Bloomberg Businessweek pointed out over the weekend the surprising fact that Massachusetts (Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s home state and big clean energy marketplace) benefited from policies Romney himself laid for the clean energy industry during his term as governor.
Romney has been in the news a lot recently for his criticism of President Barack Obama’s green energy policies. He objects primarily to Obama’s policy of providing taxpayer money to green businesses, most notably to solar manufacturer Solyndra LLC.
He also believes green energy is not cost-effective enough to compete with traditional energy sources like oil and coal or that it warrants favor from government policy.
Ryan Williams, a spokesman for the Romney campaign, clarified then-governor Romney’s position on clean energy by saying, “Governor Romney has never advocated for the government playing the role of venture capitalist.” He added that Romney encouraged “independent private managers to invest the funds that the state had already committed to green-energy projects, and he vetoed a proposal for additional spending.”
A lot of Massachusetts’ green energy growth occurred after Romney left the governor’s office in 2007, when his successor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, promoted wind, solar and building- efficiency programs. These programs, however, were funded through a renewable-energy trust that “gained steam” while Romney was still in office.
Rob Pratt directed Massachusetts’ green energy efforts for three years while Romney was governor. He called the state “a living, breathing microcosm” that proves clean energy can work. “This acceleration started under Romney,” he said in an interview.
Romney has been quoted as saying President Obama lives in an “imaginary world” where clean energy technologies can support the country; he believes in reality the country is better off exploring more fossil fuel reserves for oil, natural gas and coal.