RNC 2016: Will energy become a winning issue for Donald Trump?

AP Photo / Kevin Liles

AP Photo / Kevin Liles

CLEVELAND — Four years ago, an issue that featured prominently in the election, particularly on the Republican side, was energy. Newt Gingrich famously ran in the primary on a platform that included getting gas prices down to $2.50 a gallon. Mitt Romney picked up on the issue by calling for “North American energy independence” by 2020.

It turns out, Gingrich at least wasn’t ambitious enough. Gas prices plummeted from their 2012 average of $3.60 a gallon to below $2 a gallon, before rebounding to $2.20. But on other fronts, from the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to some states’ restrictions or bans on fracking, energy has remained a controversial issue. And we might be hearing more about it between now and November.

“Energy is the number-one issue, I think, this year, and particularly in this race and this campaign, because they (Democrats) don’t have a leg to stand on. It’s that simple,” longtime energy entrepreneur Harold Hamm, who is scheduled to speak to the full Republican National Convention, said at a panel discussion Tuesday. “Our number-one problem is not global warming, it’s Islamic terrorism. And where’s it coming from? The Middle East. …

“(Carbon dioxide) emissions are down over 20 percent, basically to the lowest point since the early ’90s, so we’re getting there quickly. Global warming, is that something we need to pay attention to? Absolutely: It’s a long-term problem. The short-term problem is Islamic terrorism.”

That energy hasn’t been more of a winning issue for Republicans is a bit ironic. As Steve Moore, an economist at the Heritage Foundation, pointed out, many of the job gains in President Obama’s first term came in the very energy industry his regulators have increasingly tried to clamp down on. If not for those disproportionate job gains helping to drive the economy, he said, “Barack Obama wouldn’t have been re-elected in 2012.”

Since the last election, the Obama administration has only ratcheted up the pressure on the energy industry. That’s the status Clinton inherits in seeking to take the baton from Obama, and her own comments — including the remark during a March town hall that her policies would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” — aren’t going to help her. There have already been political repercussions for her: After beating Obama in coal-reliant West Virginia in the 2008 primary, she lost that state to Bernie Sanders this time around.

West Virginia has gone Republican in four straight presidential elections. But Adam Brandon, CEO of FreedomWorks, which hosted the panel discussion in a hall built by railroad industrialists who made a fortune in the transportation of raw materials, noted the issue should resonate in a state such as Ohio that has oil and natural-gas resources.

“It remembers a past when we had Standard Oil and the steel mills,” Brandon said. “I’m not saying those days are coming back, but what it had in common (with today) is using our resources.”

Reader Comments 0

74 comments
Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/merrick-garland-now-holds-record-longest-supreme-court-wait-n612541


Kyle


They broke the record.


Wednesday marked a bleak achievement for Merrick Garland.

He passed Louis Brandeis as the Supreme Court nominee with the longest wait for a Senate hearing.


And while Brandeis' saga ended with his 1916 confirmation Garland's prospects remain, at best, unclear.


Republicans who control the Senate — currently on summer break — still refuse to grant Garland a hearing, saying it should be up to President Obama's successor to pick a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February.


Shameful

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@Hedley_Lammar

You are OK with Obama not complying with his own health care law, and so have no standing to complain about how the Senate carries out it's duties, which do not include any legal requirement to schedule hearings or votes on SCOTUS nominees.

mick jaggard
mick jaggard

Number one issues is still jobs. Between the wallet and the kitchen table, therein shall the election be determine. With a sprinkle of honesty that is!

quickworkbreak
quickworkbreak

The title is misleading. You're really suggesting if FOSSIL-based energy could be a winning issue for Republicans.  The quick answer is No, not while gas prices are low.  Because the Obama administration supported the increase of, and the large diversification of  sourcing energy domestically, and because OPEC hasn't made any material changes in output, prices dropped, which unfortunately has also been a strain on the formerly booming businesses that extracted via fracking and others. The trend is slowing moving to clean energy sources. That's not going to change, despite the intrinsic nostalgia of the Republicans.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@quickworkbreak

Republicans aren't against clean energy.  Republicans are against being forced to pay more than necessary for energy, are generally opposed to subsidizing already-proven technologies, and against wrecking our economy for essentially no reduction in global surface temperatures.

