Unleashing American Innovation and Ingenuity through Energy and Manufacturing

America’s energy policy is critical to our national security and economic growth. Dependence upon foreign sources of oil limits our national security options, undermines our interests, and raises the cost of doing business in America.

Unfortunately, President’s Obama’s approach has facilitated foreign dependence by restricting oil and gas drilling, making it more difficult to get nuclear permits, hobbling our coal industry, and picking winners and losers through failed pet energy projects.

Thirty-two years ago, America had a president with similar policies—Jimmy Carter.  America was mired in economic malaise and rising energy prices. When President Reagan came into office, one of his first acts was to deregulate energy markets.  The results were dramatic.  Gas lines vanished, energy prices declined, and the economy started a 10-year boom.  That is exactly what will happen when I take office.

To be competitive and to create jobs, American businesses need cheap energy.  Countries such as France and Canada are creating their own energy independence through nuclear power and domestic oil development respectively.  Unfortunately, President Obama continues to burden and restrain our energy potential rather than unleash it.

The growth of our economy has also been unnecessarily constricted by the high cost of energy, in the form of expensive imported oil from the Middle East.  I will unleash America’s domestic energy potential and exploration.  I will not pick winners or losers, such as Solyndra, but encourage the private sector to promote all economically competitive energy sources. 

I am committed to eliminating all energy subsidies and unleashing American innovation and ingenuity.  I will also expedite the approval of leasing and permitting for domestic oil and gas companies in crucial onshore and offshore locales on day one of my Administration.  I continue to support exploration in the Arctic North Wilderness Area (ANWR).  It’s long past time to make oil and gas from that huge reservoir available for domestic consumption.  Thanks to improved technology, this can be done so in an environmentally responsible manner.

The role of government should be to unleash our resources, not keep them in the ground. Unlike President Obama, I will allow states, rather than the Environmental Protection Agency, to set their own regulations regarding the use of hydraulic fracturing technology, giving America access to vast proven oil and gas reserves. 

In my home state of Pennsylvania, market forces are driving natural gas exploration. Hydrofracturing in the Marcellus Shale, for example, has produced an economic boom.  Experts predict that this kind of exploration will create up to 200,000 jobs by 2020. This has contributed to dramatically lower natural gas prices for consumers. It has transformed struggling rural communities, created additional revenue for state and local governments, and helped the environment through expanded use of natural gas.  It can reinvigorate manufacturing in America through lower energy prices.

Fracking, as it is known, has turned shale in many parts of the United States into a huge economically-viable font of oil and natural gas. Fracking has reduced the unemployment rate in North Dakota to 3.3 percent, the lowest in the country.

The Bakken oil shale in North Dakota and adjoining states, coupled with the Canadian Tar sands across the border in Alberta, can change the geopolitics of energy by reducing U.S. dependence on imported oil from hostile Middle Eastern powers.  Thus, the Obama administration’s job-killing decision to prevent the construction of the Keystone Pipeline is simply unconscionable.   

Barack Obama blocked the Keystone XL pipeline project in order to appease radical, environmental activists.  One of my first acts as president will be to approve it

President Obama is taking credit for bailing out Michigan’s auto industry, but he is hobbling the industry with mandates to make electric cars which sit unsold on the car lots, raising the price of more popular cars.

By picking winners and losers within the auto industry, President Obama is artificially shifting resources towards electric cars, rather than allowing companies to devote resources to cars that Americans want to drive.

He also wants to raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards to an unrealistic level of 54 miles per gallon by 2025—two years after announcing a 35 miles per gallon standard for 2016.  When I am president, I will set the auto industry free to innovate.

America needs a policy that makes energy more affordable and our nation more secure by lessening dependence on unreliable or adversarial foreign sources. An effective energy policy will expand economic development and create high-quality jobs, resulting in a strong economy for America’s families and workers. It is time to get serious about unleashing America’s domestic energy sources. America’s prosperity depends on it. 

Rick Santorum, a former representative and senator from Pennsylvania, is a candidate for the Republican nomination for president.  

  1. Chris Deleon

    I for one am in favor of reducing corporate taxes in general, but I don’t mind having it lower for some industries than others.  There are strategic concerns at play, not to mention the fact that some of our competitors have undermined our manufacturing industry using unfair tactics on their side.  A lower tax rate for manufacturing might help to right that imbalance.

  2. LowcountryJoe
    Rick Santorum:

    To be competitive and to create jobs, American businesses need… 

     

    Please speak in these terms to any of your competition for the nomination.  Remind the others [or better for you, just club them with the laissez faire distinction] that elected officials do not actually create the jobs and that organizations that offer something of value to their consumers/clients do.

    I have found your candidacy — through the interviews that you’ve done — to be quite compelling.  For me, you’ve said all the rights things distinguishing your social conservatism to how you would actually make policy; talking up the concept of federalism.  And you’ve been pretty candid about the more controversial government-as-the solution positions that you’ve taken in the past and how things have changed for you.  For my sanity, I hope you keep it up.  But I’m on the minarchist kook fringe so my expectations are not high for anyone who seeks an elected office knowing what the mainstream voters want.

