Pennsylvania’s Republicans head to the polls tomorrow, and although presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney isn’t facing any serious competition in the race, he’s nevertheless campaigning in Pennsylvania today.
Speaking at a Consol Energy facility near Pittsburgh this morning, Romney slammed President Obama’s energy policies, arguing that the Democrat is “an enemy of energy development,” as the Post-Gazette reported:
In a 20 minute speech that reprised his standard stump remarks, Mr. Romney assailed the Obama administration on the economy and depicted the president as an enemy of energy development.
Mocking a recent television interview with Obama strategist David Axelrod, Mr. Romney said the advisor had said, “We’ve got to get off the economic road were on and take a new direction … I could not agree more.”
Mr. Romney argued that while the president has promoted wind and solar energy, his administration has set up roadblocks to the developments of fossil fuels, such as the coal and natural gas interests developed by his host, Consol.
The line of attack isn’t new. Romney gave a similar speech earlier this month in Wyoming County.
Obama’s campaign pushed back, releasing the following statement from spokeswoman Lis Smith:
“Once again, Mitt Romney gave a speech filled with distortions and dishonesty about both President Obama’s record and his own. Contrary to Romney’s rhetoric today, President Obama has aggressively pursued an all-of-the-above energy strategy – helping to expand domestic oil production, incentivize research and development for clean coal, nearly double the production of renewable energy, and encourage natural gas production – which has increased every year under President Obama to an all-time high. The real question is what Mitt Romney we’ll see when he shakes his etch-a-sketch on energy- will it be the Mitt Romney who raised a gas tax by 400% and was outspoken in his criticism of coal-fired plants saying that they ‘kill’ people? Or will it be the Mitt Romney who has embraced tax breaks for big oil and gas companies and said that he will eliminate protections against Wall Street speculators manipulating oil prices?”
Where’s that 400 percent increase claim come from? As Massachusetts governor, Romney increased gas fees from .5 to 2.5 cents a gallon.
Obama, of course, called for a windfall profits tax against energy companies during the 2008 presidential campaign, and has repeatedly – and unsuccessfully – pushed to end oil companies’ tax subsidies. Here’s a speech the president delivered on the topic from last month:
Romney was speaking in friendly territory today: Consol donated $150,000 to a Romney-affiliated political action committee last year, despite the fact the energy company had once employed the former Massachusetts governor’s chief rival, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.