Clifford Krauss and Ashley Parker describe the details of the Romney energy plan, which was to be unveiled at a campaign event in Hobbs, N.M. this morning. While seeking the same goal of "energy independence" as sought by President Obama, Romney would follow a different path to achieving it - one that focuses on "granting states more regulatory power over drilling on federal lands, revitalizing the nuclear power industry, and approving the Keystone XL pipeline to carry more Canadian oil to refineries in the United States."
Krauss and Parker note that the expansion of off-shore drilling, a key component of Romney's plan, "is bound to be contentious after the disastrous BP well blowout in 2010."
Another element of Romney's plan that is bound to attract blowback is a proposal to expand oil and gas drilling on federal lands. "The proposal will surely be controversial among environmentalists hoping to preserve lands like desert stretches of New Mexico where threatened species roam," write Krauss and Parker. "A campaign document, however, said the proposal would exclude 'lands specially designated off-limits,' which presumably means national parks.
"The Obama campaign released a statement from Federico Peña, a secretary of energy in the Clinton administration, criticizing Mr. Romney's emphasis on drilling: 'We will never reach energy independence by turning our backs on homegrown renewable energy and better auto mileage.'"