Kasich energy plan would repeal Obama rules, boost drilling

GOP presidential hopeful John Kasich wants to repeal impediments to oil and natural gas production, including Obama administration regulations and limits on offshore drilling.

The provisions are part of the energy plan the Ohio governor published Thursday, in which he frames energy limitations as roadblocks to economic growth.

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But Kasich also called for balance in his energy approach, which he said does not ignore environmental protection.

“Too often we have seen America’s energy policies swing wildly between cheap generation and environmental protection, as if those were our only choices,” his campaign wrote in a fact sheet.

“Energy policies that only focus on low costs keep us from seeking technological breakthroughs that can improve efficiency and sustainability. An exclusive focus on unnecessary environmental regulation drives up energy costs and keeps energy independence out of reach.”

Kasich specifically named the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon limits for power plants as a rule he would undo, along with the Interior Department’s hydraulic fracturing rules for federal land.

The former congressman also wants to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, allow oil exports, increase oil and gas drilling on “non-sensitive” public lands and boost alternative and renewable energy, although the fact sheet does not identify how he would do that.

The Sierra Club criticized Kasich’s plan as a giveaway to fossil fuel industries.

“Kasich’s energy plan is nothing more or less than what we’ve heard from the rest of the Republican field, meaning it's copied directly from the playbook of the fossil fuel industry,” Sierra Club political director Khalid Pitts said in a statement.

“Like [Jeb] Bush, Kasich does nothing to acknowledge the climate crisis or the urgent need for action, and in fact would eliminate existing clean air, clean water, and climate protections.”