Thanks to a sweeping new executive order last week, the United States took a large and long-overdue step toward achieving energy independence. President Trump declared the promotion of U.S. energy resources a strategic national objective; ordered a review of all energy regulations, including the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP); and reversed multiple other misguided Obama-era policies restricting our energy sector. Together these actions will unleash domestic energy production and support large-scale economic growth and job creation.
America has a diverse and unparalleled supply of energy resources, giving us a massive economic advantage over other nations. The previous administration chose to restrict access to these resources under the guise of protecting the environment—even though many of its measures would have done little to advance this goal, instead merely shifting jobs and growth to other countries. The Trump administration’s actions last week reflect an understanding that the environment and the economy do not need to be at odds. America’s energy innovators are able to safely and cleanly leverage our resources when government supports, rather than opposes, their efforts.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has led the fight against many of the restrictive Obama-era regulations that will be reviewed or rescinded under President Trump’s order, including the CPP. The plan is the poster child of ill-advised regulations, aiming to radically transform the electricity sector through rules that impose tens of billions of dollars in costs on businesses and consumers. That is why more than 160 challengers took legal action against EPA to block the CPP, including 28 states and a Chamber-led coalition of 16 national business groups.
The Chamber is confident that the Trump administration’s review of the CPP will reveal the plan’s damaging impact and result in it being fully rescinded. We also expect that the administration’s stated goal of identifying “all regulations, all rules, all policies ... that serve as obstacles and impediments to American energy independence” will lead to additional badly needed policy reversals in the federal agencies.
All the measures included in the executive order represent a long-awaited realignment of the federal government’s approach to the energy sector. Our nation’s natural resources belong to the American people, and it’s up to our free enterprise economy to convert these resources not only into energy but into jobs, growth, and prosperity for all. The Chamber is prepared to help the administration and Congress continue to advance this mission in the months and years to come.