“When it comes to energy I think we should have an all-of-the-above approach, but it should be driven by the market."
The Context: Facing a crowd of Iowans with much at stake when it comes to policies affecting farmers, Ted Cruz was quickly asked about his opposition to ethanol subsidies. While Cruz supports biofuels, he stressed that Washington should not “be picking winners and losers.” As an alternative, Cruz claims to be a “friend and ally” to those who want to "stop federal regulators from descending on your farms and making it harder for you to produce.”
Promoting economic growth by limiting government involvement in energy industries has been a staple of Cruz’s career. He opposed the Renewable Fuel Standard at the Iowa Ag Summit; he introduced the American Energy Renaissance Act, aimed to propel America to dominance in the energy market by freeing corporations from regulations; and he authored an amicus curiae for a case fighting President Obama’s moratorium on offshore exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. While playing a key role in this field, Cruz’s stance is not unique: Scott Walker mentioned an “all-the-above energy policy” as well during his campaign launch.
Energy production is, of course, not an issue that can be discussed in isolation. The related industries are large employers in the areas where they operate. They are also among the very largest and wealthiest corporations in the world with long-standing political lobbies. From the global to the local, our energy discussions are inextricably tied to our national security, international trade, natural resources and environmental stewardship, financial systems and energy markets, daily individual commutes to work, and everyday household costs. Further, meeting our energy demand is also a discussion of massive interstate infrastructures, commerce, and coordination. Creating power and delivering it to consumers calls into question the relationships between states and their economies. In short, when candidates start talking about energy, they are often summarizing their stance on almost all of these issues.
Considering all this, Campaign Mapping is starting our energy discussion in "all-of-the-above" terms: in total production (from all sources) and in total consumption (to all industries and households). We asked,
How much energy do we produce and where? How does this compare to the energy we consume? Which states are our net producers and our net consumers?
Additional Note: Ted Cruz’s appearance at the Iowa Ag Summit came about two weeks before he officially announced his presidential run. With his established stance on this issue and the significance of where he discussed it, we chose to consider it within the narrative of his campaign.