Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Republicans on Maritime Issues

Richard Shiro/AP

This is the last in my series of posts on maritime issues in the 2012 presidential election. Here I've tried to glean from various sources where the major contenders for the Republican nomination stand on the issues. Not surprisingly, I could find little or nothing on specific issues such as TWIC cards or the relationship of the Coast Guard to merchant mariners. 

Deepwater Horizon and Offshore Drilling

Michelle Bachman: She voted to open the outer continental shelf to drilling. “The one that has really hurt the economy in the most devastating way is the moratorium that President Obama put on after the oil spill that occurred. There was devastation that occurred because of the oil flow that occurred but there was nothing that was worse than the moratorium that he put on.”

Herman Cain: Called for “responsibly” relaxing regulations on energy industry. “Drill here, drill now.”

Newt Gingrich: Says oil and natural gas industries should be able to drill offshore reserves now blocked from development.

Jon Huntsman: Favors phasing out all energy subsidies (“Subsidies don’t work and that we can no longer afford them”) and cutting regulatory obstacles to drilling and production

Ron Paul: Favors removing restrictions on drilling.

Rick Perry: “This president has killed more jobs with his regulatory schemes that have gone forward and that knee-jerk reaction of stopping drilling and that is some of the fastest things that we can turn around with a new president.” Proposes opening off-limits waters inclusingthe Southern Atlantic and Alaskan outer continental shelves.

Mitt Romney: Supports drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves, and offshore Alaska.

Rick Santorum: Favors scaling back “oppressive regulation” hindering drilling elsewhere.

The Jones Act

Perry: “Gov. Perry supports the Jones Act that makes the domestic maritime industry strong, contributes to national and homeland security, and makes an important economic contribution to our nation. Governor Perry believes there are times during a national emergency when suspending the Jones Act may be in the best interest of the country, like when President George W. Bush suspended the Act after Hurricane Katrina.”

Size of the Navy

Cain: Former Department of the Navy employee. Called for upgrading and doubling the size of the U.S. Navy's Aegis surface combat system.

Hunstman: "A Pacific orientation may bring a dramatic change to 'the look' of our military. The Asia Pacific is a maritime theater whereas Europe was mostly a land theater. It is a region full of disputed islands, maritime borders, and resource claims when compared to the relative calm of other regions. The United States is a Pacific nation with vital interests tied to the region that cannot be compromised for the sake of additional defense savings. Losing presence and/or capabilities in the Asia Pacific are the wrong trade-offs to make as we approach the tough decisions about our future defense spending."

Romney: “In my first 100 days in office, I will take a series of measures to put these principles into action, and place America—and the world—on safer footing. Among these actions will be to restore America’s national defense. I will reverse the hollowing of our Navy and announce an initiative to increase the shipbuilding rate from 9 per year to 15.”

Santorum: “We need to improve our Navy with more ships.”

Inland Waterways and Infrastructure.

Bachmann: Voted “Yes” on Water Resources Development Act of 2007

Paul: “Today its easier to get funding to build infrastructure in Iraq than to build a bridge in the United States. Indeed, we cut the Army Corps of Engineers’ budget and operate on the cheap with our veterans as the expenditures in Iraq skyrocket.”


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