Poll gives Obama big lead on energy

The poll of 1,033 adults has a margin or error of 4 percent.

The data arrives as energy is playing an increasingly high-profile role in the Obama-Romney battle.

Republicans allege that Obama is making too few federal lands and waters available for drilling and taking too long to approve projects. They are also taking aim at air quality rules that target pollution from coal-fired power plants, claiming they will hurt the economy.

Romney upped his attacks on White House energy policy Thursday while rolling out a plan that calls for greatly expanded oil-and-gas leasing and handing states more control of energy development on federal lands within their borders, among other provisions.

The plan is aimed at achieving North American energy independence by 2020.

On Friday, Romney campaign adviser Russ Schriefer said several speakers will talk about Romney’s plan at next week’s GOP convention in Tampa, Fla.

While the poll shows Romney trailing substantially on energy, it shows him ahead by 9 points on the economy, a dominant issue in the race.

Romney has sought to cast his energy plans as an economic boost, arguing that it will create jobs and aid domestic manufacturing.

GOP strategist Tyler Harber, in an interview, said the energy plan will feed into Romney’s efforts to stay ahead on the economy. “Talking about energy opens up a secondary front [against] Obama about economic issues,” said Harber, a partner at Harcom Strategies.

White House officials have strongly pushed back against allegations that they have stymied development, noting overall nationwide oil and natural-gas production has been rising in recent years while import reliance has dropped.

Obama campaign aides on Thursday cast Romney’s plan as a sop to the oil industry, and argued it fails to acknowledge the benefits of green energy and auto efficiency.

“What Mitt Romney outlined ... was not a recipe for energy independence. It was just the same old scheme to line the pockets of Big Oil,” said Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s deputy campaign manager.