Stop being ignorant.

Under-educated White Guy
Under-educated White Guy

The 2016 World Issues Energy Monitor finds that energy industry leaders are most concerned about commodities pricing, the ongoing effects of economic slowdown and continued climate framework uncertainty.  Issues around innovation, particularly those of new market design and electric storage, are rapidly gaining prominence.


The top critical uncertainties on the energy agenda include commodities prices, global recession, climate framework, market design and electric storage.


It seems world energy leaders are not as concerned about Islamic State terrorism as Mr. Hamm and Mr. Wingfield are.

lvg
lvg

@Hedley_Lammar She lied about writing it and Now everyone agrees she did not. Same for her diploma. What did she lie about her communist background when she got  citizenship? 


I forgot only Dems are communists.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

“Our number-one problem is not global warming, it’s Islamic terrorism. And where’s it coming from? The Middle East. …

While Riyadh suffers from a general glut, it finds itself spending more on defense.

Say helloooooo to your little friends, Riyadh...they're homegrown.

schnirt 

lvg
lvg

If someone would capture all the hot air and gas coming from GOP convention and on Fox News , there would be no energy "crisis" for Kyle to write about.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@lvg Political party conventions are rituals, which have very little in common with reality. Should one take all those bombastic accusations and promises  hurled from GOP convention seriously, one would have to move to an uninhabited island and severe all communication links with the country.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

Hope you got to see the soldiers Kyle.  Hard for any speaker to top them.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

The Dems appear to be keeping their scumbags and thugs on a tight leash so far at the convention. Smart move. If the election is about law and order, they lose.

MarkVV
MarkVV

The “logical” issue I have mentioned earlier of how Harold Hamm’s stated what is the number one problem is less important than what is likely is to be a more important election issue, terrorism or energy. (Economy still might trump both.) I would argue that under the circumstances, it would be terrorism. For most people, terrorism is felt as an immediate threat, something that might happen to anybody anytime. Whether and how is oil involved in terrorism may be important for the experts, but not for voters with the immediacy of the threat of a terrorist attack. 

TheBrewer
TheBrewer

@MarkVV


Yeah, Obozo has allowed ISIS to kill Americans in Florida and California. 

lvg
lvg

@TheBrewer @MarkVV Explain exactly how he did that???? . I would like to hear your evidence. Have you turned over to the  FBI?? And who in the FBI and INS have you reccomended be fired for their screw ups in following US laws to the letter?

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Apparently this site doesn't like the Yiddish word for loser. I posted about a Citi Bank speculator that made $100 mil a year on gas and oil and I called him a PUT. Z

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

You were as wrong up north as you are now.

Perhaps Google can help you.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Um. Living up north I saw it used in that context. Does it mean something else South of the Mason Dixion line?

ByteMe
ByteMe

@JeffreyEav It's yiddish for the male organ.  "Loser" is a looser translation.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

First, I'm glad fracking isn't possible in Georgia (I actually like tap water and consider you bottled water drinker snobs).

Second, our current president and the one before him opened up much more of the country for drilling. So much that it is not economically feasible to drill on all of it, even for the biggest energy companies.

Third, energy jobs went up because of the price per barrel. They have quickly gone back down.

stogiefogey
stogiefogey

@JeffreyEav "...and consider you bottled water drinker snobs..."

Nah, in this kind of weather toting a bottle 'o agua makes a lot of sense. Dehydration does all manner of nasty things to you.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Did it ever? I'm mean since Joe bought it for Jack.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

A winning issue?  No.

