After last week’s overview of President Obama’s energy record and marketing campaign materials on energy, Governor Romney’s energy plans present a sharpened comparison. The Romney campaign’s website on energy arrays the candidate’s ideas mainly in words, rather than with the kind of images and interactive features that dominate the Obama campaign’s sites.
Energy is the first plank of Governor Romney’s five-point “Plan for a Stronger MIDDLE INCOME”, though it needs a little work to explore the details of his energy program. A summary of bullet points is backed up by a lengthy plan paper with numerous sources to external resources, but you have to look for it.
Another facet of the plan targeted at streamlining the permitting of energy tasks could be just as useful for utility-scale alternative energy projects as for oil and gas exploration and creation. Regulatory and permitting delays are among the key reasons it requires much longer and costs more to build up crucial energy and infrastructure projects here than in many of the countries against which our competitive position has been sliding.
Governor Romney also proposes offering states better control of permitting on their non-park Federal lands. That could increase energy access and output significantly, in the west especially, where the Federal government has over 280 hundred million acres, or 37% of those 11 expresses, net of tribal lands. There are a few missing elements also. I’d have liked to see more about how renewables fit into Governor Romney’s vision. He apparently supports the Renewable Fuels Standard but is silent about the significantly immediate need to reform it. I’d also prefer to hear more about how exactly Governor Romney would address greenhouse gas emissions once the economy returns to a stronger development.
Superficially, a lot of the Romney energy plan evokes a go back to the pre-2008 status quo: heavy on oil, coal, and gas, light on renewables, and ignoring environment change generally. Such as 2008, this website isn’t in the business of endorsing candidates. Energy remains an issue that, like the Cold War, demands bi-partisan cooperation plus some level of consistency from one administration or Congress to the next.
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The magnitude of underfunding stems from how pension commitments have been actuarially valued and how governments have chosen to control pension financing and benefit levels. The dramatic downturn in market performance in the last few years, while dangerous, is not the root cause of underfunded general public-sector pension plans. Public pension actuarial procedures assume that plan possessions can earn high rates of return, leading actuaries to compute employer contributions at a lesser level than needed to fund plan liabilities.
Public sector-defined benefit programs are financed by current employer and employee efforts and the comes back on the investment of these assets.17 Typically, these contributions are invested in a variety of stocks, bonds, and other financial devices. In recent years, programs have more and more turned to more incredible investments, including hedge money and private equity.18 Pension plan investments are maintained by financial managers chosen by the pension table.