U.S. natural gas group upbeat after debate

Oct. 4, 2012 at 7:56 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- A U.S. industry group said it was optimistic about the future of natural gas given the emphasis placed on clean energy by presidential candidates.

U.S. President Barack Obama met Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Wednesday in the first debate of the campaign. Both candidates emphasized energy independence, though they differed on the best strategy.

Obama touted the increase in oil and natural gas production during his tenure but was challenged by Romney's position that much of those gains came from policies enacted by the previous administration.

Both candidates said they agreed natural gas production was good for the country.

The American Natural Gas Alliance said clean electricity was an economic driver in an otherwise lackluster economy.

"It is encouraging to see that increased production and use of this clean, affordable American resource is one area on which both candidates agree," ANGA said in a statement.

Romney said he does "like green energy" but also said he likes coal.

"I'm going to make sure we continue to burn clean coal," he said.

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