T. Boone Pickens finds flaws in US energy plans of Obama, Romney


WASHINGTON -- Energy titan T. Boone Pickens is less than impressed with the energy plans that have been floated by President Barack Obama and his likely White House challenger Mitt Romney.

Speaking to Dow Jones Tuesday, Pickens said Obama's "all of the above" energy plan needed to be "more specific" and said Romney's plan is "not total."

Pickens didn't endorse either candidate, but said "I'm going to come out for the candidate who has an energy plan."

Pickens has had his toes in political waters for several years, pressing members of Congress to pass legislation that uses tax credits to encourage the use of natural gas in trucking fleets.

That legislation hasn't yet gained the necessary traction, most recently stalling as an amendment to a transportation bill. Pickens said he thought the measure would eventually pass.

But regardless of whether it does, "I'm retiring from Washington after this," he said.

Pickens is a very vocal supporter of US natural gas and has urged lawmakers to create policies that wean the nation off foreign oil imports.

For several months now, Obama has characterized his energy plan as an "all of the above" approach that relies on oil and natural gas, as well as nuclear, wind and solar power.

Earlier this year, House Republicans attacked the president for leaving out "coal" on his campaign website, but the campaign quickly added "clean coal" under a description of the president's energy plan.

Coal is found in abundance in the US and is used to generate electricity, but it creates more air pollution than natural gas when it is burned.

Obama has increased support of US natural gas, saying it could replace oil as a transportation fuel and supplant coal as a source of electricity generation.

Speaking to Dow Jones, Pickens criticized the president for withholding approval for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would stretch from Canada to Texas and carry several hundred thousand barrels of oil from the Canadian tar sands.

The US should create an alliance with Canada and Mexico to strengthen ties for energy imports and exports, Pickens said. His opposition to foreign imports is focused on oil from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Romney also has been critical of the president's position on the Keystone pipeline. His energy plan calls for the pipeline to be approved, along with greater production of US energy resources through streamlined regulations.

Dow Jones Newswires

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