In just a year’s time, on the first Tuesday in November 2016, the US will vote for a new president. With a deep and widening divide between the two parties on climate change and environmental policy, the election will have major implications for the US energy industry. But the impact will not stop there. The move by President Barack Obama to impose tighter environmental controls on coal-fired power stations has helped encourage countries across the world to make commitments of their own on emissions reductions. China has begun to co-operate with the US on climate change — a massive shift on both sides from the approach that led to the failure of the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009. A change of government in Washington could put all this in jeopardy.
Historically, energy has not been a prominent issue in US presidential elections. The issue was barely mentioned in the debates before the 2008 and 2012 polls. Now, however, Mr Obama’s move against the coal industry has put the topic at the top of the agenda. The issue is divisive and the positions of the two parties have moved further apart in the last six months. Read more