By Keith Johnson
The Wall Street Journal
During the 2008 campaign, Americans worried about dwindling oil supplies, rising demand and skyrocketing prices. Today, a revolution in domestic energy production has erased the supply worries, and energy-industry jobs are a bright spot in an otherwise-sluggish job market.
How to further develop America’s energy potential stands at the center of both presidential campaigns, and the question of which candidate can do it better is likely to come up during the debates that begin Wednesday.
Energy independence is the first point in Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s five-point plan to rejuvenate the economy. He says unleashing domestic oil and gas production could create more than three million jobs, shrink the trade deficit and revitalize American manufacturing.
“It will provide us with a lot of jobs in the energy sector and in manufacturing because when energy is less expensive, manufacturing will come home,” Mr. Romney said at a campaign rally last week in Virginia.
President Barack Obama, in the second plank of the four-point economic plan he laid out at a Virginia rally last week, also calls for greater domestic oil and gas production, and decreased imports of foreign oil. But he offers much more support for clean energy as a way to kick-start the economy.