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Mitt Romney's energy plan: What does it promise? (+video)

Mitt Romney unveiled his energy plan Thursday, saying that it would bring energy independence to the US within a decade. But some experts were skeptical of the claims.

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Mitt Romney on Thursday unveiled a plan to make the US an "energy superpower" and achieve North American "energy independence by 2020." It would happen, the plan says, largely by curbing environmental restrictions and handing off to states traditional federal responsibility for overseeing oil and gas drilling on federal lands.

In addition to achieving energy security and shrinking trade deficits, the plan claims it would also produce 3 million new jobs and a $500 billion boost to the economy with "lower energy prices for job creators and middle-class families." All told, about $1 trillion in royalties would flow to federal, state, and local governments, the plan states.

But critics say the economic benefits are based on policy calculations that have been out of date for decades and note that while the word "oil" is mentioned 154 times, "climate" is not mentioned once. 

Seeking to distinguish himself from President Obama, Mr. Romney set out several main goals for this plan:

• It would cut federal permitting hurdles, contending that shift would vastly boost US oil and gas exploration both onshore and off. Nuclear energy would get fast-tracked reactor designs.

• Coal production would get a boost from revision of the landmark Clean Air Act that would eliminate greenhouse-gas emissions restrictions. Although not mentioned explicitly in the plan document, the law would be modified "to exclude carbon dioxide from its purview," the Romney website's energy section says.


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