To: Governor Mitt Romney
From: Aaron Hake, Director of Communications
CC: Beth Myers, Campaign Manager
RE: Energy independence communications plan
Date: July 18, 2007
Supporting “energy independence” for America is as easy as supporting motherhood and
apple pie. Every candidate supports it. Why are you any different? More importantly,
almost every candidate since the 1960’s has supported it and made great claims to the
American people that we would achieve it during their tenure. Today, America appears
no closer to energy independence than during the gas-rationing days of Jimmy Carter.
“Energy independence” should sound like a broken record right now to the voters. After
hearing it so many times, is anyone really paying attention? Does anyone actually
believe a candidate when they say that the United States will not depend on foreign
governments for oil? Even after September 11, 2001 and the public’s reawakening to
issue, the answer so far is still “No.”
Grabbing the attention of primary voters on this issue, however, does require repeating
similar rhetoric to that which has been used in the past, blended with a touch of
progressive ideas that can capture a public whose attitude is in motion (albeit it is unclear
to where) on a variety of issues that have a nexus with energy independence: greenhouse
gas emissions, global warming, and rising gas prices. In the current environment, the
debate is more complex than: Republicans are for oil, the Democrats are for green. You
must secure your place as a reliable conservative and signal that you have a dynamic
perspective of an evolving issue. Finally, you must be able to communicate deliverables.
Give the voters something “easy” that they can remember to expect from you. Commit to
something. America will have three new nuclear power plants under construction by the
end of your first term in office. Oil will be flowing out of ANWR by 2012. American
automakers will have $10 billion of federal support to develop “green fleets.”
While reality dictates that no policy short of ordering Americans to stop driving their cars
will likely achieve true energy independence within the maximum potential length of a
Romney Administration, herein is a recommended communications plan to demonstrate
your commitment to energy independence and provide the American people with
concrete objectives, real reasons to believe that you can achieve them, and warnings
about why your opponents may not be capable of providing your level of leadership on
Table of Contents
Transmittal Memo 1
Table of Contents 2
Executive Summary 3
Your Energy Policy So Far 4
Protecting the American consumer 4-5
Outer Continental Shelf 6-10
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 10-11
Taking on the opposition on energy policy 11-13
Your record as Governor and your time on the campaign trail demonstrate that you
believe that America should achieve energy independence through innovation and new
technologies, rather than through government mandates that are costly to taxpayers, big
and small. You have also demonstrated that you support increased domestic energy
production via fossil fuels as well as renewable sources.
However, your record also contains inconsistencies that will have to be reconciled on the
campaign trail. You opposed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a
northeastern compact that would have led the nation in terms of promoting clean and
renewable energy, after originally supporting it. You opposed the building of a liquefied
natural gas (LNG) plant on your state’s shores, which would have brought more gas to
the market, and provided more of a cleaner-burning alternative to your state. You also
opposed the Cape Wind Farm, which would have place 130 windmills off Cape Cod,
replacing an old and dirty power plant on the Cape with clean energy.
Your position on energy independence moving forward, as well as reconciling your
positions on issues in your past, can best be tied into the theme of “Protecting American
RGGI would have resulted in higher energy rates, which would have adversely
affected the state’s economy.
The LNG plants would have had negative health impacts on the nearby
The Cape Wind Farm would have damaged the tourism economy of Cape Cod;
there are alternative sites for such projects that do not have the same impacts, yet
still achieve the goal of increasing domestic energy production.
You wish to fight for American energy consumers by providing incentives for
Detroit to give Americans more options when it comes to fuel efficient vehicles,
simultaneously reducing our demand on foreign oil.
Nuclear energy holds the potential to drastically reduce the need for petroleum-
fired power plants. Nuclear plants can be developed in a safe and secure way;
American ingenuity can help us achieve this. Nuclear power provides increased
electricity supplies that are also reliable, protecting consumers from blackouts,
brownouts, and higher energy prices during peak periods.
The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is America’s largest untapped resource that
can increase domestic production and reduce dependency on foreign oil.
Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for exploration can help
America build its strategic reserves and protect us from foreign dictators who
control too much of our energy supply.
Finally, your most significant opponent in the primary at this time is Rudy Giuliani. He
is the largest recipient of campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry and his
former law firm, Bracewell & Giuliani, has represented the governments of Venezuela
and Saudi Arabia in American courts and legislatures. You can contrast yourself with
Giuliani by highlighting that you are not cozy with big oil or the foreign governments
that threaten America’s economic stability, yet stay friendly with the domestic oil
industry by also promoting increases in domestic production via ANWR and OCS.
