Oil, gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, efficiency. Which are the Republican hopefuls’ priorities?
It’s been convention time for the Republican presidential and vice presidential nominees. The Romney-Ryan team recently rolled out its energy policy [pdf] for the nation. Entitled “The Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class: ENERGY INDEPENDENCE,” the new plan, running 21 pages, replaces Romney’s energy policy paper from September 2011.
The new blueprint is a mix of policy points and criticisms of the Obama administration along with “Did You Know?” sections comprised of quotations from sources ranging from the Manhattan Institute to the New York Times. It turns out that the white paper devotes more space to the quotations than to Team Romney’s own statements.
In the Clouds with Romney-Ryan
The plan’s goal of achieving energy independence, writ large in the report’s title, is a bold vision. Bolder still when it is understood that the goal is for North America by 2020. But of course the devil is in the details.
So what are the details? One objective way to get a sense of the plan is through a word count. After all, the prominence of a topic or term, such as oil, wind or energy efficiency, is a reasonable proxy of its import.
The word cloud shown below provides some interesting insights: “U.S.” and “energy” are front and center and “Obama” is pretty prominent — although it’s a safe bet that he’s not being mentioned or discussed in a positive light. In terms of energy sources, “oil” is by far the dominant player and “gas” is no slouch.
After that, slim pickings. “Coal,” “wind” and “solar” do show up, but finding them is a bit like the old needle-in-a-haystack challenge. And I never did find “nuclear.” Ditto “conservation,” “efficiency,” and “biofuels.”
|A pictorial word count for the Romney-Ryan energy plan.|
Big on Crude, Short on Green and a Little Nasty
Want to be a little more quantitative? Then take a look at the table on the next page. Of the words we counted, “oil” is the winner, appearing 154 times. Averaged over the length of the document, that’s more than seven times per page.
You green types may be relieved to know that “environment” gets a fair showing with 24 appearances. For example, here’s one item that suggests that the Romney team would seek a balance between environmental protection and economic development:
“Implement measured reforms of environmental statutes and regulations to strengthen environmental protection without destroying jobs, paralyzing industry, or barring the use of resources like coal.”