Republican Candidates Embrace Oil and Gas in Fifth Presidential Debate

Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley both spoke in favor of oil and gas at a recent debate in Iowa, with the former Florida governor vowing to stimulate more local production and the former South Carolina governor noting the importance of nuclear in cutting emissions.

“We’re gonna choose Midland over Moscow. We’re gonna choose the Marcellus over the mullahs. And we’re gonna choose the Bakken over Beijing,” Ron DeSantis said during the debate, noting that if he becomes president, development in the Bakken and Marcellus shale plays would be priorities.

Asked about tackling emissions as a way of arresting climate change, DeSantis argued energy reliability was the priority, while Haley said that nuclear could go a long way towards cutting emissions.

Both candidates committed to removing the so-called green subsidies that the Biden administration has lined up for transition projects.

“On day one as president, we take Biden’s Green New Deal, we tear it up, and we throw it in the trash can,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis has promised to bring gasoline prices down to $2 per gallon if he becomes president by boosting domestic oil production. Domestic oil production already hit a record last year and is expected to rise more moderately this year.

Also among DeSantis’ energy-related campaign pledges is to “Replace climate change ideology with energy dominance in all national security and foreign policy guidance.” Boosting energy exports is another, along with refilling the strategic petroleum reserve and revitalizing the U.S. nuclear industry.

Haley, who played a key part in President Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement, said that the U.S. should step up its efforts to hold China and India accountable for their carbon dioxide emissions as the two were much worse emitters than the U.S.

Both candidates slammed the Biden administration’s plans for a phaseout of internal combustion engine cars, with Haley noting the lack of charging infrastructure and the damage that heavier EV vehicles would do to roads.

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