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Clean Energy Election Update

10/04/2010

Below are some highlights from last week’s conference call on the 2010 political landscape as it relates to the ‘clean economy’.  We agree with CEN’s Political Director Tim Greeff that this election is wildly unpredictable.

Current 111th Congress:

Since August there has been no political capital to move a comprehensive energy bill and that is expected to continue into the lame duck session.

During the lame duck session, it is expected that the budget will be addressed; but nothing else on the energy front.  Following the BP spill, there was a push from the Democrats to raise/life the liability cap for oil companies, but that momentum has slowed. Similarly, the Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) bill has possibility as a stand-alone bill but is running up against complications and expected to stall.

Future 112th Congress:

It is very tough to predict what will be coming up before we see the outcome of the election and the extent of the Democratic losses. If the Republicans take control of the House and/or Senate, it’s unclear who would be at the forefront of party leadership. From an energy perspective, the ‘best guess’ is that there will be some form of energy policy passed without addressing carbon issues.  EPA deregulation may be a factor in putting pressure on making energy legislative headway.

From either side of the aisle it’s a wait-and-see’ month.

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