Local Oil Experts React to Romney's Energy Plan 8/23/12
CBS 7 Reporter
August 23, 2012
Midland, TX -It’s the lifeline of the West Texas economy. Now it’s the latest hot topic in the race for the United States presidency.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney laid out his plan for the future of oil production and West Texas energy leaders are on board.
"He's saying the same thing that we in the industry have been saying for years, there's nothing that is going to replace oil and gas as a fuel in the next few years," explains oil consultant Morris Burns.
The GOP candidate pledged to create 3 million jobs and more than $1trillion in revenue by ramping up offshore oil drilling and allowing states have more control over energy production on federal land. He said his plan would make the United States "energy independent" by 2020.
The Obama campaign is describing Mitt Romney’s energy proposal as an "irresponsible" plan that will "line the pockets of big oil."
Governor Romney says his plan is optimistic but possible.
"North American energy independence by 2020,” Romney said today in Hobbs. “That means we produced all the energy we use in North America and there are a number of things I’m going to do to make that happen. It is achievable. It’s not some pie in the sky kind of thing."
Burns says energy independence is somewhat of an unrealistic goal but Romney's plan opens up opportunities to drill in places that are currently off limits.
"This is what he's wanting to do, take some of these burdens off, let us go do what we do best," Burns says.
"The net of all of this, as you can see, is that by 2020, we’re able to produce somewhere between 23 to 28-million barrels per day of oil and we won’t need to buy any oil from the Middle East or Venezuela or anywhere else," Romney claims.
Burns doesn't expect a dramatic change in the price of oil any time soon but he hopes this plan will help in the long run.
"It's not going to drive the price of oil down,” he says. “But it will keep other nations like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia from driving it up because we're producing our own."
Still, the Obama Administration says alternative energy is the answer to energy security.
“I would note, as the president did last week, that, you know, I think Congressman Ryan has called wind energy a fad, and I think maybe Mitt Romney -- Governor Romney -- called it imaginary,” says White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. “You know, this is a narrow view and a dangerous view if you think about how important energy security is and domestic production of energy is to our national security interests. "
This subject could be a hot topic for discussion for the candidates in the months running up to the November election.