Kaine: ‘All of the above’ on energy

The black-white debate on energy production between Republicans and Democrats generally speaking comes down to the merits of oil production vs. clean energy.

It doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition, though.

“We need to use every domestic source that we have. But I think we ought to be preparing for a long-term shift toward energy sources that are lower carbon or no carbon,” said U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine, a self-described “all of the above” guy on energy production.

Kaine, a Democrat, supports efforts to explore and develop energy using the plentiful domestic natural-gas reserves available to us – and also supports offshore drilling off the U.S. coast.

“I’m open to it as long as, and this is important, as long as the resources are shared with Virginia,” Kaine said. “I don’t want to do offshore drilling off the coast of Virginia and have all the revenues go to the federal government. I think Virginia should be entitled to big chunks of those revenues.”

Kaine described his chief differences with expected Republican Senate rival George Allen as coming in two areas: “He doesn’t believe that human activity affects the climate, and he ridicules the notion of alternative energy. He would vote for every subsidy for oil companies, but he would vote against any kind of break or subsidy for solar or wind or geothermal or other energy sources,” Kaine said.

“There is a $2.3 trillion global industry in alternative energy. The U.S. used to be a leader in that. We’re not anymore, but we’ve got to reassert leadership. I would over time shift the subsidies away from the mature industries such as petroleum and natural gas and put them more into clean energy.”


UPDATE: Friday, Jan. 27, 10:16 p.m.
Statement from Bill Riggs, spokesman, George Allen Senate campaign: “Whether it’s preventing Virginia from accessing energy resources off our coast or advocating for harmful cap-and-trade energy taxes, Chairman Kaine has consistently supported President Obama’s counterproductive, punishing energy policies that destroy jobs and increase costs.  As families and businesses are facing 35 consecutive months of unemployment above 8 percent and near record high gasoline prices for January, Tim Kaine’s decision to side with President Obama to reject the Keystone Pipeline proves once again that he wants to be President Obama’s Senator, not Virginia’s.”

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