Bush energy plan would boost exports, approve Keystone

Bush energy plan would boost exports, approve Keystone
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Republican contender Jeb Bush on Tuesday unveiled his energy plan, which would expand oil and gas exports and approve the Keystone XL pipeline to boost the American energy sector.

The former Florida governor also vowed to end President Obama’s climate rule for power plants if he wins the presidency next year. 

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Bush rolled out his energy platform during a speech in Pennsylvania and in a post on his website. In the post, he said his proposals would build on the growth already seen in the booming American oil and natural gas sectors and help keep energy prices low for consumers.

“Energy is not just a sector of our economy. It is also an input into every other economic sector,” Bush wrote.

“That means cheaper, more reliable energy benefits American families in multiple ways. More domestic energy leads to more jobs, higher wages, lower gas prices and smaller electricity bills. In short, it means more money in people’s pockets, allowing them more freedom to make more choices for themselves and their children.”

Bush said he supports ending federal rules blocking crude oil and liquefied natural gas exports, something he predicted would “create hundreds of thousands of additional jobs and significantly lower net energy costs within two years.”

On Keystone, Bush said President Obama and Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton have “baldly politicized the government permitting process,” and said he supports the project. Clinton opposes Keystone and the Obama administration continues to study the pipeline.

Bush also said he would “reduce overregulation,” and highlighted the climate rule for power plants as an “attempt to impose the president’s conception of how everyone should produce and consume energy.” He said the rule needs to be “stopped in its tracks,” and suggested giving more regulatory power back to state and tribal governments. 

“Taken together, these policies will fully unleash the energy revolution, creating more jobs, higher wages, cheaper gas and cheaper electricity, while better protecting our interests abroad and our environment,” Bush wrote. 

Bush is the second Republican presidential candidate to outline his energy plan, following Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who pitched his last month. 

Environmental groups were not impressed by Bush’s proposals.

The League of Conservation Voters called the proposal “a carbon bomb.”

“It ignores sound science and undoes any meaningful progress we have made combating climate change,” LCV senior vice president of campaigns Daniel Weiss said.

“This plan threatens public health and economic growth by dumping millions of tons of carbon pollution into the atmosphere. Bush assumes that pollution is free, but that only applies to companies and not the public who will pay its costs.”

“This plan promises voters the world,” Sierra Club political director Khalid Pitts said in a statement. 

“But the truth is that the world is exactly what it would sacrifice to fatten the wallets of dirty energy conglomerates like Koch Industries — all while failing to tackle the moral imperative of the climate crisis and just days after Pope Francis made clear that this is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity.”