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US power industry largely backing GOP incumbents in 2018 midterms

Power producers and industry trade groups are largely backing incumbent GOP committee leaders in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections as Democrats push to reclaim the majority in at least one chamber of the U.S. Congress.

With help from President Donald Trump, Republicans in Congress have worked since early 2017 to support the easing of permitting requirements for energy projects and repeal Obama-era regulations for the sector. Although some power companies are wary of potential rollbacks in mercury and carbon emissions standards, industry trade groups have broadly welcomed the GOP's push for lighter federal regulation and lower taxes.

The political action committee of the Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned utilities on federal policy matters, has donated $401,000 to congressional candidates so far in the 2018 election cycle, 60% of it to Republicans, according to Federal Election Commission data of total election spending from January 2017 through Sept. 24, 2018. The data was aggregated by the Center for Responsive Politics.