Now that President Obama’s second term is confirmed, energy experts believe that the industry can expect more regulations over the next four years. The president intends to stick to his promise to reduce oil imports by 50 percent by 2020.
Obama’s campaign leaned heavily on the president’s “all of the above” strategy to domestic energy sources, but the industry thinks it will have decreased access to federal lands and water than in previous years.
Obama is expected to follow through with his campaign promise to lower subsidies currently offered to oil companies and increase the fuel efficiency mandates for vehicles.
This is a change from Obama’s original energy strategy prior to his first term. Back in 2008, climate change was top of the agenda. A pet bill in 2010 that would have created a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions died in the Senate and a year later in 2011, the president’s green agenda was intensely debated when Solyndra, a solar manufacturer that received a $535 million federal loan guarantee, declared bankruptcy.
But despite these setbacks, the president continues to back renewable energy technologies. Even so, he’ll still need to work with Congress to continue the tax incentives so vital to the industry’s growth.
There are other factors that could make or break the renewable energy industry that are not under Congress’ control.
Natural gas has become much stiffer competition as prices have dropped in recent years. Meanwhile, many parts of the country are struggling with a lack of infrastructure necessary to bring large renewable energy projects online. And solar manufacturers face unprecedented global competition as the market is flooded with cheap Chinese products.
For a more detailed rundown of what to expect from Obama’s next term in office, read the full story from Reuters here.