Rep. Edward J. Markey and Washington Post Live Editor Mary Jordan at the Energy & the Election breakfast forum at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. (Casey Cunningham/For the Washington Post)



There is a proven correlation between the improvement of the environment and the creation of jobs. This is a huge growth industry. If we understand that, which of course the Republicans refuse to admit because of their commitment to the fossil fuel industry, then we’re going to be in good shape.

But just remember this about Mitt Romney, when he was governor of Massachusetts, he took state money and invested it in clean-energy companies. When he was governor, he believed in climate change. He talked about it in his book “No Apology” in 2010. But a candidate for president in the Republican Party in 2012 cannot believe in clean energy and cannot believe in climate science.

There is no global marketplace for natural gas. That’s what I think people don’t understand. There’s a price for oil on the world market. It’s set by OPEC. There is no global price for natural gas. The price for natural gas in the United States is [far lower than in Europe and Asia]. That’s our advantage. I’m not saying that we should not export any natural gas. What I’m saying is, let’s call a timeout.

When George [W.] Bush left office . . . the United States was 57 percent dependent upon imported oil. Today, after 3 1 / 2 years of the Obama “drill, baby, drill” administration, we’re down to 45 percent dependence upon imported oil.

More numbers: We have 50 percent more rigs drilling in the Gulf of Mexico today than we did before the BP spill.