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Obama to address energy in Illinois trip after meeting leaders

U.S. President Barack Obama walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington before departing to visit wounded military personnel at
U.S. President Barack Obama walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington before departing to visit wounded military personnel at

By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama spoke about his second-term goals for the booming energy sector at a private meeting with some energy executives on Thursday, and will speak more on the issue at an Illinois event next week, the White House said on Friday.

The private meeting came ahead of a trip planned for March 15 to the Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago that will focus on energy, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

On Thursday, Obama met with top executives from oil and gas producer Anadarko Petroleum Corp, renewable power producer NextEra, power producer Sempra, and shipping giant FedEx Corp, one of the world's biggest fuel consumers.

Obama discussed the role of natural gas and opportunities for renewable energy, and his interest in public-private partnerships to reach energy and climate goals, Earnest said.

More than a dozen people were at the meeting, which also included executives from Southwest Gas, energy data firm Opower, wind turbine parts-maker Winergy, as well as several academics and advisers.

Obama has said addressing climate change is among his priorities for his second term, and often speaks about how the boom in U.S. energy production has helped the country's economy.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Eric Beech and Vicki Allen)

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