May 16, 2024 - Energy & Environment

Study: $1T in the balance on election day

Illustration of a checkmark that turns into a series of dollar signs.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A new analysis sees much lower investment in U.S. low-carbon projects if Donald Trump beats Joe Biden.

Why it matters: Wood Mackenzie has taken a stab at putting numbers around the election outcomes.

The big picture: Their "base case" sees $7.7 trillion in capital investment from 2023-2050, a tally that includes fossil fuels and low-carbon sources alike.

  • But power changing hands informs a "delayed transition" that sees $1 trillion less on the low-carbon side — even though an outright repeal of the 2022 climate law is highly unlikely.

How it works: Trump policy changes would directly and indirectly deter some climate-friendly energy investments.

  • For instance, backing off EPA emissions rules, less DOE loan office support, and new corporate tax cuts that result in less monetization of IRA incentives, to name just a few.

The bottom line: Energy transition will continue. But the pace — already too slow for "net zero" goals — will be dictated in no small part by November's result.

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