Mitt Romney will try to turn the campaign toward energy policy today, unveiling his plan to bring "North American energy independence" to the United States by the year 2020. Romney plans to discuss the details at a campaign stop in New Mexico on Thursday, breaking down policies the he claims would create 3 million new jobs during his presidency.
The key planks of Romney's energy plan involve more oil and gas exploration (particularly via offshore drilling) and increased coal production. The "North American" part of that independence means bringing oil in from Canada via the Keystone XL pipeline, which won a key legal battle in the state of Texas yesterday, allowing the oil company behind it to use eminent domain laws to seize land need for the pipeline's construction.
Another the major component would involve shifting the management of energy production that takes place on federal lands to the states where those lands reside. What the Romney plan doesn't include is much support for wind, solar or nuclear energy. On his official website, wind and solar are only mentioned when pointing out how they are failures.
The trick for Romney today will be to see if he can get anyone to pay attention. With the Republican convention starting next and the first part of this weekend consumed with talk of Todd Akin's Missouri Meltdown, the Romney-Ryan team has had little opportunity to talk about anything they actually want to promote. Namely, the economy. National Review's bizarre manly love letter and Time's magazine's new "Mind of Mitt" package will only make it harder for him the spin the news cycle in the direction he wants to go.