Obama, Romney campaigns to square off over energy

Stanford University law Professor Dan Reicher, a familiar face in energy policy circles who served on Obama’s transition team, will represent the president’s campaign. He’s the executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University, a project of the Stanford Law School and Stanford Graduate School of Business.

He came to Stanford in 2011 from Google, where he headed climate change and energy initiatives for the tech giant for several years. Reicher was the Energy Department’s assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy under former President Clinton.

But Romney, the presumptive GOP White House nominee, is bringing a former high-level Energy Department official of his own into the fray. Reicher will debate Linda Stuntz, a founding partner of the Washington, D.C., law firm Stuntz, Davis & Staffier, P.C.

Stuntz’s career includes service as deputy secretary of energy under former President George H.W. Bush, and before that she served as minority counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Stuntz is on the board of Raytheon Co. and Royal Dutch Shell, among other current and former affiliations.

The debate will be held at the Newseum and moderated by Gerald Seib, the Washington Editor of The Wall Street Journal.

There should be plenty to talk about.

Romney, on the stump, has bashed Obama on energy, alleging he’s keeping too many areas off-limits to oil-and-gas drilling and imposing too many regulations.

Romney’s energy and environmental platform calls for stripping the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and expanding oil-and-gas leasing to include areas that are currently off-limits, including the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, among other measures.

Obama has parried attacks by voicing support for domestic drilling and noting rising oil-and-gas production in recent years, but also wants to strip what he calls unnecessary tax breaks for fossil fuels producers.

The president backs a muscular federal role in spurring commercialization of green-energy technologies, while Romney has warned against “picking winners and losers” and calls for a more limited federal role focused on basic research.

On the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, Romney has pledged to authorize TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Alberta-to-Texas pipeline on “Day One,” while the White House plans to continue reviewing the application for a cross-border permit into 2013.