Presidential debate highlights divide on power generation

US president Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney finally put their energy policy beliefs on the table during Tuesday’s heated election debate.

Obama reiterated commitment to clean energy while his opponent argued that the president’s plans have raised gas and energy costs.

Obama and Romney
Both parties claimed to be the bigger supporter of oil and coal, with Obama professing an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, including expansion of natural gas and offshore oil, while still putting renewable energy at the heart of his recovery plan.

Obama also took Romney on for accusing the administration of crushing the coal industry. Mr Romney contends that the Environmental Protection Agency of crushing the coal industry by setting higher standards for new coal-fired power plants.

“We’ve opened up public lands, we’re actually drilling more on public lands than the previous president and he was an oil man,” Obama said. “When I hear Governor Romney says he’s a big coal guy, and governor, keep in mind when you were governor of Massachusetts you stood in front of a coal plant and said: ‘This plant kills,’ and took pride in shutting it down ” and suddenly you’re a champion of coal. So what I’ve tried to do is be consistent.”

Romney opposes extending the tax credit for the wind industry, while Obama has repeatedly called on Congress to extend tax credits for the wind industry, arguing the support will help save jobs.

The president was the clear winner of the second debate according to the polls, a boost after a poor showing in the first.

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