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    The Green Room: The Elections and Energy

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    energynow

    by energynow

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    Mix panelists Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen and former Assistant Energy Secretary Andy Karsner head to the energyNOW! Green Room to continue their discussion of the implications of the midterm elections on U.S. energy policy. Slocum believes Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., will become chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee under Republican leadership. He says Upton has already signaled that his agenda will be strict oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Upton has said he doesn't believe the agency should be regulating greenhouse gas emissions. But he's unsure whether the Senate will be able to rein in the EPA's regulatory authority. He believes the Senate, with a likely 53-47 split in favor of the Democrats, is the most likely place for any energy legislation to begin. He also expects a battle over expanding loan guarantee authority for new nuclear plants and a push to get the Energy Department to re-design the loan-guarantee program. He says the petroleum sector will benefit from the new Republican majority in the House, because new restrictions on drilling will be unlikely to pass. Slocum also says he believes the government will be less likely to regulate hydraulic fracturing in natural gas drilling. Karsner says he believes EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will be summoned to Capitol Hill to testify many times in the next two years, before both House and Senate Committees. He also believes lawmakers who might have supported legislation to limit greenhouse gases will be reluctant to let the EPA have that authority. So he believes oversight will be the key. The question is how heavy that oversight will be and how its is carried out. He also believes some legislation could come out of the the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee if Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is re-elected as a write-in candidate. He says Murkowski's leadership has helped the committee pass bipartisan energy legislation in the past. He also says Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Lamar Alexander, ...