PORTSMOUTH — On the same day Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held a forum on energy and the environment at Seacoast Media Group's headquarters, Republican candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's campaign hosted a conference call on the very same topics.
Giuliani's top energy policy guru, John Herrington, former secretary of energy in the Reagan administration, explained his candidate's position.
"I've been going over energy policy with the mayor for some time," Herrington said. "The primary objective is leading America toward energy independence.
"(Giuliani's) thrust is diversification," the former energy secretary said. "He is clear that America should not be held hostage to insecure interests."
Herrington said importation of fossil fuels from "secure sources," including Canada and Mexico, should continue and said Giuliani was "pleased the ethanol programs are moving forward."
"The mayor thinks these programs are good for the country and good for the economy," Herrington said.
Giuliani believes the country is most vulnerable in the area of fuel for transportation, Herrington said, and the mayor is very interested in the concept of electric cars.
Among his other ideas, Giuliani sees the conversion to natural gas, particularly for heavy trucks, and the use of coal, which the mayor called "American fuels," the former energy secretary said.
"The mayor is very firm on increasing the country's dependence on nuclear energy," Herrington said. "Currently the country gets about 20 percent of its power from nuclear, and he would like to see that increased to at least 25 percent."
In a press release issued July 19, Giuliani stated his overall approach to energy self-sufficiency.
"Every potential solution must be pursued — from nuclear power to increased energy exploration to more aggressive investment in alternative energy sources," said Giuliani.
"I believe that America can achieve energy independence through a national strategy that emphasizes diversification, innovation and conservation."