Salazar: ‘We feel good’ about energy policy heading into election

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is confident that President Obama, as the election looms, has effectively parried the GOP’s relentless attacks on White House energy policies.

“We have nothing to be afraid of when we are getting attacked simply by rhetoric and statements that take us back to the ‘drill, baby, drill’-only program of Sarah Palin and her people,” Salazar told The Hill Tuesday.

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“We feel good about where we are,” he added, speaking in the Time Warner Cable Arena, where he will give his Democratic National Convention speech Tuesday night.

“I think Gov. Romney and Congressman [Paul] Ryan are living in a fairly tale land on their energy policy,” Salazar said.

Republicans have consistently criticized Obama on energy, amplifying the assaults when gasoline prices are rising and alleging he’s keeping too many areas off-limits to drilling.

But the White House has pushed back by arguing that Obama supports expanded domestic drilling as part of a wider strategy that also includes green energy and efficiency standards.

Administration officials and Obama campaign aides say the GOP energy policies rest too heavily on fossil fuels.

“President Obama and our all-of-the-above energy strategy is the real deal. We are proud of the fact that we are importing less oil than at any time in modern history, and it has been because of the president’s vision and courage,” Salazar said, touting policies including tougher auto mileage standards the administration has imposed.