September 4, 2012 - Rep. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico at Washington Post Live's Energy & the Election breakfast forum at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Casey Cunningham)


D-New Mexico

My district is a natural-gas-producing district. The conversations around President Obama’s energy policy and that put forward by Gov. Romney and Paul Ryan are very different. Everyone says that they support “all of the above,” but Gov. Romney’s plan that he just laid out is a drill-only plan.

There’s been a lot of ill will associated with telling the truth about President Obama’s administration, associated with its impact on natural gas and oil. There’s a reason why natural gas [production] is at an all-time high and why we’re seeing decreasing amounts of our dependence on foreign sources of oil. Isn’t that something that Democrats and Republicans should be agreeing with?

Even the American Natural Gas Association has minimum standards associated with exploration on private and public lands. When we have a debate with our [Republican] colleagues in the House and they refused to even adopt those minimum standards, I think that we have a huge problem.

If we look at the future production on public or private lands, water needs to be part of the conversation. In the West, we fight more about water than we do about anything else. Especially under drought conditions and what’s happening with climate change, we better tune in.