Cornerstone has issued its Third Quarter 2020 U.S. Energy Issues Matrix as the presidential election approaches and the oil and gas industry begins what appears to be a slow recovery from the commodity price and demand collapse led by the COVD-19 crisis. The red issues stayed the same as the pandemic, price collapse, climate and environmental policies and U.S. elections continue to act as the guiding force for the industry. The continued concern over flight of investment capital away from fossil energy was another dominant theme during this quarter.
Three issues, an Executive Order on Bulk Power Systems (BPS), Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Reform, and nuclear Waste policy, all moved to the left on the matrix, as the likelihood has decreased for any policy changes prior to an election.
As we move through Q4, all eyes are focused on the election results and their impacts on energy and climate policy, the ability of Saudi Arabia to maintain OPEC discipline and the recovery of energy demand and prices.