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Will the House Leadership Shuffle Impact Energy Policy? Will the House Leadership Shuffle Impact Energy Policy?

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Will the House Leadership Shuffle Impact Energy Policy?


U.S. House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks during a media availability after a Republican Conference meeting December 13, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The House is scheduled to vote on a bill today that combines the Keystone XL oil pipeline, year-end payroll tax holiday and unemployment insurance in the final passage, which President Barack Obama has threatened that he will veto. (Alex Wong/Getty Images))

The unexpected defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has set off a leadership shuffle in the lower chamber that could have implications for domestic energy policy.

House Whip Kevin McCarthy of California is considered the front-runner in a bid for Cantor's leadership position. But McCarthy won't go unchallenged. Tea-party favorite Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho announced on Friday that he will also throw his name into the ring.


McCarthy has previously supported the wind production tax credit, but now opposes an extension. He has also said he is not ready to advocate for ending the decades-old ban on crude-oil exports, though he does support exporting natural gas. And if McCarthy wins the race of Majority leader that will also create an opening for Whip. 

What could the leadership shuffle mean for energy priorities in the lower chamber? Will the Republican Party move further to the right when it comes to pushing an energy agenda? Or has the GOP already gone as far in that direction as it can go? 

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