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

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• Offshore leasing would "aggressively" open new zones off the coasts of Virginia and the Carolinas to start – and then expand. The Keystone XL pipeline would be approved. A regional pact to accelerate cross-border energy investments and infrastructure would be signed. More federal research dollars would go to new energy technologies, less to tax incentives.

• Wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources are mentioned briefly and would ostensibly get fast permits, too, but lose their tax credits, advocates say. The Renewable Fuels Standard that mandates increasing quantities of biofuels would be kept, not tossed.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to make our natural resources a long-term source of competitive advantage for our nation," Romney says in a statement in the plan. "If we develop these resources to the fullest, we will not only guarantee ourselves an affordable and reliable supply of energy, but also enjoy benefits throughout our economy.”

But even if Romney's plan were to dramatically increase US oil production, US energy-security experts say it would do little to lower domestic oil prices, which are set by a global oil market controlled by the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

"Romney makes the same mistake nine previous presidents committed," says Gal Luft, a senior adviser to the United States Energy Security Council, an energy security think tank. "He assumes import reductions will translate into lower oil prices. This paradigm has collapsed. In the past seven years US oil imports dropped from 60 percent of consumption to 42 percent. Yet, over the same period the price of oil doubled and so did the burden of oil imports on the economy. The only thing that can bring down prices is fuel competition and cars that allow it."

Energy-security hawks favor vehicles that can plug in and can run on domestically produced electricity generated from coal, natural gas, wind, and solar power. 

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