We saw a surprisingly substantive debate between Vice President Joe Biden and candidate Paul Ryan last night. But one key matter that will have a profound impact on whether the next president can create jobs and get the economy going never came up: energy policy. Moderator Martha Raddatz never bothered to raise this issue, which was negligent on her part.
In sparring with each other, the two candidates touched on energy policy, though only peripherally. Ryan did attack the administration’s fueling money to green energy policies: He noted that the vice president had been in charge of overseeing the $90 billion stimulus to green energy products. Ryan dubbed this “green pork” and noted that much of the largess went to campaign contributors and special interest groups. He mentioned that more than a hundred criminal investigations have been launched within the Department of Energy alone.
There was no substantive discussion of the Obama administration’s war on coal, our domestic energy supply, or the waste of taxpayer dollars on failing companies, except for Ryan’s remarks about the stimulus. Biden did get in a zinger about Ryan’s having voted against the stimulus only to go on and ask for money from it for his district. But this isn’t the same as really talking about energy policy.
As drivers have seen in California this week, energy price fluctuations can have a profound effect on the economy. If we are to see a drop in unemployment in the next four years, we must increase our energy supply and establish efficient energy policies that allow a free market access to affordable energy so that innovators can do what they always do better than government: build a stronger America.
There are two debates left. Let’s hope voters will be treated to a more direct and in-depth discussion of energy policy, which, after all, is a driver of the economy.