Mitt Romney in Hobbs: Energy independence by 2020
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Mitt Romney stopped in the heart of New Mexico’s Oil Patch to deliver an ambitious speech on energy policy that he says can make the US and North America independent of the Middle East and Venezuela in less than eight years.
Romney appeared at truck and supply company in Hobbs and told a friendly crowd of his 5-point program to deliver what his campaign called “a vision for American as an energy superpower.”
“If I’m elected president, I will set a national goal of making American and North America energy independent by 2020,” Romney told a crowd of roughly 1,000.
Speaking without notes for about 25 minutes, Romney called for increasing domestic production of conventional sources by 2 million barrels a day, natural gas liquids by 2 million barrels per day, improving renewable energy sources and working in closer partnership with Canada and Mexico to make North America self-sustaining when it comes to energy needs.
“If we do all that …. this economy will come roaring back,” Romney said.
With Lea County being one of the most conservative areas in New Mexico, Romney was surrounded by supporters that included some well-placed hardhats in the crowd who work in the many oil and gas rigs in the Permian Basin that stand out prominently along the border of New Mexico and Texas.
Romney said the country can reach is energy independence goals through a number of proposals, including having states take responsibility for drilling on federal lands, speeding up the 5-year leasing plan for offshore drilling and promoting energy innovation.
“I want to put the money in technology, science and research,” Romney said, “not in companies the President gave favors to — especially those who were big donors.”
It seems that Romney’s call for having states take control of drilling on federal lands may generate a lot of discussion on the campaign as some of the other aspects of his plan have been iterated by conservatives before.
Is such a plan workable? And what about the inevitable concerns about the environment? We talked some of the people at the event Thursday, including those who oppose Romney:
A group of environmental activists appeared after Romney’s speech at the Lea County Convention Center, where Gov. Romney was headlining a lunchtime fundraiser, carrying a banner that said, “Denial is a bad policy: Stop climate change.”
The minimum donation at the fundraiser was $1,000, increasing to $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000 that included a private reception with the man who will formally introduced as the Republican presidential nominee next week at the GOP’s national convention in Tampa.
Thursday’s stop marked the first campaign appearance in New Mexico for Romney.
Back in March, President Obama made his only New Mexico campaign appearance thus far — and it wasn’t far from where Romney spoke.
The president appeared in the tiny town of Maljamar, where Obama also addressed what he calls his “All of the Above” energy program for the US. Click here to read about that visit.
To read more specifics about the Romney energy plan unveiled in Hobbs, click here.
Here’s a graphic from the Romeny campaign explaining its energy policy.
Here’s a screengrab of the chart Romney referred to during his speech, courtesy of CNN by way of Business Insider: