Election 2012 and energy recap

With yesterday's general election behind us, people across the United States are considering its impact on energy policy. From President Obama's retention of the White House to state elections and ballot measures, voters have reshaped the energy landscape. Here are some highlights:

  • Congress remains divided. At the federal level, Democrats held onto control of the Senate, while Republicans retained control in the House. The chambers' partisan nature may lead to gridlock, or at least to consensus-based, relatively moderate measures as the only kind of legislation likely to meet the approval of both chambers of Congress.

  • Michigan rejects constitutional amendment on renewable energy. Michigan voters rejected a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would have increased the amount of renewable energy that utilities must buy to serve their customers. Proposition 3 would have required electric utilities to generate at least 25 percent of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025. Only 36% voted in favor of the measure to increase the renewable portfolio standard, meaning the RPS initiative failed.

Other election results, ranging from congressional races to state governor contests, will also shape energy policy in 2013 and beyond. People and businesses that can react quickly will be in a better position to capitalize on the election results.