Mitt Romney's energy plan: Can we be energy independent in eight years?

Energy independence has been a dream of every president since Richard Nixon, and Romney thinks he's hit upon a solution

Mitt Romney speaks at the American Energy Corporation Aug. 14 in Ohio.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Pledging to make North America energy independent by 2020, Mitt Romney this week unveiled a plan to produce more domestic energy and boost the U.S's oil imports from allies Mexico and Canada. "This is not some pie-in-the-sky kind of thing," he said. "This is a real, achievable objective," and "we won't need to buy any oil from the Middle East or Venezuela or anywhere else." Romney's plan would expand drilling on federal lands and off our coastlines, while easing environmental regulations on the oil, gas, and coal industries. Romney would also approve the Keystone Energy pipeline from Canada, which President Obama suspended over environmental concerns. And Romney says he will discontinue government investments — such as subsidies and loan guarantees — in wind and solar power that have been a hallmark of Obama's energy policies. Can Romney come through on his pledge of energy independence?

Yes. North America could even become a net oil exporter: In some ways, Romney didn't go far enough, says Mark P. Mills at Forbes. "There is potential for North America to go beyond independence, and become the world's swing supplier of fuel, unseating the Middle East." Romney understands that alternative energy is a waste of time, and his plan has a chance of succeeding because it focuses solely on "producing more hydrocarbons — oil, coal, and natural gas." Traditional energy is "what the world is hungry to buy in staggering qualities, and it's where the jobs are," making Romney's plan "Keystone times ten in terms of economic opportunity."

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