(Bloomberg) — Oil drilling in the Arctic and the Pebble gold mine in Alaska aren’t actually on the ballot — but they might as well be.
The controversial projects are hanging in the balance of the presidential election, with Joe Biden’s vow to scuttle them. And dozens of other oil, gas and mining ventures planned across the U.S. face heightened risk of rejection or longer permitting times as the Democratic nominee focuses on promoting cleaner alternatives.
The threat extends even to some projects that already have federal permits. Lawsuits challenging government approvals create an opening for settlement agreements that result in more analysis and possibly canceled authorizations, said Height Securities LLC analyst Josh Price.
Conversely, Trump’s re-election would pose uncertainty affecting some renewable energy developers that would fare better under Biden, including companies seeking to build multibillion-dollar wind farms off the U.S. coasts.
There’s a “sliding scale of risk,” said Christi Tezak, managing director at ClearView Energy Partners. “Where you arrive on that scale is going to be increasingly influenced by the carbon intensity of the activities you’re engaged in,” she added.
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