Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has unveiled a new energy plan that gives states greater power over energy decisions and calls for energy independence by 2020.
The proposal offers states new authority over development of all different kinds of energy on millions of acres of federal lands situated inside their territory, The Hill
reports. That idea certainly fits with the Republican theme of curbing federal government regulation and promoting states rights.
“States will be empowered to establish processes to oversee the development and production of all forms of energy on federal lands within their borders, excluding only lands specially designated off-limits,” the plan reads. “State regulatory processes and permitting programs for all forms of energy development will be deemed to satisfy all requirements of federal law.”
Federal agencies would still be in charge of approving state processes. But the basis for judgment would be “broad,” and states would have “maximum flexibility.”
The GOP has hit President Barack Obama for the recent decline in oil and natural gas production on federally-controlled land, saying his decisions are responsible.
Romney’s plan seeks a closer energy relationship with Canada and Mexico through a “North American Energy Partnership.” Romney argues in the plan that Obama has “chosen to turn his back on America’s neighbors,” specifically mentioning his failure to fully approve the Keystone pipeline that would transport oil Canada to the Gulf Coast.
Romney wants a regional agreement to increase cross-border investment and sales. And he seeks “fast track” approval powers for cross-border pipelines and other infrastructure.
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