Romney Talks Energy with WNEP

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The presidential campaigning in our area has begun.  Mitt Romney made a stop Thursday in Wyoming County.

Romney is hoping he can seal up the Republican nomination in Pennsylvania and he came here hoping our area will help.

Mitt Romney's campaign event near Tunkhannock was at a company that supports the natural gas industry.

Romney is battling former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in the Keystone State, but Romney spent most of his attention Thursday on President Barack Obama.

The race for the Republican nomination came to Wyoming County as GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney brought his campaign to the Tunkhannock area. The  company called Mountain Energy Services, which is locally owned and provides services to the natural gas drilling industry in the Endless Mountains.

Energy is a key element of what Mitt Romney is talking about on the campaign trail. With gas prices getting up around four dollars a gallon in our area, the former Massachusetts governor said natural gas is a critical component to helping America break its dependence on foreign oil.

It's a policy, Romney said in a one-on-one interview with WNEP's Scott Schaffer, the Obama administration has badly mishandled.

"And so I'm coming here to point out that I care very deeply about taking advantages of these resources. I want to see natural gas made part of the energy system of this country in a more extensive way than it has been so far," Romeny said.

The former governor spoke for about 15 minutes to the 300 or so people who gathered near Tunkhannock.

His swing through northeastern Pennsylvania comes as some new polls show him moving ahead of Rick Santorum here in the Keystone State, less than three weeks before the April 24 primary.

Some experts feel a win in Santorum's home state would likely spell the end of the Santorum campaign.

Romney spoke quite a bit about the natural gas industry, but what he didn't talk about, what he didn't mention even one time during his remarks was the name Rick Santorum.

Clearly, Mitt Romney is already looking ahead to a matchup with Barack Obama in the fall.

"We're reminded of something he said shortly after being nominated. He said if he couldn't turn around the economy in three years he'd be a one-term proposition, and we're here to collect," Romney said.

He made it clear that he is already looking ahead to the general election in November. With a commanding lead in delegates, Romney focused his attention not on his GOP opponents but on President Obama and what he calls the administration's failings on overseeing the nation's energy resources.

Romney affirmed his support for gas drilling and blasted the president for imposing too many regulations on energy providers.

Romney sent a message to all voters in the Keystone State that he is ready to work for their very important vote, if not now in the April 24 primary, then certainly in the national election November 6.

"I believe I will win Pennsylvania on the 6 of November and it's critical, in my view, for us as a party to win Pennsylvania. And the people of Pennsylvania have seen a conservative governor, a conservative senator and they've seen how these folks have made a positive impact in their lives,  and I think they're going to be ready to have a conservative president  and for that reason I think I'll win on November 6," Romney said.

Supporters of President Obama also mobilized Thursday to point out all of what they see as the successes of the current administration.

Speaking at the Obama campaign headquarters in Scranton, Lackawanna County, Commissioner Corey O'Brien touched on the president's energy policies and how he believes they are working for the country.

Commissioner O'Brien said Romney's claims that the White House can control gas prices are off base, saying those prices are due in large part to the world economy.