We supported President-elect Obama from almost day one on NHO, because he promised common sense and collaboration. His victory confirms what we've been saying about how it's a whole new world since the financial crisis started.
How long will we be stuck with old thinking in UK energy markets, with entrenched ideas of Reaganesque/Thatcherite market solutions that deliver a worst case solution of high carbon and high cost? For a while yet, but change may arrive sooner than many think. The writing is on the wall for energy businesses who act like it's 1999: embrace change or get swamped by it.
Obama has promised, and there is absolutely no reason to doubt him, that energy is high on the agenda. The financial collapse actually makes a new approach to energy more compelling and more likely, not less as some UK observers think.
Pointers here from among others Roger Ballentine big in the Clinton Adminstration on energy and among those who will be picking up the pieces after 8 years of neglect:
Climate policy and energy policy must be locked at the hip and the falsehood that good climate policy and good energy policy are in conflict needs to be debunked. Policies that invest in and increase energy efficiency should be among the first policies out the door – this allows a discussion about both reducing energy costs and reducing greenhouse gases as one and the same. A national goal and a concrete plan to increase our efficiency across the board should be job one.
Speaking as someone with Anglo-American roots, we've often been frustrated with the UK's often slavish adherence to US policies. We still reject that, but now in the interests of at least being consistent, let us hope the UK will continue to follow US. We certainly don't need decoupling on energy policy.