I was surprised to read what Cory Suter in “Polycimic” reports about Mitt Romney’s 2010 book “No Apology; The Case for American Greatness. ” In the book Romney  speaks about Peak Oil, cites Matt Simmons’s book “Twilight in the desert” and says that, “whether the peak is already past or will be reached within a few years, world oil supply will decline at some point.” And then he doesn’t say that the solution is just drilling more. He says that using less oil and in finding alternatives for it are just as important as solutions.

Did any other presidential candidate with serious chances to win ever say something like that? I haven’t checked the whole history of the US elections, but I can tell you that once I asked personally to Al Gore (after his unsuccessful run for president) what he knew about Peak Oil and he seemed to me less knowledgeable than Mitt Romney appears to be in his book.

On the other hand, regarding Mitt Romney there is always the joke that says (h/t “Jules Burn”):

A conservative, a moderate, and a liberal walk into a bar. The bartender says “Hi Mitt!”

At least, you can say that the guy is flexible. Anyway, here are the paragraphs about peak oil reported by Cory Suter from Romney’s book.

 “Our own policies interfere with free-market mechanisms.  We
subsidize domestic oil and gas production with generous tax
breaks, penalize sugar-based ethanol from Brazil, and block
investment in nuclear energy.  Our navy assumes the prime
responsibility for securing the oil routes from the Middle East,
effectively subsidizing its cost.  Thus, we don’t pay the full
cost of Middle East oil, either at the oil-company level or at the
pump.” (232)

“Market economists also identify a number of externalities – real
costs that aren’t captured in the price of fuel – the most
frequently cited of which are the health-care costs of pollution
and the climate costs of greenhouse gases.  There is a further
externality: potentially leaving the next generation in the lurch
by using so much oil and energy ourselves – domestic and imported
– that our children face severe oil shortages, prohibitively
expensive fuel, a crippled economy, and dominion of energy by
Russia and other oil-rich states.  No matter how you price it, oil
is expensive to use; we should be encouraging our citizens to use
less of it, our scientists to find alternatives for it, and our
producers to find more of it here at home.”

“Many analysts predict that the world’s production of oil will
peak in the next ten to twenty years, but oil expert Matt Simmons,
author of Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock
and the World Economy,
 presents a compelling case that
Middle Eastern oil production may have already reached its peak. 
Simmons bases his contention on his investigation into the highly
secretive matter of the level of reserves in the Saudi oil fields.
But whether the peak is already past or will be reached within
a few years, world oil supply will decline at
some point,
and no one predicts a corresponding decline in
demand. If we want America to remain strong and wish to ensure
that future generations have secure and prosperous lives, we must
consider our current energy policies in the light of how these
policies will affect our grandchildren.” (233)