Andrew Wheeler of B&D Consulting and other energy experts predict that energy policy, which has been ignored during the Republican presidential primary contest, will emerge as an issue during the general election, according to the Politico article, "GOP Agenda: What Energy Debate?"
Energy "will grow in importance as more information comes out on Solyndra and other things like that," said Wheeler, a member of the energy, climate and environment group at B&D Consulting and former Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Republican staff director.
After cap-and-trade legislation died in Congress in 2010, the Obama administration began pushing clean energy initiatives instead. These included the Department of Energy stimulus program that gave the now-defunct solar manufacturer Solyndra a $535 million loan guarantee, framing it as jobs creation rather than a green issue, Politico reported.
Republican candidates have used the Solyndra situation as a talking point to argue that the government should stay out of clean energy investment and as a factor in their support of fossil fuels.
The Republican candidates share similar energy policy positions, including support for fossil fuels and offshore drilling, and opposition to environmental regulations. Because of the consensus among candidates, the primary contest has featured very little discussion of energy and environmental policies.
Political analysts predict that once a single candidate emerges from the primaries, energy issues will become increasingly prominent in the campaign as a way to attack President Barack Obama, according to Politico.