Dem aide: GOP out of touch on energy

“There’s a bunch of people in Washington who spend time thinking about the narrative, about framing, about messaging. They’re often many years behind the facts,” said Bob Simon, the top energy adviser for Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.).

Simon said GOP campaigns across the nation exemplify that by not taking into account the gains some clean-energy technologies have made in private investment.

Simon also slammed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for pushing “this persistence of outdated information” on energy in Wednesday’s presidential debate.

“But that fits a prior narrative that people working for him have,” Simon said at a Washington, D.C., event hosted by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

He said Republicans have stonewalled clean-energy policy progress because President Obama has openly advocated for the technology.

“There is some element of polarization that is directed at clean energy,” he said. “And it comes as a political consequence of clean energy being so enthusiastically embraced by President Obama.”

Simon said that is a “natural tendency” when a political party does not have one of its own in the White House. He said clean energy has been a clear victim of that dynamic.

“We’re certainly seeing that now, and I think that some of the difficulties we see politically for clean energy had been a consequence of people saying — look, some Republican senators have been very outspoken saying, ‘We want this guy to be a one-term president.’ That’s their objective,” Simon said.

Republicans have charged that Democrats and Obama have not done enough to support jobs in industries such as natural gas and coal. They take particular issue with new Environmental Protection Agency rules that they say target the coal industry.