Former Vice President Mike Pence has revealed an energy strategy focused on surpassing China as the world’s primary energy producer. As a Republican presidential nominee, Pence emphasized the importance of energy dominance for the nation’s security and economic growth in his campaign announcement on August 8th.
He emphasized that energy extraction, production, transportation, and delivery offer an economic avenue capable of revolutionizing local communities and livelihoods. Given the recent events like the conflict in Ukraine and the energy predicament in Europe, Pence portrayed energy as a geopolitical tool, asserting that “we must generate and export diverse energy sources to uphold our global influence.”
On the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, Pence announced his plan for the U.S. to regain global leadership by harnessing American energy. This includes the extraction, production, transportation, and delivery of energy. The goal is for the United States to become the leading energy powerhouse by 2040 while maintaining domestic energy usage.
The blueprint primarily hinges on amplifying domestic oil and natural gas production and mineral extraction. If realized, the Pence initiative would reshape President Joe Biden’s energy roadmap, which centers on environmental preservation and the rapid transition from fossil fuels to clean energy alternatives.
Dubbed the “Anti-Biden,” President Biden immediately set forth a goal in 2021 to have half of all new domestic vehicles sold by 2030 with zero emissions, predominantly through electric vehicles (EVs). This pledge was accompanied by new vehicle emissions standards designed to hasten this shift, projected to save consumers significant costs and diminish carbon dioxide emissions.
However, critics cautioned that the nation’s supply chain might need more time to meet the proposed timeline, potentially increasing reliance on China. China currently controls most rare earth minerals, including those vital for manufacturing lithium batteries for EVs.
Pence’s plan would repeal Biden-era mining restrictions and reduce regulations surrounding mineral production. Nevertheless, some aspects of his strategy could decelerate the transition to renewable energy sources.
While the plan ostensibly encourages the development of all energy forms, it predominantly favors bolstering fossil fuel production. It proposes cutting approval timelines for energy projects, opening federal land for oil and gas drilling, expanding natural gas pipeline and storage infrastructure, boosting oil refining capacity, reactivating stalled drilling projects, easing federal emissions regulations for electricity production, and restocking the national oil reserves.
Additionally, Pence would end tax incentives that favor certain energy types unfairly. He claims that green energy is receiving subsidies paid for by taxpayers. Pence intends to avoid favoring specific energy players in the market and will fight against proposals extending taxpayer-funded subsidies.
Notably, Pence’s statement doesn’t address tax credits aimed at petroleum producers, like the marginal well tax credit and enhanced oil recovery credit, intended to incentivize domestic oil production.
Regarding the environment, Pence has proposed shutting down the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and redistributing its functions among other federal agencies. He maintains that during the Trump-Pence administration, domestic energy output surged alongside improved environmental conditions. Despite exiting the Paris Climate Accord, Pence contends that the U.S. exceeded its emissions reduction targets through innovation and domestic energy expansion.
Pence is confident that conservation efforts can align with economic prosperity through innovative strategies and diversified energy sources. He cited the clean air, water, and land during his administration and believed in achieving similar feats while preserving the economy.