Energy lobbyists are gearing up for a boom in business to help shape and implement a wave of regulations governing energy production, greenhouse gas emissions, renewable fuels and other energy and environmental measures that K Street expects the newly reelected Obama administration to pursue aggressively.
The energy lobby has long been active in Washington, with more than 1,600 organizations spending a collective $407 million to influence energy and nuclear issues in the 112th Congress, according to the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit focused on government transparency. That makes energy the fourth-most expensive lobbying issue after taxes ($619 million), health ($615 million) and federal budget and appropriations ($576 million). But some policy experts predict that energy independence could become a central issue for the second Obama term — thus bringing renewed attention to energy and environmental regulations that may not have gained as much traction with a Romney White House.
“The administration hasn’t been shy about using their regulatory and administrative authority to drive their energy independence agenda,” said Beth Viola, an energy lobbyist at Holland & Knight and former environmental adviser to Vice President Al Gore. “There’s no reason to think they’ll do otherwise in a second term.”