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Mr. Romney can confidently promise that he will cut the price of electricity in half - not only through low-priced natural gas but also by the much higher efficiency of gas-fired power plants. They can easily reach 60 percent efficiency or more, compared to the present 35 percent to 40 percent for nuclear or coal-fired plants. Higher efficiencies reduce not only the cost of fuel per kilowatt hour but effectively lower the capital cost per kilowatt.

Even greater efficiencies are possible if such plants are located in urban centers. “Co-generation” would use the heat normally discharged into the environment (and wasted) for hot water, space heating and many other applications. Such “distributed generation” also improves security against terrorism and simplifies disposal of waste heat.

Low-cost natural gas also produces cheap fertilizer for farmers, thus lowering food prices, and feedstock for chemical plants, for cheaper plastics and other basic materials. Industries can now return to the United States and provide jobs locally.

To win election, Mr. Romney must convey this optimistic outlook to the voting public.

S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and director of the Science & Environmental Policy Project. An expanded version of this commentary can be found on