President Biden doesn’t see dueling objectives in tackling the economic fallout of a pandemic amidst an ongoing climate crisis; he sees an opportunity. An opportunity to marry economic policy with climate policy in an audacious nation-building plan to get Americans back to work and put the country on a more resilient, decarbonized path. But in seeking decarbonization, Biden’s energy plan will push for clean generation and a massive transmission build-out at the expense of fossil fuels. Of course, President Biden can’t do this alone, and in an era of divided government, he’ll need to wield both his executive powers and the full force of the administrative state to begin to flip the nation’s generation mix. This won’t happen in short order, and as aggressive as the President’s energy goals are, his plans are best described as long plays.
The implications for energy market pricing are still very uncertain at this time, but any move to limit emissions from natural gas or oil wells would push producers’ costs higher and discourage growth in output. Natural gas, wind, and solar generation are still poised to grow rapidly in the coming 3 to 5 years. However, with the policymaking likely favoring the addition of significant renewable capacity in the second half of the decade, the role of natural gas in the generation mix could dwindle in the long term, which could add more volatility to power prices.
Be sure to watch our video presentation, for a more in depth look at the Biden Energy Plan.