  3. LowcountryJoe
    How is government picking winners and losers among different sectors of the economy, like you propose to do with tax policy for manufacturers, different from Obama picking winners and losers in the auto industry, or picking renewable energy as a sector in the economy that needs special government treatment?

     

    I didn’t read this in his post.  I read that Santorum wants to eliminate subsidies.  The ‘special treatment’ would be in relaxing the stupid regulations that currently choke the energy sector.  Am I missing something?  What did you read?  And I’m not being snarky or sarcastic here but really want to know where you’re getting this from?  Was it something he said or wrote elsewhere, perhaps?

  4. MJMack

    Sen. Santorum wants to allow manufacturers, and only manufacturers, to pay 0% in corporate taxes.

  5. James Gawron

    Senator Santorum,

    In the late 70s I was a process control / analytical instrument salesman in the “rust belt”.  I was stationed in Michigan where you’ll be headed soon.

    I can tell you that there wasn’t any rust on American Industry.  What caused the problem was a combination of guilt over Viet Nam and a totally naive belief in environmental ideology.   We multilated out own industrial base because of this.

    Once Cambodia happened those of us with sophisticated excuses for the Reds were forced to admit that we were wrong.  Evil was just Evil after all.

    The big environmental lie has taken longer for people to catch on.  I was selling EPA certified ambient air analyzers for SOx, NOx and Carbon.  I sold the first complete system that GM bought to do their environmental audits for the EPA.  They were required to do the audit before building a new plant. (cont.)

  6. The Logo

    Two notes about Senator Santorum’s post:  

    First, and as MJMack already expressed, we’re grateful to him for spending some of his time here.  He has many, many other demands right now, and it’s an honor to host him.

    Second, please remember that any response we get from him will likely not be in the form of comments to this post.  In the past, he has responded to selected comments via another post some days later, and we completely support this departure from our normal protocol.

  7. James Gawron

    (cont. from #11)

    I literally said these words to myself at the time.    “When the data comes in, cooler heads will prevail.”  The data came in but cooler heads never prevailed.  The ideologue monsters continued to drag us further and further down.  They were fixing a problem that didn’t exist and destroying American Industry to do it.  Evil is just Evil after all.

    Now for the first time we have a chance to turn the madness around.  With Gds help and great effort by all of the people we will do it.

    Regards,

    Jim

  8. Austin Murrey

    Senator, it’s good to see you addressing energy policy: as a former Perry supporter domestic production is an important concern to me that I feel is largely ignored in most elections beyond the “drill now” rhetoric and you’re support of fracking is quite welcome.

    You’ve stated that you want to allow states to set their own policies on fracking, would you also extend that towards allowing states to set their own permitting standards in regards to emissions like Texas’ flexible permitting process?

    On a different note, I’ll offer what I think will be the least heard complaint about your candidacy: I’m awfully miffed I no longer get my Fridays with Frank!  Your guest hosting Morning in America on Friday’s was one of the entertainment highlights of my week.

     

  9. Karl D
    MJMack:

    How is government picking winners and losers among different sectors of the economy, like you propose to do with tax policy for manufacturers, different from Obama picking winners and losers in the auto industry, or picking renewable energy as a sector in the economy that needs special government treatment?

    I look at it this way.  Manufacturers face an incredible number of obstacles to set up in the US (EPA and OSHA come to mind).  The service industry faces nowhere near as much scrutiny.  For a manufacturer it’s often more cost effective to design and warehouse in the US and manufacture overseas.  That’s the equation that I think Santorum is trying to affect.  I think saying, “we’ll help you if you choose to build something (anything)” is far different than “build a Chevy Volt.”

  10. Stuart Creque
    Karl D

    MJMack:

    How is government picking winners and losers among different sectors of the economy, like you propose to do with tax policy for manufacturers, different from Obama picking winners and losers in the auto industry, or picking renewable energy as a sector in the economy that needs special government treatment?

    I look at it this way.  Manufacturers face an incredible number of obstacles to set up in the US (EPA and OSHA come to mind).  The service industry faces nowhere near as much scrutiny.  For a manufacturer it’s often more cost effective to design and warehouse in the US and manufacture overseas.  That’s the equation that I think Santorum is trying to affect.  I think saying, “we’ll help you if you choose to build something (anything)” is far different than “build a Chevy Volt.” · 25 minutes ago

    Also, there are a lot of service jobs that can’t be done remotely by offshore outsourcers.  Services are therefore qualitatively different from manufacturing.

  11. John Murdoch

    While I recognize the intent of your proposal to level the playing field for manufacturers, by reducing their corporate tax rate to 0%, I fear that you’re just setting the stage for another lesson in the Law of Unintended Consequences. Corporate taxes are assessed on the entire corporation–what’s the tax rate on a corporation that has shifted some (or most) of its operations outside the U.S.? 

