Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Four Big Energy Issues That The Election Decides

Here are 4 big energy issues that the election will decide that will impact natural gas, renewables, coal, energy efficiency. 

1. The Natural Gas Act or Pickens Plan that would increase the use of natural gas in transportation has been stalled in Congress.  Governor Romney opposes it, and the President supports it.  It's dead if the Governor wins and has renewed life if the President is re-elected.

2. The EPA air toxic rule for power plants that is scheduled to take effect January 2015. Governor Romney promises its repeal, and President Obama obviously supports it.  If it is repealed, more coal will be consumed, but about 1 trillion cubic feet less gas per year will be used to make electricity. Natural gas plants meet the requirement, but old coal plants without modern pollution controls do not. This issue alone could well impact the price of natural gas.

3. The Wind Production Tax Credit that expires this year.  Governor Romney has promised to not extend it, but the President supports an extension. Without the production tax credit extension, 2013 new wind capacity falls to about 2,000 megawatts or less.

4. The Auto fuel efficiency standard that has been raised twice by President Obama.  Governor Romney has promised to repeal the latest and highest 2025 standard.  The difference represents a substantial change in US oil consumption over the next decade.

These four issues alone will impact substantially energy production, energy consumption, market shares of fuels, and the price of fuels.  Elections have consequences.

1 comment:

  1. Concerned ScientistOctober 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Excellent summary. To me the choice is obvious but Romney has done a very good job lately of pivoting back to the center. He sounded completely reasonable in the debates. Who knows what his positions on any of these are today.

    Is he really a moderate - the same guy who reasonably governed Massachusetts - or is he a wild-eyed conservative bent on taking us back to the 1920s?