Election 2020: Where Things Stand for Energy

As of Thursday, presidential election results are still being tabulated.  Former vice president Biden has a slight edge, but final results will depend on tallies in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Georgia.  Elsewhere, however, there is a clear picture coming from the 2020 election: the blue progressive wave meant to sweep to power and remake energy markets did not appear.  Affordable, reliable energy remains a vote winner, with voters recoiling at the ambitious progressive energy and climate agenda.

The Senate 

In the Senate, Republicans are set to retain control.  Losses in Colorado and Arizona were balanced by a pickup in Alabama; a hold in Maine; and a hold in North Carolina that awaits final confirmation.  Two seats in Georgia a likely headed to runoffs, where Republicans traditionally do well.  This means a 52-48 Republican majority come January 2021.  

This result should be seen as a rebuke of the extreme environmentalist agenda.  Across the country, environmental activists sought to nationalize Senate races, campaigning for a Democrat controlled Senate to pass the $2 trillion Biden climate plan.  Despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent, the result was failure.  

Should Biden prevail in the remaining counts, he will be the first Democratic president since Grover Cleveland to enter office without control of Congress.  In addition to crippling Biden’s extreme and costly climate agenda, Republican Senate control means that a President Biden will have to negotiate his cabinet nominations.  It will be hard to nominate extremists like Mary Nichols, the former head of California’s environmental regulator, at the Environmental Protection Agency.   Radicals like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren should be out of the question in the cabinet.  This will be a win for American energy consumers and may constrain the sort of regulatory overreach undertaken under the Obama administration.

The House

In the House, Republicans are set to pick up double-digit seats, a shocking reversal from pre-election expectations of Democratic pickups.  Democrats especially struggled in swing districts where energy was on the ballot.  In Oklahoma, Rep. Kendra Horn, who represents Oklahoma City, was soundly defeated.  Her 5% score on the American Energy Scorecard was a major topic in the campaign’s final debate, and she was clearly hurt by being out of step with her district. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, representing a major oil-producing district in southern New Mexico, was similarly defeated.  Here too, a 0% score on the AEA scorecard was at issue in the campaign and exposed Torres Small for voting against the interests of her constituents.

Other endangered incumbents where vote counts have not been finalized include Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania and Rep. TJ Cox of California, but representing energy producing districts yet scoring very poorly on the AEA scorecard.  Because of Biden’s energy comments at the final presidential debate, energy was a major issue in the close weeks of all races.  The House results are a sound rejection of the kind of radical environmental agenda proposed by the Biden-Harris campaign.

Come January, with the House more closely balanced, the kinds of radical energy proposals passed by Speaker Pelosi’s caucus last congress should be off the table.

The States

Outside of Washington, affordable energy prevailed as well.  Across the country, pro-energy majorities retained control of state legislatures.  A much-hyped effort by Democrats to win control of the Texas House of Representatives fell flat.  Big spending environmental interests failed to take control of any new state legislative chambers.

Also in Texas, despite vast spending by Mike Bloomberg and other out of state environmental interests, Republican Jim Wright won is race for the Texas Railroad Commission, the state’s oil and gas regulator.

In Arizona, pro-affordable energy candidates are currently in position to take two of three seats up for election.  This means that the Commission’s foolish and expensive 100% clean energy mandates, passed last week by the outgoing commissioners, will be ripe for reconsideration.


Nationwide in 2020, energy was on the ballot: the radical Green New Deal, which the Biden-Harris campaign couldn’t stop praising; he Biden $2 trillion climate plan; the Biden fracking ban that he tried to pretend was not a ban.  The campaign was packed with energy policy, and the final weeks were dominated by energy policy.  Whatever the ultimate outcome of the closely fought presidential race, everywhere else on the ballot voters delivered a rebuke to anti-energy candidates at every level.  Should the former vice president win the race he should take note, and abandon his plan to go to war with affordable, reliable, American energy.

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