Your Energy Policy So Far
As Governor of Massachusetts for four years, you encountered several energy policy
decisions of note that will shape the development of your profile on energy issues. You
have also been outspoken on several additional issues during the primary campaign thus
far. Let us briefly touch on those events and issues.
Your track record on energy during your governorship in Massachusetts has been defined
by the following notable issues and events:
Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) plants in Massachusetts rejected
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) moves forward without MA
Cape Wind Farm rejected
On the campaign trail you have incorporated the following into your message on energy
Nuclear energy needs to revived in this country
America can achieve energy independence through expanding domestic energy
o The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) should be opened for
o The Outer Continental Shelf should be utilized for energy production.
Concurrence with Rudy Giuliani that an “Apollo” or “Manhattan” type of project
is needed to spur greater advancement in America’s energy capability
Thus far, you and Rudy Giuliani are the Republican candidates to have offered the most
in terms of specifics on what America needs to do to achieve energy independence.
However, you should be given a slight advantage due to the publication of your essay in
Foreign Affairs this month which articulately communicates your beliefs on energy
seamlessly intertwined with your beliefs on other policy areas including foreign policy
and American competitiveness.
Protecting the American Consumer
Based on your statements in recent debates and your actions as governor, it will be
difficult to pin you down as a friend of “big oil.” You have talked “green” frequently.
You have also repeated calls for greater investment in new energy sources including
cellulosic ethanol and energy derived from the ocean. You have also stated that America
must take a new look at nuclear power. Rather than listing the dozens of alternative
energy sources that you believe will help America achieve energy independence, you can
tie them all together into the theme of protecting the American consumer.
You can protect the American consumer from:
1. High energy prices by:
a. Making alternative energy sources more available
i. Which can come from the Outer Continental Shelf
b. Staying out of the Kyoto treaty and adopting greenhouse gas standards
that do not raise energy prices
c. “Incentivizing” Detroit to produce more fuel efficient vehicles
2. Foreign countries who get rich off of the oil we buy from them by:
a. Increasing domestic energy production from:
i. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
ii. The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)
b. Making alternative energy sources more available
Energy consumption prices affect not only automobile drivers and the transportation
sector, but also those who rely on natural gas to heat their homes during oft harsh winter
climates and cool them during grueling hot summers. Talking about home heating costs
can play well in the early primary state of South Carolina, where in 2002 the state
legislature adopted a resolution calling on Congress to act to control the cost of energy
during one of the harshest winters on record.1 Considering this state is largely up for
grabs in the Republican primary with the decline of John McCain and the liberal social
positions of Rudy Giuliani, you could give the state’s conservative voters a reason to look
beyond your religion and more at your concern for their wallets – on an issue that is as
close to home, literally, as it gets.
High energy costs are also a topic very relevant to the vote-rich state of California, which
is now earlier on the primary ballot than normal.
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), referred to as “Reggie”, is a compact
between northeastern states to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by the year 2019.
A proponent of the original plan, you later altered your position and refused to sign onto
the plan, drawing criticism not only from environmentalists, but from your colleagues in
neighboring states, and your own staff who had spent nearly two years of work
South Carolina General Assembly. Bill 216. 24 June 2004.
negotiating the agreement to your liking.2 While not directly an issue pertaining to
energy independence, your opposition to RGGI will be a target for your opponents when
you make the case that you favor clean, renewable energy and want to be mindful of the
environment as part of your strategy to achieve energy independence. Your position on
RGGI threatens your credibility on one of the tenets of your energy independence plan.
Your counterpoint, then, is that you opposed RGGI when it evolved into a proposal that
would only wind up costing everyday Massachusettsians more to cool their homes in the
summer and heat them in the cold New England winters. You believe that clean energy
can be produced without placing a greater burden on ratepayers. Compacts such as
RGGI and even Kyoto are draining to the economy and harmful to middle and lower
class families who are most impacted by high energy prices.
