Top oil exec praises Obama’s energy pick

Moniz has drawn pushback from some environmental activists over his embrace of nuclear power and natural gas development supported by hydraulic fracturing.

The oil-and-gas industry has clashed repeatedly with the Obama administration in recent years on the amount of access industry is provided to federal lands, White House proposals to strip oil industry tax breaks, and other topics.

Lance said that his company has “open channels of communication” with the Obama administration.

“We may have some differences with respect to fiscal policy and taxation, and trying to educate them about our business and make sure they understand that we are a significant economic driver in the country today,” he said.

He downplayed the differences with the administration in recent years, saying the company has had good relationships with Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who are both leaving the Cabinet.

“We look forward to having the same kind of conversations and relationships with the new administration,” Lance said at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference here.

Obama on Monday announced the nominations of Moniz for Energy secretary and Gina McCarthy, the Environmental Protection Agency’s top air pollution regulator, to run EPA.

They would join Sally Jewell, the CEO of outdoor gear giant REI Inc. who Obama has nominated to replace Salazar, as the heads of Obama’s second-term energy team.


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