Election day 2018 has been circled on the calendar for a long time for a lot of people. The national media was fixated on the first ballot-box test for Pres. Trump since his election. Would his coalition stand by him, or would “the resistance” against him strike a blow. It turned out to be a bit of a mixed bag.
Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, meaning that now they will have the ability to launch investigations against the President. On the other hand, Republicans slightly expanded their majority in the Senate. As far as legislation, that means gridlock, and many commentators will tell you political gridlock is good for business, because it keeps the politicians from making trouble. It is highly unlikely that a split Congress will be launching any new attacks against the energy industry, for example.
In our region, Democrat Tom Wolf was reelected to serve as Pennsylvania’s governor. He has generally said supportive things about the natural gas industry, but he has repeatedly tried to increase taxes on the gas industry. A Democrat won in Ohio too, former Attorney General Mike DeWine, and he has at times sought more environmental regulation. He has been aggressive in courting the natural gas industry, though, calling it an “essential part” of the state’s future.
The energy industry did well across the map, actually. In Washington State, voters rejected an effort to impose a carbon tax by a 56% to 44% margin. A renewable energy mandate in Arizona got crushed 70% to 30%. Colorado also had a ballot initiative directly aimed at either slowing or killing hydraulic fracturing, depending on who you ask. It failed. Voters continue to see the value in natural gas, and abundant natural gas has already done more to reduce carbon emissions than any government policy.
Overall, there seems to be no reason to expect significant changes in the booming Marcellus Shale gas production. Call the experts at Cimmaron Land, (412) 212-7517, if your company wants to get involved.