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Energywire will not be published Monday, Jan. 15. It returns Tuesday, Jan. 16.

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SPOTLIGHT

1. ENERGY POLICY

How would a Romney EPA shape shale's future?

The 2012 presidential contest has featured a spirited debate between President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney over who is the true friend of shale gas. There is a widely shared prediction that a Romney administration would apply a significantly looser -- or more supportive -- hand on the industry, depending on one's perspective. But how far could a Romney U.S. EPA really go in trying to slow the shift from coal-fired power plants to gas generators? Would a second-term Obama EPA try to use a climate argument to tighten federal rules over fracking operations that have been primarily under state regulatory control?

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