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News Wrap: Mitt Romney Makes Energy Independence by 2020 a Policy Priority

August 23, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT

KWAME HOLMAN: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney unveiled his energy plan today at a campaign stop in New Mexico. It sets a national goal to achieve energy independence by 2020. One of the major components is to open more areas offshore to oil and gas drilling, including off Virginia and North Carolina, two election swing states where drilling currently is banned.

Romney said his energy proposals will spur job growth.

MITT ROMNEY (R): Three million jobs come back to this country by taking advantage of something we have right underneath our feet. That’s oil and gas and coal. We’re going to make it happen. We’re going to create those jobs.

Let me tell you what else it does. It adds $500 billion to the size of our economy. That’s more good wages. That’s an opportunity for more Americans to have a bright and prosperous future.

KWAME HOLMAN: Romney’s proposals make little mention of wind, solar and other renewable resources backed by President Obama.

In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president believes energy policy should embrace many energy sources.

JAY CARNEY, White House: The Republican approach is essentially one that is written by or dictated by big oil. And it focuses almost entirely on oil and fossil fuels. This president believes we need to embrace all forms of domestic energy production, including oil, including natural gas, including nuclear energy, which, as you know, this administration has invested in for the first time in 30 years.

KWAME HOLMAN: President Obama spent part of the day today in what his campaign called political meetings at Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington.

Tropical Storm Isaac churned westward in the Caribbean today, with sustained winds of 40 miles per hour. The storm unleashed rain and winds on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands today. The latest predictions show Isaac could strengthen to a hurricane before landing on the Dominican Republic and Haiti tomorrow, and moving up the Gulf Coast of Florida Monday. That’s when more than 70,000 are expected in Tampa for day one of the Republican National Convention.

A Northern California wildfire expanded its southern front today, and threatened at least 900 more homes. The Ponderosa fire, believed ignited by lightning on Saturday, has grown to 44 square miles and burned 64 homes. Firefighters have it about half contained and say it may be controlled early next week. Another fire burning east of Seattle, Wash., was nearly contained. It destroyed more than 50 homes since it started a week ago.

On Wall Street today, U.S. stocks sagged from the weak global economy and concern European leaders aren’t doing enough to solve their debt crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 115 points to close at 13,057. The Nasdaq fell 20 points to close at 3,053.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.