Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal issued a dire warning Thursday that if President Barack Obama is re-elected, the nation’s energy sector would see “continued hostility” toward production and a potential cap-and-trade edict.
“You already see it in the first term,” Jindal said. Leasing offshore is down 30 percent. “We’re already seeing a hostile regulatory environment that is diminishing production of energy.”
Jindal was in a town meeting with representatives from 17 energy companies, raising money for Gov. Gary Herbert’s re-election campaign. Herbert has raised more than $235,000 from energy companies since his last election — $1 out of every $6 he has raised.
Jindal has just been elected to a second term as governor of Louisiana and said he isn’t interested in running as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential candidate.
“I’ve got the job that I want,” said Jindal, noting that he is just beginning to tackle retirement reform in his state and has other goals to accomplish.
But Jindal said he will do everything he can to get Romney elected and threw some tough charges at the Obama administration.
Jindal said that, if Obama is re-elected, he wouldn’t be able to get a cap-and-trade bill through Congress, but he is concerned that the administration could try to achieve it through a “regulatory fiat.”
And Jindal said that the Obama administration has brought America high unemployment and high deficits, and “you’ve got a president who is leading us toward a European socialist-type government.”
The Obama campaign said Jindal is skewing the numbers.
“Here are the facts: President Obama has aggressively pursued an all-of-the-above energy strategy,” said Obama campaign spokesman Tom Reynolds. “As domestic oil production has reached an 8-year high and our dependence on foreign oil has fallen to a 16-year low, the president has also made historic investments in renewable energy, reduction of energy waste, the [research and development] of clean coal technology and expanded, safe natural gas extraction.”
Reynolds said that Romney raised the gas tax as Massachusetts governor, has opposed fuel economy standards, and supported tax breaks for oil and gas companies.
Jindal was flying to Colorado for a fundraiser there, then headed to New Mexico to raise money for Republican Gov. Susana Martinez before returning to Louisiana.
Rocky Mountain Roundtable
Gov. Gary Herbert will host his counterparts from Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada and Colorado on Friday to discuss energy, public land, water and other regional issues in a Rocky Mountain Roundtable.
“The hope is … we’ll start a dialogue that will bring governors together,” Herbert said during his monthly KUED news conference. “We’re smaller-in-population states and don’t have quite the political muscle. I think uniting our voices will help us get better outcomes out of Washington, D.C., when it comes to policy affecting the West and the people who live here.”
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval are all scheduled to attend the meetings at the Governor’s Mansion. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, the only Democrat of the group, will also participate via teleconference.
Herbert said that, in addition to a discussion of public lands and access to natural resources, energy and water, the governors would also discuss endangered species issues and could potentially have a dialogue about immigration enforcement.
Herbert said that Hickenlooper, in particular, believes states should be more active about immigration and is interested in Utah’s approach. Environmental groups have scheduled a protest at noon outside the Governor’s Mansion during the meetings.