How will the US energy mix and the development of renewables change after November 3?
How U.S. energy policy, its approach to renewable energy sources, and the country’s energy mix might be altered after the presidential election to be held on November 3?

“If you look at the campaign speeches and the accusations made by Trump and Biden just over the last three days, Trump is positioning himself as the defender of traditional energy sources, addressing workers in the oil sector, or rather the wives of workers in the oil sector at a series of meetings. Biden, on the other hand, positions himself as a supporter of renewable energy. Does it seem to you that these are positions cast in stone for years to come or a nod to electoral considerations? How realistic is it to expect that America, whoever its president might be, might begin drifting towards a collective European scenario in terms of a heavily subsidised use of renewable energy sources and a shift in the energy balance?”, asked Dr Brilev addressing the participants of the meeting.

The question was answered by the President of IMEMO RAS, Academician Alexander Dynkin. According to him, all the claims made with a few days left before the vote are motivated in the first place by the desire to attract undecided voters. “You will recall that when Biden made a tough statement about fracking, that it caused specific environmental damage, Trump came straight out with appeals to voters in Texas, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania to take a stand on such a statement because the well-being of those states is to a great extent dependent on that technology”, said the academician.

In Prof Dynkin’s opinion, in case Joe Biden wins the election, the USA may return to Paris Agreement. The incumbent US President Donald Trump announced the US ceasing its participation in the Paris Agreement regulating measures of lowering the CO2 levels in atmosphere in June 2017. However, the formal withdrawal should happen on November 4, 2020, the day after the election.

“If you take account of the fact that Democratic Party voters have strongly shifted to the left, towards the approach taken by the European Union, I believe that if Biden wins, he will stick to that narrative, that track, he could come back to the Paris Agreement”, said Prof Dynkin. According to him, if the Biden wins, the US will face the change in energy policy. “Of course, he will not press for the elimination of environmental restrictions, as Trump did – and that includes construction of pipelines, fracking and other things”, noted the Russian scientist. Prof Dynkin also recalled the Europe’s reaction on fracking problem and weighed in the findings of the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

The establishment claimed that the LNG extracted through hydraulic fracturing is less environmentally friendly than the gas recovered conventionally. “I believe a drift of this sort is inevitable”, highlighted the academician.


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October 2020