By the time this article is published, the 2020 Presidential Election will be over and we will have either re-elected President Donald Trump or elected Joe Biden as the new President.
Personally, I’ve never experienced the kind of emotion, passion, and tension across our nation involving previous Presidential elections. Understandably, as citizens, we are all anxious about the final results impacting our financial futures, growth of GDP, stock market valuations, and our individual financial welfare.
The significance of this year’s election impact for main street entrepreneurs—as our nation’s primary innovative developers and employers—will shape the future of our country and our nation’s role in the world economy. Many have said this election is the most important election of our lifetimes.
With the COVID-19 pandemic creating havoc on many small businesses and our strong economy declining to possible recession levels, the consequences and path forward for the country will be shaped around the stark policy differences which exist between the two candidates.
Historically, business owners have associated current governmental policies with the officeholder. In my opinion, many business owners desired Trump to retain his office as the president because his policies were considered to be pro-business and thus beneficial to business owners.
I believe most economic issues that many business owners and entrepreneurs contemplated as they selected their 2020 candidate related to taxes, with regard to corporate tax rates, individual tax rates, capital gain tax rates, and estate valuation tax policies.
As a business owner, I identify with my fellow colleagues as we struggle to accomplish successful and profitable operations during these tumultuous economic conditions. As an oil and gas industry business owner whose family has been in the industry for over 100 years, the question is how our industry will survive and fare during the next presidential term?
With the hesitancy of the markets to direct capital into oil and gas investments and an excessive amount of debt impacting a number of the industry giants, which is already challenging the industry, the abrasive effect of the coronavirus pandemic has crushed demand, instigating a free fall of crude prices.
With a Biden victory, the industry will likely encounter additional policy challenges regarding tax incentives and reduction of regulatory policies promoting a significant departure from our reliance on fossil fuels. In contrast, with a Trump victory, expansion of drilling and development of offshore and federal lands will likely occur, as well as, the expansion of our domestic mid-stream industries with an emphasis on the Keystone Pipeline System.
Trump specifically favors the use of the federal subsidy funding program to promote new drilling permits on federal land and offshore development. Biden’s plan currently proposes no federal subsidies or issuance of new drilling permits on federal land or offshore development. Opponents fear these bans in a Biden administration could cost thousands of industry jobs, as well as threaten U.S. energy independence.
Regardless of who wins, many experts see oil prices beginning to recover in 2021 to a per barrel price range of $50 to $60 per barrel.
No one has a crystal ball, however, due to low oil and gas commodity prices and minimum investment capital currently being deployed for oil and gas investment, in my opinion, a strategic participation opportunity now exists in the oil and gas industry. What I am confident of is, as our nation experiences these challenging times, America’s business owners and entrepreneurs will provide the majority of our nation’s innovations and provide employment opportunities for our fellow countrymen.