Sen. Marco Rubio wants to overhaul and limit the way that environmental regulations are written and give states more control over energy.
The Republican senator from Florida and presidential hopeful largely targets environmental restrictions favored by the Obama administration and Democrats in his energy plan released Friday.
“Nowhere is the disconnect between the potential of our people and the priorities of politicians as large as in energy,” Rubio’s campaign writes in the platform.
“Plans pushed by many Democrats including Hillary Clinton are premised on the outdated and unrealistic notion that our energy potential can only be seized by the federal government handing out subsidies to favored companies and imposing new mandates and taxes on others. No matter which party is in power, Washington picking winner and losers is a recipe for failure,” it states, referring to Democratic presidential front-runner.
The plan largely resembles the platforms of other candidates who have released energy plans, in that it blames Democrats, President Obama and Clinton for environmental rules that restrict the energy market.
Rubio, who consistently ranks among the top five GOP presidential candidates, is promising to dismantle much of Obama’s climate and environmental program.
He would undo the limits on carbon dioxide from power plants and a rule on the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act, and implement a new “budget” for regulators to limit the costs of new regulations.
Rubio’s plan includes a number of items that oil and natural gas interests have long sought, including lifting the ban on oil exports, expediting natural gas export permits and approving the Keystone XL pipeline.
Environmentalists were immediately dismissive of Rubio’s plan, saying it heavily favors fossil fuels.
“Transitioning to clean energy will create American jobs and spur innovation, which is why it’s so disappointing that Sen. Rubio’s plan doubles down on the failed dirty energy policies of the past, putting our national and economic security at risk,” billionaire political donor and environmentalist Tom Steyer said in a statement.
“Rather than focusing on expanding fossil fuel production, Sen. Rubio should be explaining how he’ll bring America to more than 50 percent clean energy by 2030,” Steyer said, repeating the challenge he has issued to all candidates.
“Sen. Rubio’s plan appears to have been written by executives in the fossil fuel industry,” said Khalid Pitts, political director at the Sierra Club.
“His reckless plan includes every dirty energy proposal in the fossil-fuel playbook, and it completely ignores both the climate crisis and the economic opportunity presented by the boom in clean energy installations like solar and wind,” he said.
The plan contrasts sharply with environmental policies that Rubio supported while a state legislator in Florida.