GOP, Dems, and Energy Policy

I took a look at the Democratic and Republican parties to see what they had to say about the issues.  Given that the Republicans are set to gain ground in the upcoming election, this could help see where potential exists for policy changes.

Republicans: Stress goal of energy independence.  In addition to renewables, favor nuclear, natural gas, clean coal, and offshore drilling .  Oppose “so-called cap and trade legislation.”

Democrats: Would fast-track investment in green energy, improve fuel efficiency, provide aid to poor and middle-class families to deal with increased energy prices.  Because of climate change, “we must end the tyranny of oil in our time.

Cap-and-trade looks like a non-starter in the next Congress, but there might be some room for inter-party cooperation on renewable energy, possibly natural gas, and carbon capture and sequestration, with Obama also apparently willing to consider nuclear and offshore drilling as part of a package.

Republicans may not only block cap-and-trade legislation but try to roll back EPA’s regulations. Obama would surely veto legislation to block EPA’s climate regulations directly.  What happens if the Republicans use riders on key appropriations?  Would Obama be willing to go toe-to-toe at the expense of a government shutdown, as Bill Clinton did?  I think the answer is yes, but time will tell.

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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