"By proposing to end a century of federal control over oil and gas drilling and coal mining on government lands, Mitt Romney is making a bid for anti-Washington voters in key Western states while dangling the promise of a big reward to major campaign supporters from the energy industry.
Mr. Romney’s plan, which would turn over decision-making on drilling and mining to the states, echoes the “Drill, baby, drill” strategy that another Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, used to great effect in the 2008 campaign.
The federal government owns vast portions of states like New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Alaska. Under President Obama, officials in Washington have played a bigger role in drilling and mining decisions on federal lands in the states, and such involvement rankles many residents and energy executives, who prefer the usually lighter touch of local officials.
With gasoline prices again approaching $4 a gallon, Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, is also trying to merge energy and economic policy in a way that will make voters see increased energy production as a pocketbook issue. He said that his overall energy plan, which includes speedy approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada and new drilling off the coast of Virginia and the Carolinas, would help the country achieve energy independence and create three million drilling and manufacturing jobs."
Get the Story:
Giving Reins to the States Over Drilling
(The New York Times 8/24)
Mitt Romney says plan will achieve North American energy independence by 2020
(The Washington Post 8/24)
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