Energy and business lobbyists are shifting focus to influencing an administration that isn’t President Donald Trump’s, and some see the potential for a divided Congress to benefit industry even with voters concerned about climate change.
The Texas Energy Museum hosted a virtual symposium Thursday that featured expert analysis of energy markets and policy goals from one of the top political advisers for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the executive director of the American Petroleum Institute.
The chamber abstains from influencing presidential races, at least with direct support to a candidate, but Ashlee Rich Stephenson, vice president and national political director for the chamber, said the top priority for the organization’s policy agenda was to sustain Republican control of the Senate.
“We know that a Republican-led Senate will be a check on overreaching proposals that can perhaps come from this new White House administration or out of the House, taxes ... potentially banning permitting of exploration on federal lands,” she said.
The chamber ran advertising for Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, for 10 days in October, and plans to fully support the Republican runoff candidates in the two Georgia races in January.
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