Heitkamp: 'I'd tell Obama he's wrong' on energy

Associated Press Modified: October 11, 2012 at 11:01 pm •  Published: October 11, 2012

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — President Barack Obama is "wrong" on energy policy and should fire his energy secretary and Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp told a pro-business North Dakota audience Thursday.

Heitkamp and Republican rival Rick Berg spoke Thursday night at a forum hosted by the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce.

Heitkamp, who has been critical of what she says is the Obama administration's hostility to oil and coal development, was asked what she would tell the Democratic president about energy policy.

She replied that she would tell Obama: "You're wrong on energy. You're headed in the wrong direction. You made bad decisions. ... You promised that you would promote clean coal technologies, that you would be a champion of coal, and you haven't done it."

The president should replace Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Heitkamp said. She described Jackson as openly hostile to coal development.

"Do not sit in a small room, with a small group of advisers, and decide (energy policy)," Heitkamp said. "You have to have a broad dialogue."

Berg said he would emphasize the importance of an inclusive energy policy on job creation and economic growth.