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US Presidential candidates clash over clean energy in debate
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US President Barack Obama and rival Mitt Romney clashed over energy policy in the second debate at Hofstra University in New York earlier this week.


Romney claimed Obama was opposed to domestic oil and gas production and said he had not done enough to guarantee US energy security and lower prices.

But Obama defended his record, pointing out - perhaps to the chagrin of his environmental supporters - that domestic oil and gas production is up.

He added, however, that the US cannot reply on traditional sources of energy and must look to the future and new clean sources like wind, solar and biofuels.

Obama says that his "all of the above" energy policy outlined earlier this year will open up new fossil fuel drilling in the US but alongside of improved energy efficiency to lower demand.

Romney, by contrast, promised to support oil, coal and natural gas and has indicated, in previous comments, that he would let the current production tax credits for renewable power generators lapse.

He accused Obama of not utilising public lands for oil and gas development, which has fallen behind development on private land.

Romney wants to give states control over the development of public lands for oil and gas exploration, which could put some 30 national parks at risk.

By contrast, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has just put the finishing touches to a programme that will encourage the development of solar farms on public land in six states and gave the go ahead to the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project on public land in Wyoming.

The 2500 MW wind farm takes the total renewable power capacity authorized on public lands by President Obama to 10,000 MW, including 18 utility-scale solar facilities, 7 wind farms and 8 geothermal plants.


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