President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have vastly different strategies on how to regulate the newfound U.S. oil and natural gas bounty and the development of alternative energy sources.
Ahead of Tuesday night's debate, advanced car battery maker A123 Systems filed for bankruptcy protection. The company was awarded a $249 million grant through Obama's 2009 stimulus program.
Romney's campaign quickly seized on the bankruptcy, saying it was another failure of Obama's "disastrous" energy policy.
The Obama administration defended its investment in advanced battery companies, pointing out that more than 30 new or retooled plants are operating thanks to the funding.
The following is a rundown of how Obama and Romney stand on the top energy issues ahead of the November 6 presidential election:
Romney: Opposes government spending on clean energy companies, but calls for research and development to promote energy innovation.
Uses failure of government-backed solar company Solyndra LLC to illustrate argument against government trying to pick winners in the energy sector. In his first debate with Obama, he said about half of the clean energy companies in the $90 billion stimulus program went bankrupt, a claim that was not accurate.
Of the $90 billion in the stimulus that was scheduled to go to clean energy and efficiency programs, at least $813 million went to companies that have now gone bankrupt.
Opposes renewal of production tax credit, worth about $1 billion a year to wind power producers.
Obama: Included $90 billion in 2009 economic stimulus package for energy projects including solar and wind power, energy efficiency, high speed rail and bolstering the electric grid.
Defends the $16 billion in loan guarantees for 26 clean energy projects as necessary given lack of private financing and competition from China.
Supports renewal of the 20-year-old production tax credit for wind power.
Romney: Vowed to make North America energy independent by 2020 by expanding oil and gas drilling, allowing more state oversight of energy projects, streamlining regulations and working with Canada and Mexico. Would also approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
Opposes Obama's new fuel efficiency standards for vehicles as "extreme."
Obama: Wants to cut U.S. oil imports in half by 2020 by supporting more production of fossil fuels. His "all-of-the-above" energy strategy promotes oil drilling and includes incentives for nuclear as well as wind and solar power.