Elections 2014: 5 races that will shape US energy

Energy is an outsize issue in many of the closest midterm elections. From coal in Kentucky to oil in Louisiana, these five races will influence the future of US energy and environmental policy.

5. A politically charged climate

Jared Gilmour/David J. Unger/Jake Turcotte

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) of New Hampshire would have been able to tout her popular bipartisan energy efficiency bill as the major accomplishment of her Senate career – had the bill passed the Senate. Instead, partisan squabbling tanked the legislation earlier this year.

Now, Ms. Shaheen finds herself in a competitive contest with former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, a moderate Republican. Democrats and environmental groups have attacked Mr. Brown for supporting Keystone XL and for equivocating when asked if humans influence climate change. Shaheen says the US has a “moral obligation” to act on climate change, and environmental groups have spent heavily to attack her opponent.

The race between Brown and Shaheen will help test how much climate change matters to voters in a moderate state like New Hampshire.

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