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Potential Split U.S. Government Puts Energy Policy in Agencies' Court

With major national election outcomes still in flux Wednesday morning, energy lobbyists and policy analysts were parsing the potential for divided government to dampen energy policy shifts, even if Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden ultimately prevailed.

Scott Segal, co-chairman of Bracewell's Policy Resolution Group, said in the vote tabulation trends continue, it seems most likely the Senate will remain in Republican hands. In that scenario, the ability to use the budget-reconciliation process or eliminate the filibuster is "effectively off the table," he said during the group's Nov. 4 webinar on the election outcome. Both steps have been discussed in the context of Democrats passing climate-related legislation.

Bracewell energy regulatory lawyer Christine Wyman said no matter who takes White House, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will play a bigger role in the nexus of energy and climate policy than it has played in the past.

Panelists Expect FERC Under Biden to Look Closely at Carbon Pricing, Pipelines

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could take further steps to accommodate carbon pricing in wholesale power markets and consider the environmental impacts of pipelines if Democrat Joe Biden wins the U.S. presidential race, panelists said during the S&P Global Platts Financing U.S. Power Virtual Conference.

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Demoted FERC Chair Sees Himself, Agency Playing Big Post-Election Role

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Neil Chatterjee defended his actions on clean energy and climate after President Donald Trump on Nov. 5 unexpectedly replaced him as chair of the independent agency.

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Election Showing Deep Divide on Energy Issues, Tough Path for Climate Policy

A host of energy and environmental developments unfolded across the country in down-ticket races in the U.S. election, revealing a growing disconnect on energy issues that will make any collective shift toward climate policy difficult to accomplish.

Political Polarization Creating Regulatory 'Ping-Pong Effect' for U.S. Energy

As the U.S. political climate has grown more polarized, the energy sector has faced increasingly significant shifts on the regulatory front every four to eight years, and the industry may have to ready itself for another pendulum swing after the November presidential election.

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President-Elect Biden's Climate, Energy Plans May Hinge on Senate Races

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has developed aggressive climate and clean energy plans that could result in sweeping changes to the energy sector. But the potential for Republicans to keep control of the U.S. Senate could upset those ambitions, all but ensuring a partisan battle that will delay, if not block, major climate legislation.

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Biden Plan to Make Companies Disclose Climate Risks Key to Decarbonization

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has pledged to make publicly traded companies disclose their climate risks and emissions levels, a move experts say could help companies, investors, and regulators make better-informed decisions and pursue decarbonization targets.

Key Takeaways

  • As part of his climate objectives, Biden would require public companies to disclose climate risks and the greenhouse gas emissions in their operations and supply chains.

  • Legal experts believe that Biden would accomplish this by directing Wall Street's top regulator, the SEC, to make climate disclosure mandatory for the public companies it oversees.

  • While an increasing number of U.S. companies are publishing climate reports, the federal government has yet to require such disclosures and investors have repeatedly said the information companies provide is not easily compared across industries or even within sectors.


Danly Quietly Takes Reins at His First Open Meeting as FERC Chairman

James Danly gaveled in his first meeting as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, offering a sharp contrast in style with this loquacious predecessor and holding the line on key power market actions taken by the Republican majority

With Neil Chatterjee displaced from chairman's seat late Nov. 5 by the White House, Danly is expected to serve as chairman until late January, when President-elect Joe Biden is likely to name a Democrat to lead the key energy market regulator.

Cooper Reelected North Carolina Governor, Defeating Pro-Oil Challenger

North Carolina's Democratic governor will get a second term to continue efforts to harden infrastructure against extreme weather and cut carbon emissions in the politically conservative South.

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With Aggressive Climate Goals, Inslee Reelected Washington Governor

Democratic incumbent Jay Inslee held onto his seat as governor of the state of Washington as voters Nov. 3 selected him to continue guiding the state toward meeting aggressive climate goals.

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Energy Transition

Renewable Energy Groups See New Day Under Biden Administration

Eager to advance their agenda under supportive new leadership in Washington, renewable energy groups have released policy wish lists, confident that President-elect Joe Biden's administration can work with what could be a narrowly divided Congress to strengthen renewable energy tax credits, invest in new transmission and establish a national renewable energy portfolio standard.

U.S. Senate Energy Panel Advances Paired FERC Nominees by Voice Vote

Two nominees to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission were reported out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by voice vote Nov. 18, moving a step closer to confirmation, although some senators opposed their advancement.

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U.S. ELECTIONS: SEIA Discusses 100-Day Renewables Agenda for Biden, Congress

The US can address job creation, economic recovery, climate change, renewable energy deployment and COVID-19 relief by investing in a clean, affordable electricity system, the Solar Energy Industries Association said Nov. 17 about its 100-day agenda for President-elect Joe Biden and the newly elected Congress.

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