"With all of the theatrics of a town hall-style presidential debate [Tuesday] night, President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney sparred over who is the bigger 'Mr. Oil' and 'Mr. Gas' amid declining U.S. energy imports and rising domestic production."
"For both candidates, this debate meant everything. The Obama camp had to stanch sliding poll numbers. Romney had to appeal to independent voters concerned that his policies are designed to help the very rich. In an hour-and-a-half debate on a stage at Hofstra University in New York, each claimed the mantle of middle-class defender, and they tied everything, particularly their ideas about energy, to more sweeping plans for creating jobs and lifting the economy.
Obama noted that U.S. natural gas production is the highest it's been in decades and touted the rapid expansion of wind power and manufacturing in Iowa and Colorado. Those things, plus rising U.S. oil production, he noted, have helped cut crude oil imports to their lowest level since the late 1990s."