Canada's Clean Energy Sector Likely to See Pluses and Minuses From the U.S. Mid-Term Elections


As the dust is still settling from the November 2 mid-term elections in the United States, Canadian businesses may be picking up mixed signals about the future for developing and selling clean energy to the U.S. While the ascendance of a Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives means that no federal legislation regulating greenhouse gases is likely to be passed in the next couple of years, the resounding defeat of a California ballot measure intended to stop implementation of that state's climate change law sends a signal that regional efforts, particularly the Western Climate Initiative, remain alive and moving forward.

Federal Results

In 2009, the Democratic majority in the U.S. House passed the first-ever federal climate change legislation, which included within its 1,200 pages provisions for setting a steadily declining cap on greenhouse gas emissions and a program to auction and trade allowances for those emissions. That measure and a similar Senate proposal never made it to a floor vote in the Senate. The new dominance of Republicans in the House, and a narrower Democratic majority in the Senate, effectively brings an end to legislative efforts to adopt a national cap-and-trade program for the U.S., which President Barack Obama acknowledged the day after the elections.

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