Apr 20, 2017 - 10:30am

Congress Can Lock in Trump’s Energy Gains


Senior Editor, Digital Content

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U.S. Capitol dome seen through the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

Early on in his time in office, President Donald Trump has made great strides on energy. Unlike his predecessor who only paid lip service to embracing all of America’s energy abundance, President Trump is advancing policies he expects will “start a new energy revolution.”

In Oil & Gas Financial Journal, Karen Harbert, president and CEO for the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy lists off some of President Trump’s accomplishments:

Moreover, at the time of this writing, numerous additional measures were just set in motion, including an executive order declaring energy independence a strategic national priority, initiating withdrawal of EPA's Clean Power Plan, reversing the Obama Administration moratorium on federal lands coal leasing, and repealing National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) guidance aimed at making mitigation of upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions a condition of federal environmental permitting.

As of press time, the Trump administration has already taken executive action to:

  • advance permitting decisions for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines;
  • rescind an EPA data-collection program on methane emissions for oil and gas facilities-a precursor to eventual regulation;
  • withdraw the Environmental Protection Agency's "Waters of the US" rule;
  • repeal restrictions on fracking on federal lands; and
  • sign Congressional Review Act legislation repealing the Bureau of Land Management's anti-coal "Stream Protection Rule."

But Harbert notes Congress needs to lock in these gains:

Reining in federal agencies, however, is no substitute for legislation. Many of the administrative actions the president has taken are subject to similarly straightforward reversal by future chief executives.

The good news is that members of Congress are eager to get to work and motivated by the opportunity to collaborate with a supportive president. Groundwork is underway. Key congressional leaders have announced their intent to pursue updates to the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and NEPA-not to undermine important environmental protections, but to prevent regulators and activists from perverting statutory intent as a means to block investment and energy production. We are even more optimistic about changes to the way regulations are developed, through the Regulatory Accountability Act, and bipartisan infrastructure legislation that could help ease energy bottlenecks.

 

When both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue work to unshackle America’s energy sector, good jobs, rising wages, and stronger economic growth will follow.

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About the Author

About the Author

Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content

Sean has written for various Chamber properties since 2011. In 1999, Sean launched a “weblog” and never looked back, becoming a self-proclaimed pioneer of the medium.