Ron DeSantis unveils energy platform, aims to “stop inflation and achieve $2 gas in 2025”

Source: By Katie Akin, Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled an energy platform Wednesday that emphasizes American fuel production and dismisses concerns about climate change.

DeSantis announced a six-point energy plan during a campaign visit to Texas on Wednesday. The plan centers on increasing domestic production of oil and gas, while repealing or withdrawing from initiatives meant to lower carbon emissions and curb the effects of climate change.

“As president, I will fight to ensure our energy is abundant, affordable, and American,” DeSantis told the Des Moines Register in a statement. “That means protecting all liquid fuels, including biofuels, from harmful government regulation and preventing California from setting America’s environmental standards. Under my administration, we will get back to commonsense energy policies that help Iowa farmers and families, starting with eliminating mandates for electric vehicles and ending our energy sector’s reliance on China.”

DeSantis said prioritizing “American energy dominance” will “stop inflation and achieve $2 gas in 2025.”

The national average price of gas dropped below $2 during the COVID-19 pandemic, as far fewer people were driving. But the last time the U.S. saw a sustained period of gas prices below $2 was in 2004.

An analysis by the National Association of Convenience Stores found that every president since 2000 has left office with higher gas prices than when they took office.

What does Ron DeSantis have planned for Iowa biofuels?

In a Wednesday news release, DeSantis pledged to protect biofuels from “harmful government regulation” and to eliminate surtaxes on liquid fuels.

However, his policy announcement did not include details about the renewable fuel standard, a goal set by the Environmental Protection Agency to mix a certain amount of renewable fuels — like ethanol — into gasoline and diesel.

While serving in Congress, DeSantis co-sponsored a bill that would eliminate the renewable fuel standard.

A column published in the Register earlier this month offers more insight into DeSantis’ plan for biofuels. DeSantis wrote that he will work with Gov. Kim Reynolds to support the year-round sale of E15, and he would introduce higher ethanol blends, like E30, to consumers.

How would Ron DeSantis address climate change?

DeSantis calls for American energy dominance to take priority over “climate change ideology.”

He would repeal President Joe Biden’s incentives for Americans to buy electric vehicles and Biden-era rule to protect thousands of small waterways. DeSantis said he would also withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords, the Global Methane Pledge and all “Net Zero” commitments.

During the first GOP presidential debate, candidates were asked to raise their hands if they believe human activities are warming the planet. DeSantis bristled at the question, telling the moderators “We’re not school children” and launching into a criticism of the media.

When pressed on the question, DeSantis said, “No, no, no — I didn’t raise a hand.”

USA Today reporter Zac Anderson contributed reporting.

Katie Akin is a politics reporter for the Register. Reach her Follow her on Twitter at @katie_akin.