Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush is set to unveil his energy policy proposals Tuesday, seeking a platform of creating job growth and cutting down on President Barack Obama’s carbon emissions limits plans.
Bush will lay out his plan in a speech at Rice Energy Inc. in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Bush claims that his agenda, which includes lowering tax rates, and business regulations, would set the U.S. economy up to a four percent annual growth rate, which it has not sustained since the late 1990s.
Bush will also call for lifting a ban on exporting crude oil and natural gas from the U.S. that has hampered energy companies’ plans to turn the U.S. into a net exporter. The plan would create “hundreds of thousands of additional jobs and significantly lower net energy costs within two years,” Bush said in an online post to be published Tuesday on Medium, cited by Reuters.
He also said he would approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which environmental activists have decried as being harmful to the planet’s ecology and climate.
Bush’s ideas are popular among the GOP base and his fellow presidential candidates. All of them have expressed their support for the Keystone pipeline, including former neurosurgeon Ben Carson and businessman and frontrunner Donald Trump.
Bush also said that he would repeal tax breaks for all energy sources, ending what he said were market distortions that negatively impacted consumers. “We must create a level playing field for all energy sources including, but not limited to, nuclear, renewables, coal, natural gas, oil and alternative fuels,” Bush wrote on Medium, cited by the Wall Street Journal. “We unnecessarily drive up energy costs on Americans when we play favorites and suppress the dynamism of free markets.”
He also expressed his opposition to Obama’s plan, which the White House unveiled last month, that would force U.S. power plants to slash their emissions as part of a wide-ranging climate change roadmap.
The plan has mandated a 32 percent reduction in carbon emissions from power plants from 2005 levels by 2030, as part of a move to aggressively encourage renewable energy sources. Bush said on Medium that Obama’s plan "needs to be stopped in its tracks" and called for boosting domestic energy production and lowering energy prices.
Bush has said that he is unconvinced that man-made climate change is a threat to the world, like most prominent Republicans. When asked if global warming was primarily because of human activity, Bush said: "I'm a skeptic. I'm not a scientist."
He has also warned that the U.S. is vulnerable to foreign nations because it did not control its own energy sources. “We're the only country in the world that would consider it appropriate policy not to take advantage of our own natural resources to provide stable, low-cost sources of energy,” he told Esquire in 2009.