You also recognize the need for greater electricity supply – you know this from your
experience with the northeastern power outage in the summer of 2003. You also
recognize that the additional energy that is produced to meet the demand should be
cleaner. Thus, the need for more energy and fewer emissions leads you to promote a
revival of nuclear power. Without relying on fossil fuels from overseas to burn at power
plants, and instead leaning on home-grown nuclear power, America moves another giant
step closer towards energy independence: another layer of protection to the American
Nuclear power has not had the best week. An earthquake north of Tokyo, Japan has
forced the closure of the world’s largest nuclear power plant.3 Multiple leaks, fires,
structural weaknesses, and other hazards have drawn significant attention to the safety of
nuclear power plants. It is widely noted that most of America’s nuclear facilities are in
seismically active zones.4
Outer Continental Shelf
You have already gone on the record in support of energy exploration on the outer
continental shelf (OCS), which is defined as, “the submerged lands, subsoil, and seabed,
lying between the seaward extent of the States’ jurisdiction and the seaward extent of
Federal jurisdiction.”5 Taking this position does not do you any favors with the
environmental community; however, in the primary this is not a paramount concern.
Little, Amanda Griscom. Mitt Romney’s mistake. Salon.com. 28 Jan 2006.
Toyoda, Chiaki and Sachio Nikaido. N-plant quake shock may mean power cuts. Daily Yomiuri Online.
19 Jul 2007.
Crenson, Matt. Quakes rarely damage nuclear power plants. The Japan Times Online. 19 July 2007.
New York, NY.
Outer Continental Shelf-Definition. Minerals Management Service.
What matters is that you have identified a strategy that is comprehensible to voters to
increase domestic energy production and thereby reduce American dependency on
foreign energy. However, it is important to consider the nuances of this policy in terms
of geography and your own track record as Governor.
Alaska, Alaska, Alaska
Emphasizing the State of Alaska as your primary target for Outer Continental Shelf
exploration has several benefits.
1. Anyone opposed to disrupting the pristine environment of Alaska has already
abandoned you on this issue because of your repeated support of opening ANWR
for development – you will not be losing any additional friends over the
2. As the graphic above depicts, the Alaskan outer continental shelf holds the
greatest potential for the recovery of gas;
a. Gas is a cleaner burning fuel – the more it is available on the market, and
the more it is produced domestically, the lower its cost, the fewer barriers
it has to market entry, and therefore the more likely it is to be used and
substituted for dirtier fossil fuels;
b. This new supply also means the potential for lower home-heating costs in
the winter time;
3. Alaska’s continental shelf extends much further from the coastline than in other
states, allowing greater potential for unsightly structures to be out of visibility
4. Alaska allows you to have a place to deflect NIMBY concerns towards; Alaska is
5. Many Alaskans support proposals that increase energy production in their state’s
territory, and even if they opposed it, the state is worth three electoral votes – and
if you make it to the general election, it is a reliably conservative state.
Treading lightly in California and Florida
Early primary juggernauts of California and Florida also happen to have enormous
coastlines and powerful constituencies defending their environmental integrity and
tourism value. Even President Bush’s own conservative brother, former Governor Jeb
Bush of Florida, actively opposed offshore drilling in the face of federal pressures to
allow it. While Republican primaries are not typically decided on environmental issues,
it does not matter what side of the aisle you are on: you will not be popular if you
threaten the pristine ocean landscape, as seen from shore. Republicans and Democrats
alike own beachfront property. Although new offshore energy facilities need not be
visible from shore (be they wind farms, oil platforms, or wave-energy devices) the mere
potential that your policy could allow it to happen is enough for any opponent, weak or
strong, to grab hold and create a problem for you.
Thus, your strategy in these two states should be:
1. Soft-pedal the Outer Continental Shelf proposal;
2. Focus on ANWR and nuclear energy to tout your domestic energy production
3. Drive home your concern about high energy costs (especially when you are in
If the question is raised about whether your administration would allow offshore energy
production, you can also refer to your demonstrated opposition to such projects that are
near major shipping lanes, which happen to surround Southern California and the Bay
Area, Miami, and the Gulf Coast.
Your Problem: Cape Wind Farm
Among the two most prominent offshore energy projects being developed under the
Energy Policy Act of 2005 is the Cape Wind Farm off of Cape Cod in your home state of
Massachusetts. You have been an active opponent of this project and have visited
Washington, D.C. to personally lobby the Department of Interior to delay the permitting
and approval process.6 It is clear from combing the press that you have been on the side
of the local residents who do not want the “visual pollution” of windmills churning on the
horizon. Cape residents also happen to be wealthy. The perception created by your
actions on this project is that you are a “NIMBY” and are in the pockets of the well-to-do
Williams, Bill. Tilting at Windmills on Cape Cod; How a Sound Idea Became a Power Play. Hartford
Courant. 10 June 2007. Pg. G5.
residents of the Cape. Thus, any claims you make to support energy projects on the
Outer Continental Shelf are likely to be mocked as lacking sincerity. Your credentials on
this issue become questionable.
