Romney: I'll Make US an Energy 'Superpower'
Candidate tries to shift focus to energy with oil-friendly plan
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2012 10:27 AM CDT
Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign stop held at KP Kauffman Co., an oil and gas production and drilling company in Fort Lupton, Colo., May 9, 2012.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney will unveil an energy plan today that he says will make the US an "energy superpower," in what the AP sees as an attempt to shift the focus away from issues like rape, abortion, and welfare, and put it back on the economy. Romney's plan calls for opening much more US land to oil and gas exploration, allowing states to grant permits for federal lands themselves, and striking agreements with Canada and Mexico on projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, the Washington Post reports.

Romney also wants to spend even more on researching new energy technologies than President Obama. "We have an unprecedented opportunity to make our natural resources a long-term source of competitive advantage," Romney argues in the report, promising North American energy independence by the end of his second term in 2020. The plan is very friendly to oil and coal companies, who have donated heavily to Romney. And environmental groups are concerned; one Utah activist said giving the state control of federal lands would "result in destroyed treasured landscapes, including those surrounding national parks."