What is ethical energy and why aren’t the candidates talking about it?

By |2012-10-25T11:10:04+00:00October 19th, 2012|Citations|3 Comments

From Ron Arnold’s article in The Washington Examiner:

When Romney told Obama, “You cut permits and licenses on federal land and federal waters in half,” the president replied, “Not true, Gov. Romney.” Romney hounded Obama for about five minutes about it. Neither budged.

To get some perspective on this exchange, I called Marc Morano, communications director of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a positive voice on environment and development issues. Morano told me about his Climate Depot project and its current campaign, “Ethical Energy.”

The idea, he told me, is this: Limits on North American drilling, mining, pipelines and energy extraction only increase U.S. reliance on “conflict energy” from places like the Middle East, Venezuela and China, where human rights and environmental protection may be less than desirable.

The concept arose from Canadian political gadfly and best-selling author Ezra Levant. His 2011 book “Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands” poses the challenging questions: “With the oil sands at our disposal, is it ethically responsible to import our oil from the Sudan, Russia, and Mexico? How should we weigh carbon emissions with human rights violations in Saudi Arabia? And assuming that we can’t live without oil, can the development of energy be made more environmentally sustainable?”

Morano’s conclusion: “Gov. Romney’s all-the-above carbon based energy goals are the moral and ethical choice for the United States.”


  1. jameshrust October 20, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    This article does not answer the question. Mitt Romney claimed “the Obama administration cut oil drilling permits and liscenses on federal lands and water in half”. President Obama said “Not true”. Who is correct? I think Mitt Romney is correct. We should provide the data to back Mitt Romney and see that it is made available across the land.
    I think it is clear the Obama administration is at war with all fossil fuels. The EPA has just about killed coal for electric power generation. If it enacts the First Carbon Pollution Standard for Future Power Plants that was proposed March 27, 2012, this rule can eliminate coal use for future power plants. The rule limits carbon dioxide emissions to one pound per kilowatt-hour generated for future plants. NRDC has indicated they will sue the EPA in 2013 to make the rule apply to all power plants. Wiith EPA’s sue me, we will admit we are wrong, and pay you handsomely afterward policy; this rule will only allow gas turbine combined cycle power plants for power generation. All they have to do is reduce the requirement to 0.7 pounds of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour to rule out all fossil fuels for electric power generation.
    These activities need to be explained to the public. It is difficult. The main stream media provided no information to the public about EPA’s war on fossil fuels.
    James H. Rust, Professor of nuclear engineering

  2. Chris Marlowe October 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Well the ethics approach here is too narrow. The first duty of the state is to pursue the interests of its own nationals while honouring its international oblications.
    In this situation energy security is the key. The US and Canada sit on huge reserves of energy. Thus the question is: should the US and Canada put their citizens at risk by restricting the development of these resources?
    Experience has shown that the main sources of supply are in countries where the political and social factors are unstable, potentially unstable or hostile. Why continue to rely on supplies that are subject to known risks?
    As for measures to restict the use of fuels such a coal, what is the point of driving up prices by government restrictions when it is obvious that these policies drive companies overseas to set up factories in places with less costlyt restrictions on coal as a source of energy? Why export jobs and carbon production and then import the end products?
    The people who benefit are not the people who elect the policy-makers. How then can the policies be justified. You need religion to do that, and the policy-makers have found the religion: environmentalism.
    [Or as I believe false-environmentalism.]
    Environmental policy needs to be rationally connected to goals that are in the interests of the public, not based on dogma, in reality a new religion. I am old enough to remember the environmental damage done from 1940 onwards and have supported environmentalism all my adult life. But the environmental movement has changed and needs to be brought back to its practical roots.
    Ethical environmentalism is a reasonable name for this, so long as it is about balancing the costs and benefits of practical measures to reduce pollution and to aim for sustainabiiity in resource use. A lot has been achieve in the last 70 years.
    What we need to do is assess what has been achieved already and recognize that the more we succeed the greater the cost of each increment in environmental benefit.
    The “law of diminishing returns” applies to environment improvement, but has not been recognized by policy-makers.
    This is one environmentalist who believes that the furure costs of environmental benefits have to be balanced against the costs. Otherwise the costs will surely grow to exceed the benefits. That’s the way bureaucracies work. There is no pause or slow button or stop button.
    The only hope is to achieve stalemate in government. Both Houses of Congress Republican to block a Democratic White House. In Canada, what is needed is a minority government or a Conservative majority.
    Hell of a thing for a socialst like me to say, but I am more interested in getting jobs for the workers in the US and Canada than in any political party. I would vote for the Devil himself if he would open all the energy resources in North America.

  3. […] When Romney told Obama, “You cut permits and licenses on federal land and federal waters in half,” the president replied, “Not true, Gov. Romney.” Romney hounded Obama for about five minutes about it.  […]

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