Updated at 6 p.m. Thursday, August 23.
What do the energy and environment policies of President Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney bode for the country?
On the campaign trail, Obama and Romney have been seeking to differentiate themselves on areas of energy policy, especially coal and wind power. Obama underscores the economic importance of creating--and sustaining--jobs in clean-energy industries, while Romney charges that Obama is picking winners and losers by subsidizing different industries and maintains that the government should, by and large, stay out of the business of backing certain energy technologies. Obama insists he supports coal as long as it's produced in cleaner way than it is right now, while Romney--who once held a position on coal similar to Obama's--now blames the president for job losses in the coal industry. Meanwhile, neither one of them talks much about environmental regulations or global warming.
Romney unveiled a comprehensive energy plan on Thursday, August 23, which expands oil and natural gas production and gives states authority for drilling on federal lands. The Obama campaign maintained that the plan didn't amount to anything more than continuing to subsidize the oil industry.
Election sound bites aside, what do the positions articulated by the two candidates say about how they would govern? What parts of the energy and environment landscape could drastically change depending on who wins in November? Or, do presidential administrations not make a sizable impact on energy and environment policies?
Regardless of who wins the White House, what should the next president prioritize in these areas?