Romney to lay out 'comprehensive energy plan'

Romney is slated to campaign in New Mexico on Thursday, Reuters notes.

Energy is already playing a prominent role in the presidential race.

President Obama has been taking aim at Romney’s opposition to extending tax credits that help finance wind energy projects, while Romney used an Ohio campaign stop last week to allege Obama is hostile to coal and oil-and-gas.

Romney has already described several aspects of his energy proposals. 

He has vowed to approve the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, and seek a major expansion of oil-and-gas leasing on federal lands and waters — including Pacific and Atlantic Coast waters that remain off-limits under Obama.

Romney backs opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, which would take Capitol Hill approval, and has called for fast-track permitting for energy projects.

Elsewhere, he has attacked Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including rules that force cuts in mercury and other air toxics from coal-fired power plants, alleging it's too costly, and wants to strip EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Romney, according to his website, supports federally backed R&D into alternative energy, but opposes efforts such as loan guarantees that are aimed at commercializing specific technologies.

“There is a place for government investment when time horizons are too long, risks too high, and rewards too uncertain to attract private capital. However, much of our existing energy R&D budget has been devoted to loan guarantees, cash grants and tax incentives for projects that might have gone forward anyway. As president, Mitt Romney will redirect clean energy spending towards basic research,” his platform states.