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US energy sector better off than four years ago? Duke CEO says yes.

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Christian Hartmann/Reuters/File

(Read caption) James Rogers, chairman and CEO of Duke Energy Corp., attends a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in this 2009 file photo. Mr. Rogers supports Obama's energy policies.

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President Barack Obama has been given an important vote of confidence from within the energy sector, with Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers telling news network CNN that the country is better off now when it comes to energy than it was before Obama’s election.

The statement comes just as the Democratic National Convention gets set to open in Charlotte, North Carolina, with Rogers acting as co-chairman of the event’s host committee. While the words come from within his own camp, Obama appears to be gaining ground on rival Mitt Romney with voters across the country where energy policy is concerned.

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 “Well, from an energy-sector [standpoint], we’re better off today than we were four years ago. Think about it. President Obama pursued an all-of-the-above strategy. Are we better off in terms of efficiency? We see per-home usage of electricity declining. That’s a good thing,” Rogers said to a CNN interviewer.

“The second thing is we [have had] two license[s] for nuclear plants issued. We have abundant supply of natural gas at low prices. And so as you look at the various ways to generate electricity in this country, we’re better off today than we were four years ago.”

Despite Romney focusing much of his campaign in recent weeks on what he calls Obama’s energy failures, a USA Today/Gallop poll conducted from August 20-22 shows that 53 percent of respondents see Obama as the better candidate to lead American energy policy into the future; by comparison, only 40 percent see that quality in Romney.

With energy issues playing a more and more prominent role leading up the election, both candidates are likely to continue to focus on that sector leading into November.