment there is a lot of camouflage and I-like-oil-and-gas misdirection a la President Obama’s Cushing, Oklahoma Moment.

But all indications are that Robert Francis is a keep-it-in-the-ground, anti-fossil-fuel Progressive.

Eco-Beto

From his campaign site:

Beto knows that climate change is the defining existential threat of our time. He believes we need to take action to address climate change to save this planet and keep our communities whole, to achieve energy independence, to secure a brighter future for our kids, and to fuel economic growth and jobs.

In his Wiki profile, Beto’s environmental bona fides are described as follows:

O’Rourke supports efforts to combat global warming. He supports putting a price on carbon emissions and wants to substantially increase the use of renewable energy. He has been a vocal critic of the Administration’s elimination of greenhouse gas regulations and the shrinking of the budget for environmental projects.

… O’Rourke holds a lifetime voting record of 95 percent and a 2017 score of 100 percent with the League of Conservation Voters’ national environmental ranking.

Beto wants a return to Obama’s obstructionist energy policies. Beto wants to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord. His statement Empowering the EPA to exercise oversight of those harming the environment, particularly drilling, fracking, and pipeline construction is code for over-regulate and obstruct.

Carbon Taxation

A “price on carbon emissions”? Perhaps a tax along the lines of the Obama’s Administration’s social cost of carbon? That $42 per metric ton levy (criticized here) would increase prices as follows:

  • Gasoline by more than $0.36/gallon (18%)
  • Home heating oil by more than $0.41/gallon (22%)
  • Business heating oil by more than $0.47/gallon (37%).

That same levy would increase natural gas prices by more than $2.12/MMBtu (50%) and propane prices by $0.23/gallon (48%). Coal, a major fuel for electric generation? The levy equates to more than $84/short ton, a 264% increase.

And what climate effects would result from these steep levies? Maybe a tenth of a degree one hundred years out if the the rest of the world does not merrily pick up the industry foregone by the US.  

Beto’s $10/bbl Oil Tax

Short of a carbon tax, Beto supported President Obama’s proposed $10/barrel tax on oil consumed in the US back in 2016, equating to a price hike of $0.24/gallon at the pump.

Never mind that such a tax is regressive, negatively impacting the poorest citizens the worst. Never mind that the poor do not have solar panels or the means to buy electric vehicles.

Pretending Beto ….

Beto’s first love is government-enabled wind and solar for power generation. (Never mind what people living close to industrial wind turbines think.) But there are bones for Texas’s global-leading oil and gas industry.

Camouflaging, Beto states a goal to: “Develop a clear consensus among industry, regulators, and community leaders on best practices for developing our oil and gas resources to maintain job growth and capital investment as well as ensure we take care of our environment.”

Consensus? With the environmental Left and the states of California and New York? With the keep-it-in-the-ground anti-fossil fuel movement? 

Half-truth Beto: “Beto voted to repeal the Crude Oil Export Ban to support our economy and national security.”  This campaign talking point refers back to the Obama-compromise of lifting the oil-export ban in return for extending wind power’s (lifetime) Production Tax Credit.

Had this been a stand-alone vote on legalizing oil exports, Beto would have been nowhere to be seen.

It is a funny Texan that wants to demote oil and gas at a time when the US and the world needs every barrel and every MMBtu, respectively.

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Appendix A: Beto’s “The Facts on Energy”

Beto wants Texas to continue to lead the nation for both existing energy resources and for renewables. He believes that industry and government should work closely together to make sure that our energy resources are developed responsibly.

Beto believes we must:

  • Accelerate investment in wind and solar power generation to create more renewable energy jobs while reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
  • Develop a clear consensus among industry, regulators, and community leaders on best practices for developing our oil and gas resources to maintain job growth and capital investment as well as ensure we take care of our environment.
  • Promote the substitution of Texas natural gas for coal around the world, boosting our economy while helping to lower CO2 emissions significantly elsewhere.
  • Support the development and adoption of carbon capture and sequestration technologies to help get us to CO2 emission reduction targets.
  • Invest in research and development in Texas so we can be the energy innovation leader for future generations of cleaner, more competitive fuels and technology.

Beto’s record:

  • Beto has been a strong advocate for solar and wind energy.
  • Beto has advocated for investing in the infrastructure to bring all of West Texas’s natural resources into market including wind, solar, natural gas, and oil.
  • Beto has pushed for our oil and gas to come from our state and our country, while decreasing reliance on the Middle East.
  • Beto voted to repeal the Crude Oil Export Ban to support our economy and national security.

Appendix B: Beto’s “The Facts on Environment

Beto knows that climate change is the defining existential threat of our time. He believes we need to take action to address climate change to save this planet and keep our communities whole, to achieve energy independence, to secure a brighter future for our kids, and to fuel economic growth and jobs.

Beto believes we must:

  • Return the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to those who believe in science and not allow skeptics of climate change to rollback protections for our water, air, and public lands.
  • Rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • Support stronger land-use policies in Texas.
  • Promote climate-resilient infrastructure to protect against the changing climate.

Beto’s Record:

 

One Comment for “Robert Francis O’Rourke on Energy (Eco-Beto is keep-it-in-the-ground)”


  1. John Polomny  

    I sent in my Texas absentee ballot. I voted Cruz. I live in South Texas and we know all about fake mexican “Beto” O’Rourke.

    Reply

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