There is hardly an issue or a sector which is untouched by politics. With the growing concern for the environment and inclination towards clean energy sources, fuel and energy have become the primary agendas in the upcoming U.S. elections. Donald Trump’s election as a president heralded a seismic shift in the US domestic energy policy, unraveling many of the former President’s key energy policies. Trump ripped up the Obama era’s energy regulations, which left many concerned. However, the 2018 elections can drastically slow the deregulatory campaign of the Trump-GOP regime, or even reverse it. So, here we take a look at what 2018 elections has in store for the energy sector and which issues concerning the energy sector will be important this election season?
Impact of Energy and Environment on 2018 elections will Vary Region to Region
Regional factors may prove strong in the upcoming elections. One issue concerning the energy sector that will depend on differences in regions is offshore drilling. While for some regions like Louisiana, it means an increase in the number of jobs; for regions like Florida, it could mean the destruction of beaches, which provide livelihoods to many. President Trump’s offshore drilling plans faced opposition from Florida Congress members of both the parties. The opposition occurred in many other states along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts too where offshore drilling has always been a controversial issue. People in these regions will be looking out for the candidates who care for the interests of the people and the businesses along the coast.
The Force is with Clean Energy This Election Season
Trump administration’s pro-fossil fuel energy agenda cast a shadow over the renewables sector. On top of it, his decision to roll back Clean Power Plan raised many eyebrows.
A Gallup poll from early March has revealed widespread support for clean energy among voters. According to a 2016 Gallup Poll, the majority of Americans now prioritize environmental protection over energy production and prefer clean energy sources over fossil fuels. Considering the results of this poll, it would be interesting to watch how this shift in energy preference plays into 2018 elections. This would be an important factor in deciding whether Democrats will take control of Congress or the Republicans will come to power. For example, Texas has been pro-oil and majority GOP for a long time. But if we talk of today, its economy largely depends on renewable energy, like wind energy. This shift towards renewable energy might push more districts into the Democratic side.
President Trump came to power with a promise to revive the coal industry and boost the fossil fuel production, creating many jobs in the sector. But, it’s going to be two years since President Trump’s election and little has changed for the workers of this industry. The realization among the underemployed miners that they are getting little or no jobs from the Trump Administration’s agenda might prove to be a game changer in the midterm elections.
Who will ultimately hold on to the legislative branch-we won’t know for sure until November. However, one thing is sure that the energy sector is eagerly waiting to see how energy issues fit into the broader political landscape, at a time when the stakes are high for the nation and political division is intense.