Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney Aug. 22 outlined his plan to make the nation energy independent by 2020. Romney accuses President Barack Obama of “failure” when it comes to federal energy policy, even though domestic oil and natural gas production has risen under his tenure. Romney says Obama has “stifled the domestic energy sector” and is “in thrall to the environmental lobby and its dogmas.” To reverse that, Romney wants to ease regulatory constraints on developing domestic gas and oil, as well as on building more nuclear power plants through “fast-track” permitting, amending environmental laws to give more weight to cost in setting regulations, and amending the Clean Air Act to prevent the federal Environmental Protection Agency from using the law to regulate carbon dioxide. In response, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) called Romney’s plan “the wrong direction by increasing our dependence on oil, ignoring the reality of climate change, and attacking commonsense environmental protections and successful clean energy programs.” The California Democrat said Romney’s plan “shows as much ignorance of science as Todd Akin’s understanding of pregnancy.” Akin is the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri who lit a firestorm about abortion rights by his recent quip about “legitimate rape.” Romney’s energy platform plans to: -Streamline Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing for new nuclear plants, as well as augment that agency’s resources so that it can approve new nuclear plant designs; -Forge energy partnerships with other nations; -Open more federal land and offshore areas to fossil fuel production; -Support pipelines, such as Keystone, to bring Canadian oil and gas to the U.S.; -Prevent “overregulation” of shale gas projects; and -Shift alternative energy project subsidies to fund basic energy-related research. Paul Ryan, his running mate, would: -Cut Department of Energy spending on renewable energy and energy efficiency by 57 percent; -Halt the agency’s programs to develop advanced vehicle manufacturing; -Repeal borrowing authority for the Western Area Power Administration to upgrade transmission in its area; and -Maintain $38.6 billion of tax subsidies for oil and gas over the next 10 years.