Arent Fox 2012 Federal Election Energy and Environmental Policy Analysis
The reelection of President Barack Obama, combined with continued divided government in the Congress—Democratic Senate and Republican House—virtually ensure that major changes to federal energy and environmental policy will be based on existing regulatory authority rather than new legislation. With a continued strong House Republican majority and a larger Senate Democratic majority, the contentiousness of most energy and environmental policy issues will likely preclude major new legislation. Most producers of oil, natural gas, and coal, would likely feel that the lack of legislation is an advantage. Law addressing production of those resources is already permanent. While some fine tuning of those laws would be advantageous, the legislative process frequently results in changes not envisioned nor desirable. The situation is very different for producers of renewable energy. Many of their tax provisions are temporary law and must be extended, and many loan and grant programs supportive of renewable energy projects have been found to be in need of legislative changes to make them more workable.
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