Party control of Congress after the US midterm elections will be the biggest factor in setting the direction of national climate and energy legislation over the next two years. But the outcome of individual races will decide who sits on and helps lead key committees and whether champions of recent energy policies continue to have a say, reports Platts.
US Midterms 2022
As of Oct. 12, Democrats are slightly favored to lead the Senate, according to simulations from FiveThirtyEight and The Economist. The chamber is currently split 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris providing a tiebreaking vote if needed.
A sustained Democratic majority in the Senate would help protect the Biden administration’s energy and climate agenda in Congress, including its push to decarbonize the power sector. It would also keep existing committee leaders, such as Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Joe Manchin of West Virginia, in possession of the gavel.
But the Republicans stand a strong chance of flipping the House of Representatives and could also take the Senate, allowing them to give more attention to growing domestic oil and gas supplies.
A Republican majority in either chamber could also conduct rigorous oversight of the hundreds of billions of dollars that Democrats and President Joe Biden authorized through recent legislation to drive the energy transition. Oversight of that spending could be a particular focus for a restored Republican majority since GOP lawmakers would likely lack the veto-proof majorities needed to enact legislation that goes against Biden’s agenda.
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