Romney Announces Energy Policy: Domestic Independence by 2020
(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) -- Mitt Romney will reveal new energy policy Thursday that will hinge on states, and not the federal government, being able to control energy development on federal land, a shift that the campaign says will result in North American energy independence by the year 2020.
“What Governor Romney is proposing is that state governments, which already control the development of energy resources on their own and private lands within their borders, would also control the development of energy resources on federal land within their borders,” said Romney Domestic Policy Adviser Oren Cass in a briefing call with reporters to preview Romney’s energy speech slated to occur later Thursday in New Mexico.
Cass said that Romney believes the challenge in getting to energy independence by 2020 is “not about the resources we have, it’s not about the technology that we have, it’s about the government we have.”
“The question is are we going to pursue the political reforms that will allow us to develop the resources to their fullest,” said Cass.
In addition to shifting the power of energy development exploration on federal lands to the state level, Romney’s policy also calls for opening more offshore drilling options, starting off the coast of the battleground state of Virginia as well as the Carolinas.
Romney’s plan also calls for the pursuit of a “broader North American energy partnership” with Canada and Mexico that would include building the Keystone pipeline, a development Romney calls for frequently on the stump while simultaneously criticizing the Obama administration’s rejection of the pipeline.
Romney will also make a renewed call for the reassessment of what energy resources actually exist in the United States already, Cass noting that this has never been “accurately explored.” Finally, Romney’s plan will call for private sector-led development of new energy technologies.
Asked how the campaign will respond to criticism that Romney’s plan favors the oil industry, members of which helped Romney raise $7 million in a single day of fundraising in oil country in Texas earlier this week, Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie said that those who will benefit from “unleashing” more energy resources are “consumers and families and workers who will get the benefit of more jobs and more affordable energy.”
But the Obama campaign has already pounced, former Clinton Energy Secretary Federico Pena writing in a statement on behalf of the campaign, “Only two days after a fundraiser hosted by the CEO of major oil companies, Romney is expected to defend billions in oil subsidies while opposing efforts to use oil more efficiently and develop homegrown alternative energy. We will never reach energy independence by turning our backs on homegrown renewable energy and better auto mileage.”
“President Obama has championed an all-of-the-above approach to energy that responsibly develops America’s great natural resources. And under President Obama, we are producing the most natural gas ever, the most oil in 14 years, and are on track to double the amount of electricity we get from renewable sources like wind and solar,” wrote Pena. “We are investing in the future of clean coal, biofuels, and other forms of energy. His investments in clean energy have already supported nearly 225,000 jobs and are helping American workers to complete with China and India for these jobs of the future. And affordable, homegrown sources of energy will strengthen American manufacturers and small businesses.”
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