Your response to questions of your credibility on offshore energy issues is suggested to
be as follows:
1. Your priority is to protect the coastline, the local economy, and quality of life;
2. All of the alternatives for locations of energy projects should be examined, and
the location that maximizes energy benefit (for the nation as well as locally) and
minimizes local impact should be selected;
3. Federal jurisdiction begins several miles offshore, thus minimizing the potential
impact of energy projects;
4. Offshore energy projects should be built away from major shipping lanes;
5. Benefits of offshore energy projects include cleaner air and lower energy costs.
Source: Consumer Alliance for Energy Security
Further, it may be useful to reference the statistics presented in the graphic above. It
would be ideal to have the percentage “in favor” be higher than 59.3%, yet the 20.4% of
“don’t know/refuse” respondents represent an opportunity to educate the population on
your terms about what the outer continental shelf means. No other candidate has yet
made the outer continental shelf a central component of their energy proposal, allowing
you to put the idea forward as you see it.
Viability Assessment: Positive
The Department of Interior has already made significant headway in studying potential
projects on the Outer Continental Shelf since the passage of the Energy Policy Act of
2005.7 With research on this issue continuing and project development underway,
momentum will be difficult to slow down. However, the next energy authorization bill
will be on the watch of the next administration. Despite Congress’ low approval ratings
today, it is not unthinkable that Democrats will still control Congress after 2008, and
approving funding for this policy may be more difficult.
Democrats must be reminded however that using the ocean for new sources of energy can
in-fact be a very “green” endeavor. It will be important for you to cast ocean energy as
being “green” or even “blue”, and not allow your opponents to define the issue simply as
offshore oil drilling. Framing the issue early can ease barriers to implementation if you
are elected President.
Finally, it should not be overlooked that your policy should clearly state that you are
interested in only developing new energy sources on submerged federal lands. States
will protest federal promotion of projects in waters above state territory.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
Source: U.S. Department of Energy
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a “red meat” Republican issue on energy, if ever
one existed. In the primary election, this is low-hanging fruit, and wisely, you have
already grabbed it.
Strasburg, Gary. Outer Continental Shelf. Minerals Management Service , U.S. Department of the
ANWR is a 19.6 million acre region on the northeast coast of Alaska, administered by the
Fish and Wildlife Service in the U.S. Department of the Interior. The coastal plain, also
referred to as the 1002 area, is 1.5 million acres (or less than 8%) of the Refuge. This
area was set aside for study by President Carter and a Democratic-controlled Congress in
the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (ANILCA). Although
President Carter was interested in learning about the energy potential of the Refuge,
section 1003 of ANILCA prohibited “leasing or development leading to production of oil
and gas from the range’ unless authorized by an act of Congress.” 8 The last several
Congresses have struggled to approve an act to open the coastal plain to development.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that the costal plain contains 10.4 billion
barrels of recoverable oil.9 The Department of the Interior has stated that the daily oil
production from ANWR could be as high as 1.4 million barrels per day, which exceeds
the capacity of the other top oil-producing states: Texas, California, and Louisiana. Upon
authorization by Congress, leasing and development should barely affect one hundredth
of one percent of the entire land area of ANWR, according to the Secretary of the
Viability Assessment: Cautiously Positive
As a primary campaign talking point, supporting development in ANWR is sure bet to
score at least some points with conservative voters and potential donors. In terms of
being able to successfully implement the policy if elected, there is less cause to be
optimistic. Even with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress, President
Bush failed three times to receive approval of opening ANWR.11 Without a filibuster-
proof Republican majority in the Senate, or an energy crisis the likes of which the world
has never seen, it will be extremely difficult to pry the refuge open. Knowing this, you
are able to talk tough on the issue, yet never seriously have to contemplate actually doing
it. It makes a nice decorative (yet necessary) piece to your energy package for the
Taking on the opposition on energy policy
Recognizing again that Giuliani is presently the only Republican candidate that
consistently polls higher than you in some key battleground states; he is also your most
suitable target on energy policy. Fortunately, Giuliani has some weaknesses for you hone
Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980. Library of Congress.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, 1002 Area, Petroleum Assessment, 1998, Including Economic Analysis.
