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.

2. Coal country confronts EPA

Jared Gilmour/David J. Unger/Jake Turcotte

Coal is king in Kentucky, and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challengers Alison Lundergan Grimes have sparred to be the more pro-coal candidate. The only race where coal has bigger influence is West Virginia, where Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) is likely to snag the seat of retiring Sen. John Rockefeller (D).

The bruising race in Kentucky used to be tighter, but now it appears Mr. McConnell has a commanding lead in the polls and will win reelection. McConnell has made the case that a Republican Senate is better for the coal industry, and has tied Ms. Grimes to Obama’s coal-cutting EPA policies.

With McConnell Tuesday’s likely winner, the question then becomes: Will McConnell’s party flip enough seats to win the chamber, making him the presumptive Majority Leader?

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