President Barack Obama ran on a platform of energy independence and promoting renewables.As a result, green energy stocks are climbing, while coal stocks are tanking.
First Solar is up more 2.0 per cent, while Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. has gained +1.7 per cent.
Meanwhile, Peabody Energy, the country’s largest coal developer, is down more than 7 per cent, while Alpha Natural Resources is off more than -9 per cent.
And fossil fuel stocks are likely to continue to struggle.
Reuters reports that energy companies will now almost certainly face tougher regulation in three main areas: access to federal lands, water management and methane emissions.
“You are going to have less access to federal lands and tougher government agencies,” Dan Pickering, chief investment officer at TPH Asset Management in Houston, tells the wire.
But it’s also not entirely clear that renewables can sustain a rally: Reuters notes green energy companies will have to get Congress to agree on new subsidies or renew tax breaks that have underpinned the growth of those industries.
“Obama can love solar as much as he wants, but I don’t know that a whole lot more is going to happen in terms of new, constructive policy,” the wire quotes Morningstar energy analyst Stephen Simko.
Still, Reuters columnist John Kemp believes the fossil fuel industry, along with the financial sector, are now in an extremely awkward position:
…however much money they pour into lobbying efforts, the perception that energy companies, banks and brokerages, as well as most of their employees, are solidly behind the Republican Party will limit their future influence on a range of issues that are vital for both industries.
Pressure to rebuild a constructive relationship with the White House and at least part of the Senate Democratic Caucus will therefore be intense.
Kemp says one of the first key compromises could come on approving the Keystone XL pipeline.
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