Energy winners and losers: A snapshot

The energy policy fallout from Tuesday’s elections will take time to shake out.

But here’s a quick snapshot of a few winners and losers now that President Obama has been reelected, Democrats retained the Senate and Republicans kept the House.


Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

{mosads}He’s likely to take the chairmanship of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with the Democrats keeping control of the Senate. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), the current chairman, is retiring.

Wind energy tax credits

At the very least, the tax credits are looking better than they would have if Mitt Romney had won the White House.

Romney opposed an extension of incentives slated to expire at year’s end, while Obama wants Congress to extend them — and Romney’s loss could free up some Republicans to back an extension without bucking an incoming president from their own party.

Climate change

The topic, in the background for much of the 2012 White House race, is at least back on the political radar screen. Superstorm Sandy prompted attention to links between climate change and extreme weather.

Obama, in his victory speech Tuesday night, spoke of the need to ensure children live in a country that “isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”

Romney’s loss and the Democrats’ retention of the Senate likely mean that the Obama administration’s greenhouse gas regulations won’t get scuttled.

But the future of climate policy remains highly uncertain. A big global warming bill remains dead on Capitol Hill, and Obama’s second-term administrative agenda has not yet been fleshed out.


The Keystone XL oil pipeline

The proposed pipeline to bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries was sure to be approved under Romney, who had pledged a green light on “day one.”

Obama hasn’t made a final decision on Keystone. But he’s now free of election-season attacks over the project from pro-pipeline Republicans and industry groups.

Green groups are putting renewed pressure on Obama to nix it. The project is far from dead, but a Romney win would have meant near-certain approval.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.)

Murkowski was in line for the Energy and Natural Resources Committee gavel if Republicans had taken the Senate.

Inhofe would have become chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, had Republicans seized the majority in the upper chamber.

Instead, Inhofe must depart as ranking member of the panel due to term limits.

Oil companies

They’re doing fine as U.S. production booms.

But Obama now has four more years to continue efforts to repeal tax incentives that he has long targeted.

The industry also opposes upcoming regulations on the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” as well as several other administration policies.

In addition, industry groups want more access to public lands and waters, such as areas off the East Coast that Romney had pledged to make available.

Tags James Inhofe Lisa Murkowski Ron Wyden

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