By: Bill Clermont
With little over a week to the 2016 Presidential Election, very little has been mentioned or debated about one of the major topics of this Election. The future of Energy. This election has focused on Lies, deceit, inappropriate comments / behavior and other such topics that are far more interesting than the real issues at hand. Few issue platforms have more closely mirrored each candidate’s advances towards November than that of energy and the environment. For Hillary Clinton, she has been shifting more and more to the left and supporting the aggressive environmental agenda advocated by Bernie Sanders, while Donald Trump has embraced traditional Republican positions of expanding oil production and reversing climate regulations.
Both candidates have not outlined specifics on how they are going to go forward with the future of energy and the environment. We do know this, Hillary Clinton’s agenda is for clean energy, reducing the burning of coal, blocking the Keystone Pipeline and greater regulations on fracking. Donald Trump is for building, expanding the Keystone Pipeline and promoting fracking. Limiting fracking, or abolishing it all together along with the Pipeline could lead to oil prices higher as we would once again be held hostage by foreign oil. The two sides have grown further apart – the left spurred by a growing pressure to address climate change and promote an off-oil agenda, the right by a desire to leverage our newfound resource wealth and block what they see as job-killing environmental regulations.
However, over the last few years, energy companies have developed more enhanced business strategies and communications efforts that exceed partisan battles around climate change and drilling for oil. Major energy producers continue to invest in sustainability initiatives, and renewables are beginning to stand on their own. For the first time in decades, the U.S. is in a position to export crude oil and liquefied natural gas, thus changing the balance of the international energy market, while at the same time dramatically reducing emissions.
It appears that the energy industry has the opportunity to position itself to be successful and stand on its own no matter who wins the Presidency. If the energy companies can capitalize on this opportunity, they could potentially position themselves as innovators, working to solve the challenges of climate and energy security along with driving prosperity.
With all this, it appears the gas prices should remain stable through the election and beyond as the energy companies position themselves and take their stand on the Country’s needs.
November 8th should be very interesting for the future of our Country.