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The Boston Globe

Politics

Voters favor President Obama’s energy platform over Mitt Romney’s, according to poll, but many undecided

More voters support President Obama’s energy platform than back Mitt Romney’s, according to a University of Texas poll released on Tuesday, but more than a third are unsure or undecided.

Obama received 37 percent support and Romney 28 percent support in an online nationwide survey of 2,092 voters, conducted between Sept. 6 and 17. Nineteen percent said they are not sure which candidate’s energy policies are better for the country, and 16 percent said they are undecided.

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The president appeared to be aided by majority support for renewable energy initiatives. Sixty-two percent of survey respondents said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports increased funding for new energy research. Fifty-eight percent said they would be more likely to back a candidate who supports expanded financial incentives for renewable energy companies, and 57 percent said the same about a candidate who supports mandatory renewable energy sourcing by utilities.

Romney has accused Obama of being overly zealous about developing green energy and criticized him for the failures of some companies that received federal assistance. On Tuesday, Waltham-based lithium ion battery maker A123 Systems filed for bankruptcy protection despite receiving a $249.1 million grant from the Department of Energy in 2009.

Throughout the campaign, Romney has stressed the value of domestic energy production with a particular focus on fossil fuels, including oil and coal. He has promised to approve the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, and blasted the Obama administration for delaying the project because of environmental concerns.

But in the University of Texas poll, only 45 percent of voters said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports approval of the pipeline.

Despite their differences, both Romney and Obama have used the phrase “all of the above” to describe their energy strategies, suggesting they would foster a mix of traditional and renewable resources.

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.
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