Joe Biden’s election as U.S. president would bruise the oil industry’s hopes for a swift recovery from this year’s crash, with his proposed new drilling limits threatening to stifle production and leave the country more reliant on foreign supplies.

Even so, as some big producers begin a transition to cleaner energy and a shrunken sector nurses its wounds, the sector’s preference in November’s poll has become less clear-cut.

“A Biden victory will be a shot in the arm for oil’s competitors, putting the federal government’s weight behind the energy transition and low-carbon technologies,” said Amy Myers Jaffe, an energy policy expert and professor at Tufts University. “But a Biden win is the least of the oil industry’s problems right now. Tougher mileage standards don’t mean much if people can’t afford a new car.”

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