Yesterday, one of Politico’s headlines from the State of the Union was: “He steals GOP’s ‘all of the above’ energy slogan.”
But something can only be stolen from you if you actually had it in the first place.
Yes, the Republicans like to say they are for an “all of the above” energy strategy, but every time they are presented with one from the Democrats that would mean oil would have to compete with “all” the other available sources of energy, they always vote “no.”
When, in the last Congress, Democrats proposed a comprehensive energy strategy that would cap carbon emissions, make both renewable energy and nuclear energy more affordable, while providing support for continued production of American oil and, coal, Republicans said “no.”
When the President last year shelved the idea in face of conservative obstruction, and instead proposed a “clean energy standard” with a broad definition including nuclear power and relatively cleaner coal, Republicans said “no.”
When, in 2008, House Democrats offered a bill that would expand coastal oil drilling while also eliminating oil subsidies and mandating more renewable energy production, Republicans said, “no.”
And as far back as 1977, when President Jimmy Carter proposed an ambitious energy policy to end dependence on foreign oil, but would increase domestic production of coal, wind, solar power, geothermal and methane and even “encourage production of oil and gas here in our own country”, Republicans still said “no.”
Because any “all of the above” strategy requires oil to more fairly compete with other energy sources.
Which means Republicans do not actually support an “all of the above” energy strategy for America. They support an oil dependence energy strategy for America.
There is a reason why in 2008, when Republicans started using the “all of the above” talking point, it eventually got supplanted by the more accurate “Drill Baby Drill.”
So don’t be shocked by the fact President Obama had nods to oil, coal and gas along with his continued support for renewable energy. This isn’t swiping a page out of the Republican playbook. This is what Democratic leaders have long supported as a path to creating a clean energy economy, and what Republican leaders have long opposed.