When it comes to determining how best to meet the nation’s future energy needs, there are no Republican solutions, nor Democratic solutions.

American_TreeCharlie Melancon, a Democrat from Louisiana, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011. He was a member of the Energy & Commerce Committee.

When it comes to determining how best to meet our future energy needs, there are no Republican solutions, nor Democratic solutions. That’s why I believe leveraging the presidential election to turn U.S. energy policy into the latest political football is bad for America.

Consider the current debate on natural gas. Republicans recently tried to paint the Obama administration as opponents of the fuel. They cited the Department of Energy’s recent delay of a report on the economics of exporting natural gas, which was pushed back from a March 2012 release date, because of complexities in assessing the global natural-gas marketplace. It’s now going to be released after the election, and Republicans say it’s an attempt to punt the debate.

Yet, what Republicans conveniently ignore is that the Obama administration’s new power plant rules are crafted in a way that ensure all new facilities will run on natural gas, not coal or even alternative energy sources. While such a mandate may bring unintended consequences and needs to be closely examined, suggesting President Obama is against natural gas doesn’t pass the smell test.

This is precisely the kind of election-year stunt that undermines earnest attempts to develop energy proposals, on which both parties should be able to agree. Americans deserve better.

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Source: Charlie Melancon | Politico