Mitt Romney returned to oil country this morning to sell his new energy plan, setting a goal of reaching North American energy independence by 2020 in large part by removing regulatory barriers to fossil fuel development in the United States, and increasing cooperation with fellow energy-producers Canada and Mexico.

“I will set a national goal of America and North America — North American energy independence by 2020,” Romney pledged. “That means we produce all the energy we use in North America. And there are a number of things I’m going to do to make that happen. It is achievable. This is not some pie in the sky kind of thing. This is a real, achievable objective.”

Romney’s plan,?laid out in a white paper and conference call with reporters last night, calls for streamlining the permit process for energy development on federal lands and offshore, for building infrastructure like the Keystone Pipeline, and supporting basic research on next-generation fuels like wind and solar, while abandoning subsidies and loan guarantees that, Romney argues, have tilted the marketplace in favor of those energy sources.

With the plan largely fleshed out before Romney’s remarks, the candidate took on the role of chief salesman for his plan today, telling a crowd of a few hundred supporters here there would be ancillary benefits to boosting domestic energy production beyond lowering energy prices at home.

 

Source:?NBC’s Garrett Haake

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