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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will lay out policies on Thursday aimed at achieving North American energy independence by 2020 by pursuing a sharp increase in production of oil and natural gas on federal lands and off the U.S. coast.

Romney is to unveil his plan at a truck and supply business in Hobbs, New Mexico, as he seeks to draw a sharp contrast between his energy policies and those of President Barack Obama and detail in part how he would rekindle job growth in the United States.

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