Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney just delivered an energy-policy speech in New Mexico that sets an ambitious goal of energy independence by the end of his hypothetical second term as president.For the most part, the plan rehashes Republican domestic energy positions. But Romney did introduce a key new proposal to his platform, a plan to give states control over drilling on federally-owned lands.
“It’s time to let states take responsibility for the permitting on federal lands,” Romney said today. He added that his steps would “improve the creation of new oil wells [and] new gas wells.”
Under current law, the federal government determines whether states can drill on federal land.
In a conference call Wednesday, the Romney campaign pointed to Virginia, where Obama has permitted oil exploration but blocked drilling permits, as a state where these new changes could immediately make a difference.
Romney’s speech Thursday marks a new emphasis on expanding U.S. energy independence, a key component of his five-part jobs plan.
This is “not some pie-in-the-sky kind of thing,” Romney said. “This is a real, achievable objective.”
Here’s the chart Romney used today:
Photo: Courtesy of CNN
Romney says the plan will create more than 3 million new jobs and more than $1 trillion in revenue for federal, local and state governments. The campaign points to a report from Citigroup, which says that the potential exists for the U.S. to add 2.7 million to 3.6 million new jobs in the energy sector by 2020.
The Romney campaign released an energy policy white paper in advance of today’s speech. Here are the six key points Romney highlighted in his speech:
- Empower states to control onshore energy development;
- Open offshore areas for energy development;
- Pursue a North American Energy Partnership;
- Ensure accurate assessment of energy resources;
- Restore transparency and fairness to permitting and regulation; and
- Facilitate private-sector-led development of new energy technologies
Romney gave the speech in at an oil-services company in New Mexico, a state where Republicans have seen significant gains since 2008. New Mexico currently ranks sixth among the states in crude oil production.
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