The outcomes of gubernatorial races and elections of commissioners at a utility regulator could change the energy policies of several U.S. states after the midterm elections on November 8.
Renewables regulations and targets in Maryland, Oregon, and Arizona could see U-turns in energy policies, depending on the outcome of the elections next month. These policies could matter more for those states than who controls the House and Senate in Washington D.C., Reuters notes.
In Maryland, the frontrunner to be the next Governor, Wes Moore, promises to “Ensure that Maryland generates 100% clean energy by 2035 by reducing energy consumption and the burden on the grid, supercharging investments in wind and solar developments, and investing in battery storage research and development to quickly bring new technologies to market.”
In Oregon, a Democratic stronghold that hasn’t had a Republican governor in 40 years, Republican candidate Christine Drazan is slightly ahead of Democratic candidate Tina Kotek in the polls. Drazan promises to rescind the cap-and-trade emissions program on her first day in office if elected.
Arizona is electing two of the five commissioners sitting on the utility regulator, the Arizona Corporation Commission. The commission is currently controlled 3-2 by Republican commissioners.
The Democratic candidates, Lauren Kuby and Sandra Kennedy, are “running to ensure utilities invest in proven clean energy resources that protect your wallet,” Kuby wrote in The Arizona Republic last week. Kennedy and Kuby say that distributed solar plus storage, electric vehicles, and energy efficiency incentives are the future of energy for Arizona.
Republican candidate Kevin Thompson pledges to fight to eliminate mandates and subsidies, which, he says, have the single largest impact on driving up our rates.
“I will fight to keep Green New Deal and California-style energy policies out of Arizona,” says Thompson.
“Arizona has the opportunity to lead the west in energy independence, and the Commission's job is to help clear the regulatory path for new technologies that can make us energy independent, like micro-nuclear,” the Republican candidate adds.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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