Adam Putnam: 'Mitt Romney Wants to Unleash America's Energy Potential'
Around the State
Adam Putnam, the real driver in Florida energy policy, looked up from his seat at the head of the 2012 Energy Summit on Thursday and found himself at the foot of a national stage.
There are two reasons why.
First, Putnam has been discovered -- by likely GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Romney had just tapped the Florida commissioner of agriculture and consumer services and former U.S. congressman to serve on his Farmers and Ranchers for Romney Coalition. Putnam will join Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., former USDA Deputy Secretary Charles Conner and Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey.
Second, Putnam -- scrappiest fighter for Florida's new energy bill -- has a philosophy about energy that lies a world away from the Obama administration's. Obama's is nicknamed "more-of-the-same"; Putnam calls his "all of the above."
In an interview with Sunshine State News Thursday, the commissioner said, “There is an invisible tax on the American consumer coming from the absence of public policy.”
Putnam's keynote speaker that morning, former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister, delivered an address that mirrored the commissioner's philosophy. Hofmeister had just told Summit participants that even though he is a lifelong Democrat, he cannot and will not vote for President Obama.
"I can't vote for the president because I've spoken to him. He told me he wants more of the same energy policies that have driven us to $4 a gallon gas. He isn't going to change course, we will remain dependent on imported energy and the price of gas will continue to soar."
Hofmeister said he's approached the Romney people to see what they're going to do: "I'm waiting to hear."
Asked what he thinks the problem is for Hofmeister and other "lifelong Democrats" concerned about America's energy future to support Barack Obama, Putnam said this:
"The Obama administration is hostile to coal in any form, nuclear energy has stalled, the president has rejected the Keystone pipeline, he's discouraged additional oil exploration. You take all these out of the mix and there's not a whole lot more affordable options left.
"If America can't be energy self-sufficient -- if we're not willing to commit to this and look at everything we've got to stop the imports -- then we're holding ourselves back in the global marketplace and we're squandering American potential."
Asked if he believes Romney's energy policy would be easier for Hofmeister to support than Obama's, Putnam said, "Oh, absolutely."
"For a start, Romney would have approved the Keystone pipeline," Putnam said. "Mitt Romney wants to unleash America's energy potential."
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