Obama Official Has a Chat With T. Boone Pickens

What a difference a day made, at least in terms of the way T. Boone Pickens characterized the Obama administration’ energy policy. Appearing yesterday on CNBC, the Dallas oil-and-gas billionaire said Mitt Romney’s energy plan–which includes natural gas–could impact the upcoming presidential vote in key “swing” states that produce energy, like Ohio and Pennsylvania, in Romney’s favor. In contrast, Pickens said, President Obama has mainly been talking up less-consequential energy sources like wind and solar power–and higher taxes on producers.

During a luncheon talk today in Irving, however, Pickens wasn’t nearly as critical of the president. Asked by interviewer David Johnson about the candidates’ respective energy plans, Pickens said, “Romney will have an energy plan, and Obama keeps talking about natural gas from time to time. … He had it in his State of the Union speech.”

So, did something change in the meantime? Johnson said that Pickens “heard from the Democrats today.” Later, Pickens spokesman Jay Rosser explained in an email: “All I can say is that Boone spoke with a senior administration official this morning. The conversation really focused on better understanding Boone’s comments and views with regards to energy policy in the U.S. Very productive.” Pickens, Rosser added, wants both the president and Romney to be more vocal about displacing OPEC oil with U.S. resources, mainly natural gas.

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