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.”

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