Thomas J. Donohue Thomas J. Donohue
Advisor and Former Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


February 20, 2017


America’s extraordinary supply of natural resources gives us an economic and strategic advantage that few other nations have. For years, however, overregulation and political posturing have prevented us from leveraging these resources to reach our full energy potential. That’s finally changing.

Since assuming office, President Trump has taken important steps toward capitalizing on America’s energy opportunities, including signing an executive order to accelerate the review of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. These critical infrastructure projects will create tens of thousands of American jobs, support affordable energy for businesses and families, and generate significant economic growth. Since the order was signed, the Dakota Access pipeline was granted final approval and resumed construction after many months of unnecessary delay.

For other current and future energy infrastructure plans, the president also took much-needed action to streamline permitting and expedite environmental reviews. In the past, numerous other pipeline construction projects got trapped in a web of bureaucratic procedures and reviews, many of which take years to complete. The projects are also attacked with costly and frivolous lawsuits from opponents of energy development. This is unacceptable. We need thorough, but timely, decisions on these projects, which are capital intensive for the companies that spearhead them and crucial to the workers and consumers who benefit from their construction.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also realizes the importance of energy infrastructure. In their meeting last week, President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau agreed on the need to cooperate on important pipeline development projects. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauds their shared commitment to job creation and energy development.

President Trump’s actions and executive orders regarding energy are welcome progress, but more remains to be done. The Chamber will push our leaders to continue prioritizing energy reforms and reverse Obama-era regulations designed to keep our energy in the ground. Our Institute for 21st Century Energy is working with Congress and administration officials to identify opportunities to responsibly develop more of our country’s resources, build energy infrastructure to move it around, and usher in the next generation of energy innovations.

It was Prime Minister Trudeau who said, “There isn’t a country in the world that would find billions of barrels of oil and leave it in the ground while there is a market for it.” Fortunately, our new leaders seem to agree. Our nation is equipped with vast resources—and it’s high time we put them to work on behalf of our businesses, our workers, and our economy.

About the authors

Thomas J. Donohue

Thomas J. Donohue

Thomas J. Donohue is advisor and former chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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