    The obvious example is General Electric–which has closed plants in the U.S. and moved their production to India. An example I’m sure your familiar with is H.J. Heinz, which closed plants in the U.S. and moved those jobs to China. Both companies still manufacture in the U.S.–what will their tax rates be?

    I also worry about how you will define manufacturing. If “assembling raw materials into finished goods, involving substantial processing and/or transformation of the components” is manufacturing, then every McDonald’s franchise in the country is a manufacturer. 

    The devil is in the details. And I worry that the details of your plan may prove to be very, very hard to explain to the electorate–let alone enact. 

  12. Mike LaRoche

    Senator Santorum, I greatly appreciate your proactive approach toward expanding our country’s energy production.  I fear that if Obama is re-elected, he will try to shut down drilling on the Eagle Ford Shale.  This drilling is bringing much-needed economic growth to rural South Texas, prosperity of a type not seen in the three decades since the last oil boom of the late ’70s and early ’80s.

  13. MBF
    Rick Santorum:

    I am committed to eliminating all energy subsidies..

    Please confirm that this includes ethanol. Also, will you commit to ending the ethanol mandates?

    I don’t want to buy ethanol. I don’t know anyone that wants to buy ethanol.

  14. Stuart Creque
    Mark Belling Fan

    Rick Santorum:

    I am committed to eliminating all energy subsidies..

    Please confirm that this includes ethanol. Also, will you commit to ending the ethanol mandates?

    I don’t want to buy ethanol. I don’t know anyone that wants to buy ethanol. · 0 minutes ago

    I want to buy ethanol!  I just want to put it in me and not my gas tank.

  15. Karl D
    John Murdoch:

    I also worry about how you will define manufacturing. If “assembling raw materials into finished goods, involving substantial processing and/or transformation of the components” is manufacturing, then every McDonald’s franchise in the country is a manufacturer.

    Why worry?  Make the definition as broad as possible.  After all, corporations don’t pay taxes, they collect taxes.  Everything is ultimately passed on to consumers.  If McDonald’s didn’t pay corporate taxes, my Big Mac would be cheaper; in essence my taxes would be lower.

  16. Andrew Quinn

    Senator, I completely agree with the energy policies you put forward in this post. But please recognize that the same economic logic that makes “picking winners and losers” such a fruitless task applies to the idea of carving out special tax exemptions that only apply to  corporations in a certain, politically convenient sector of the economy.

  17. Chris Johnson

    Welcome back, Senator.  With respect a few thoughts:

    Language: In many cases you have adopted the language of the Left.  For example, the use of the word “subsidies”.  Every business can deduct legitimate expenses.  If the oil industry is allowed to deduct exploration and development costs, that’s not a subsidy.

    Oil importation: This costs Americans somewhere between $700B and $1T a year and makes us dependent, period.  We don’t get much oil from the Middle East; it varies, but Canada is roughly half, Mexico and Venezuela are most of the rest and the ME is usually around 15%.  It’s our allies, especially in Europe that make the ME such a critical source.

    Environmentalists make sure that everybody thinks drilling in the Gulf is single subject, whereas light sweet crude oil is mostly a western issue and the Eastern Gulf (Florida) is more rich in natural gas; completely different geology.  Oil from the Eastern Gulf is mostly lubricant grade and not economic.

    Ethanol: Wonderful stuff, but make it from waste, not crops.  Also, in gasoline, it should not be mandated.  It’s destroying equipment that people bought and paid for, including homeowners with mowers, and boaters.

    Peace.

  18. Butters

    Senator,

    I will offer some unsolicited advice as someone who is inclined to vote for you. The media and Obama will try to paint you as a scolding puritan who wants to ban contraception and women to stay in the home. You don’t have to back down from cultural issues, but you should not allow the media/Obama to make this election about contraception or women in combat.

    I can tell from your Charlie Rose interview that you already know this, and you did a masterful job putting Charlie in his place. This should be done at every turn.

    Also, humor is a wonderful way to criticize Obama. Make funny ads. People like and remember funny. It’s a great way to be critical without being negative.

    I would say use this impersonator, but they’ll call you racist.

  19. Stuart Creque
    Andrew Quinn: …the same economic logic that makes “picking winners and losers” such a fruitless task applies to the idea of carving out special tax exemptions that only apply to  corporations in a certain, politically convenient sector of the economy.

    Why?

    Why does it constitute “picking winners and losers” when a government removes the friction caused by taxation from a certain segment of the economy, especially one as broadly defined as “domestic manufacturing”?

    Will there be less or more demand for services if domestic manufacturing output and employment increases as a result of less tax-driven distortion of the manufacturing sector?

    In reducing the tax distortion in the manufacturing sector as a whole, how will the government be picking winners and losers, or forcing taxpayers to subsidize preferred or politically-connected companies?

  20. Stuart Creque
    Ningrim:

    Also, humor is a wonderful way to criticize Obama. Make funny ads. People like and remember funny. It’s a great way to be critical without being negative.

    Agreed.  The “Rombo” ad was wonderful.

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