Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2012

Romney vs. Obama and U.S. Energy Policy

by Rawi Abdelal and Kaitlyn Tuthill


In 2012, the energy sector in the United States was demanding major reform. Prices of oil and gas had continued to cripple the middle and lower class as the U.S. economy slowly recovered. At the same time, the U.S. lagged behind developed economies in production of renewable energy. The acceptance of climate change remained a partisan issue. The development of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) promised an abundance of accessible, cheap, domestically produced natural gas, but the cost to the environment remained a point of debate. As incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama faced Republican opponent Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, their (and their parties') stances on energy policy and the environment differed in several major areas. The results of the election would shape the country's energy policy for at least the next four years and potentially create enough momentum to set energy policy of the United States for many years to come.

Keywords: Mitt Romney; Barack Obama; energy; election outcomes; Weather and Climate Change; Renewable Energy; Political Elections; Policy; Business and Government Relations; Public Administration Industry; United States;


Abdelal, Rawi, and Kaitlyn Tuthill. "Romney vs. Obama and U.S. Energy Policy." Harvard Business School Case 713-050, October 2012.