As usual, Johnson thinks the free market will heal all ills. However, I have bigger issues with his first three claims. Firstly, he claims the Obama administration has no energy plan. That’s obviously ridiculous. The Obama administration has devoted significant time and effort to increased fuel efficiency and investments in all sources of energy. You can see the Obama plan here. NPR and CNN compare Obama’s and Romney’s plans, and US News and World Reports gives the Obama campaign’s response to Romney’s energy plan.
Secondly, he quotes President Obama in 2008. I don’t see why Johnson should think that Obama’s entire energy plan is based on a single quote from 2008 ( More info here from Politifact) – haven’t things changed a bit since then? The cap and trade policy referred to was eventually blocked, and it was never clear how much prices would increase under a cap and trade policy anyway. Furthermore, Johnson seems to assume that any price increase would automatically be worse than any resulting positive environmental effects. Finally, the Obama administration seems to have backed away from cap and trade, according to this Washington Post article.
Thirdly, he quotes Energy Secretary Chu in 2008. While Chu did make this statement, it was before he was Energy Secretary. This was never an Obama administration policy. This Media Matters article shows how the attack on Chu for this statement was made up by the right wing.
As for Johnson’s claim that we “need to fully utilize our free market system to reduce our dependence on foreign sources” I would argue that the so-called “free market” has failed us on this point so far, instead lobbying the government to ensure that regulations favor the peddling of dirty energy. So it’s time to elect representatives to our government who will actually change those regulations and make the investment in domestic sources of energy, including renewable energy, and will protect our clean air and water in the process. Clearly Johnson does not fit the bill.
Thank you for contacting me regarding America’s need for energy independence.
I am concerned that this Administration has no plan to address the short term and long term problem of foreign energy dependence. As gas prices continue to rise, I cannot help but think of President Obama’s remark in 2008 that under his energy plan “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” President Obama’s Energy Secretary Steven Chu suggested “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” I think this is exactly the wrong approach — particularly for Wisconsin residents who already are having a hard time making ends meet. Instead, we should work in a bipartisan way to reform our tax code to create incentives for economic growth and job creation, and to increase domestic energy supplies.
As a manufacturer, I know first-hand how rising energy prices, over-regulation and high taxes can negatively impact the ability of a business to remain competitive in the global economy. States like Wisconsin, which rely heavily on coal-generated power, are at an even greater risk with the threat of costly energy taxes and increased government mandates. I believe we possess the technology and resources to power our own future and need to fully utilize our free market system to reduce our dependence on foreign sources. This means increasing domestic oil production, clean coal, nuclear, and alternative energy in a responsible way.
Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts. It is important for me to hear the views and concerns of the people I serve. Since taking office, I have received over 600,000 pieces of correspondence and have had over 200,000 people participate in live forums and telephone town hall meetings. Please feel free to contact me in the future if I can further assist you or your family. It is an honor representing you and the good people of Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate.
United States Senator