The world is awash in cheap oil and gas, thanks to free market capitalism.

Remember when economically retarded leftists (I know, three words when one would do) claimed "speculators" could control the price?  Funny, funny stuff.

And because the GOP is going to nominate an unstable Democrat, Hillary will have no need to care about losing a couple of coal states.

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@Lil_Barry_Bailout , really? I thought it was cheap because the Iraqi and Iranian oil fields were rebuilt and/or allowed to be put online therefore increasing supply.  That is free market capitalism, but it only happened because of policies that you were directly against. 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@JFMcNamara @Lil_Barry_Bailout I thought Bush stole all the Iraqi oil, wasn't that the liberal talking point, "war for oil".  More proggie alarmism and dishonest blather; pretty much what they always contribute to problem solving.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

The Democrats are turning West Virginia and Kentucky into solid red states.  There are a lot of coal areas in Pennsylvania and Ohio as well.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

Let them use more coal from W VA just as long as the fumes from burning it are pumped to the White House and NYC if Hillary loses.

Just got gas today $1.96. Yeah energy is a main cog.......renewable energy that is. Besides global reduction in use, that is the reason for cheaper oil!

mick jaggard
mick jaggard

@RoadScholar 

When renewable energy is a viable replacement to the carbon fossil fuel based one that is used to fuel the economy today, might be more than nice talk.

MarkVV
MarkVV

There is some weird logic in play here:

“Energy is the number-one issue, I think, this year…” [said Harold Hamm], “Our number-one problem is not global warming, it’s Islamic terrorism. “

How can two things be “number one?”

And then, from the same source:

“Global warming, is that something we need to pay attention to? Absolutely: It’s a long-term problem.

The global warming which, according to many Republicans, including their nominee, does not exist?

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@MarkVV He went on to say (as I quoted) "And where's it coming from? The Middle East." And then (as I didn't get down at the time, and can't completely transcribe from my poor audio recording of the event) something about how our buying oil from the Middle East helps fund terrorism.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@MarkVV "How can two things be “number one?”"

Republican math! Please do not introduce them to Calculus!

MarkVV
MarkVV

@Kyle_Wingfield @MarkVV Sorry, but that still does not remove the inconsistency. One cannot  logically claim that energy is the number one issue, and then say that number one is terrorism, and that energy has a role in  it. A role in something that is claimed to be number one does not make it number one.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Texas is getting 10 % of its power today from wind. Natural Gas is plentiful, cheaper, and cleaner.


Coal is dying on its own.


P.S. When the automobile came along. We went that way. The horse and buggy went away. 

Bruno2
Bruno2

@Hedley_Lammar P.S. You may want to have a talk with Obama regarding solar power.  In an effort to prop up failing American-owned solar companies like Solyndra and SunEdison, the Obama DOC slapped draconian tariffs on the Chinese solar imports.  SunEdison still owes my company, JASO, about $10 million for solar cells.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@ATLAquarius @Bruno2 @Hedley_Lammar Tariffs make sense when other countries cheat, e.g. the Chinese steel products were being unfairly subsidized by the Chinese government.  Not true for the solar products, however.  As a result, Americans pay a lot more for solar than they should.

ATLAquarius
ATLAquarius

@Bruno2 @ATLAquarius @Hedley_Lammar So Chinese solar panels are not propped up by government subsidies like their steel? Every story I've seen states that was the case...even Canada had to slap tariffs on the solar panels 

Bruno2
Bruno2

@ATLAquarius @Bruno2 @Hedley_Lammar I've invested heavily in Chinese solar the past 7-8 years, so know what I'm talking about.  The problem with the Chinese steel is overcapacity, which they  have been slow to correct, and are happy to dump their excess into America and Europe below the actual cost of production.  The quality of the Chinese steel is suspect as well.  Not true at all for the solar cells and solar panels.  They are high quality, and are cheaper due to lower production costs.