2012 aspirants look for energy advice

The mating dance has begun between Republican presidential candidates and a crop of seasoned energy experts.

Several former GOP administration, Capitol Hill and industry officials tell POLITICO they’ve been talking to the budding White House campaigns about signing on as volunteers or paid advisers on energy matters.

A few people have even been tasked with writing up talking points on gas prices, oil drilling and the tricky terrain of explaining climate change policies that were once acceptable within Republican circles but now don’t look so good for a conservative primary crowd.

“That’s the first chore: Give me a 15-page memo on anything that should be said and thought about,” said GOP consultant Mike McKenna, who in March pitched in on briefing materials for Haley Barbour before the Mississippi governor gave a blistering speech on President Barack Obama’s economic policies to the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.