We've talked before about the role the energy debate will play in the Sestak/Toomey Senate race this year. In that vein, the Toomey camp released a fascinating statement today at once tying their stance on offshore drilling to Obama's -- as part of their positioning toward the center in the general election -- while continuing to paint Sestak as a left-wing extremist.
We also get a preview of their branding, saying Sestak has a "MoveOn.Org agenda." Democrats did the same kind of thing in the 12th District congressional race, constantly calling the GOP candidate "millionaire Tim Burns."
Meanwhile, Sestak is continuing with own warnings about safe and environmentally friendly energy production, with plans to hold a town meeting on Marcellus Shale development Saturday in Luzerne County.
The release, pasted in full below, is entitled "On Drilling, Obama and Toomey’s Views Converge, Sestak Remains on the Far-Left Fringe"
Allentown – Last week, U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey argued that President Obama had gone too far in his across-the-board moratorium on all drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, placing undue economic hardship on an already struggling area and unnecessarily increasing our reliance on foreign oil. Yesterday, President Obama agreed and, according to news reports, will move quickly to lift a 30-day moratorium and reopen oil and gas exploration in shallow waters. (Wall Street Journal, 06/08/10)
While the President’s safety concerns are understandable, Mr. Toomey urged the President to reconsider his six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling given the potential for tens of thousands of job losses. Rather than imposing a moratorium for an arbitrary period of time, Mr. Toomey suggested a cessation of deep-water drilling only until the regulatory authorities determine that the proper safety precautions can be implemented.
Mr. Toomey also supports lifting the current liability cap for damages to a multi-billion dollar level.
“In the wake of the BP disaster, it is very important that we have the appropriate safety standards in place,” Mr. Toomey said, “but we have to take into account the tens of thousands of jobs the region stands to lose and our increased dependence on foreign oil if we go too far in placing an across-the-board moratorium. I applaud President Obama for moving to lift the moratorium on shallow-water drilling. In addition, I strongly believe that the current liability cap for damages caused by the oil spill is grossly inadequate and needs to be raised to a multi-billion dollar level. The last thing we need is another taxpayer-funded bailout of corporate failures.”
In contrast, Congressman Joe Sestak has taken an extreme position, imposing a draconian moratorium that will result in tens of thousands of job losses and make the U.S. further dependent on foreign oil. Congressman Sestak’s solution to U.S. dependence on foreign oil is to oppose domestic drilling and to implement cap-and-trade legislation that will kill tens of thousands of Pennsylvania jobs, impose huge new costs on our manufacturing industry, and result in higher electricity and gas prices for working families. The National Association of Manufacturers said Sestak’s huge energy tax bill would cost Pennsylvania at least 71,000 jobs and would cause gasoline prices and electricity prices to increase by 8% and 12% respectively. (NAM Study)
“There is a common theme to all of Joe Sestak’s proposals, and it is, less jobs, more government,” said Toomey Communications Director Nachama Soloveichik. “Whether it is his support for new tax increases in the government-run health care bill, massive deficit spending, or draconian energy policies, Rep. Sestak’s MoveOn.Org agenda will result in fewer jobs for everyone and greater burdens for taxpayers. That is the wrong path for Pennsylvania and the wrong path for our country.”