U.S. Geological Survey. http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-0028-01/.
Arctic Oil: Fact vs. Fiction (ANWR). FreeRepublic.com. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-
news/770968/posts. 17 Oct 2002.
Grooms, Lindsay, Aaron Hake, Laura Land, and Mark Meadows. Domestic Energy: Making America
More Secure: The Case for Development in ANWR. Dec 2004.
Your strategy should be to question Giuliani’s credibility on energy policy. Highlight
examples of his hypocrisy on the issue. Giuliani is the greatest benefactor of oil and gas
industry oil contributions and his former law firm has been employed by foreign
governments such as Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.
Rudy Giuliani Top Industries Donating to Giuliani Campaign12
1 Securities & Investment $1,929,451
is on the take 2 Lawyers/Law Firms $1,138,575
from big oil 3 Retired $1,003,950
and special 4 Real Estate $933,976
interests. 5 Misc Finance $741,198
6 Misc Business $373,400
Proof Point: No other first- 7 Hedge Funds & Private Equity $358,200
tier Republican candidate has 8 Business Services $315,100
taken as much money from
9 Health Professionals $298,872
the oil and gas industry as
Rudy Giuliani. The oil and 10 Oil & Gas $244,650
gas industry does not rank 18 Lobbyists $102,150
among the top 20 donors of 20 General Contractors $99,850
any other candidate, let alone
in the top ten, as in Giuliani’s case.
The question to put forward to voters is: How can Rudy Giuliani claim to be a
champion of renewable energy when he is the largest recipient of campaign
contributions from the oil and gas industry?
Bring the voters towards you by contrasting with his hypocrisy by reiterating your
Big oil is making a lot of money right now, and I'd like to see them using
that money to invest in refineries. Don't forget that when companies earn
profit, that money is supposed to be reinvested in growth. And our
refineries are old. Someone said our refineries today are rust with paint
holding them up. And we need to see these companies, if they're making
that kind of money, reinvest in capital equipment.13
Rudy Giuliani has been on the payroll of
Hugo Chavez and the Saudis.
2008 Presidential Election: Rudolph Giuliani Campaign Money . Opensecrets.org. 15 Apr 2007.
Mitt Romney on Energy & Oil. On The Issues.
http://www.ontheissues.org/2008/Mitt_Romney_Energy_+_Oil.htm. 3 Jun 2007.
Proof Point: Through his former law firm, which bore his own name, Bracewell &
Giuliani, Rudy Giuliani has been paid to promote their interests with American
Giuliani has refused to discuss this matter with the press and has not been circulated in
the media since May. You may choose to make an issue out of why Giuliani will not
discuss his financial relationship with foreign countries upon which we are dependent for
oil. Continuing the drum beat on this issue can reinforce Giuliani’s lack of credentials on
energy independence and call into question how much America can trust him.
Combine this question with a reiteration of your previous statement:
But let's not forget, where the money is being made throughout these years
is not just in the major oil companies, it's in the countries that own this oil.
Ahmadinejad, Putin, Chavez--these people are getting rich off of people
buying too much oil. And that's why we have to pursue, as a strategic
imperative, energy independence for America.15
Your Message in Opposition to Rudy Guiliani
You will fight for the American consumer first, not for the oil
companies, not for foreign governments.
Be careful not to go too far with this line of rhetoric, as you do not want to entirely
alienate the oil industry at this stage, but you want to provide enough of a contrast
between yourself and your opponent and emphasize that your first loyalty is to American
energy consumers, not those who get rich off of them. You can bring the oil industry into
your favor by highlighting elsewhere your support of opening ANWR, an issue much less
nearer to the hearts and minds of your base.
This strategy also serves to deflect some criticism you are likely to encounter for possible
contradictory positions on energy issues (e.g. – promoting renewable energy yet opposing
the Cape Wind Farm; promoting cleaner fuels yet opposing an LNG plant in
Theimer, Sharon. If elected president, Giuliani’s clients could pose conflict. The Associated Press State
& Local Wire. Washington, DC. 14 May 2007.
Mitt Romney on Energy & Oil. On The Issues.
http://www.ontheissues.org/2008/Mitt_Romney_Energy_+_Oil.htm. 3 Jun 2007.