Trump Signs Executive Orders to Boost Oil, Gas Industry
President Donald Trump arrived in Texas on Wednesday to host election fundraisers in two counties that were pro-Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. In between the events, he made an appearance at the International Union of Operating Engineers International Training and Education Center in Crosby, Texas, where he signed two executive orders designed to help the oil and gas industry. The orders essentially make it harder for states to block pipelines and other energy projects.
He went on to say energy infrastructure is often stymied by special interest groups, “entrenched bureaucracies and radical activists”. He mentioned the state of Washington and New York specifically, saying "obstruction" on a gas pipeline "does not just hurt families and workers like you, it undermines our independence and national security".
He told the crowd that "American labor will always have a friend in the White House". And, while oil production in Texas has reached record highs, he believes more can be done.
The first order:
- Directs the Environmental Protection Agency to update federal guidance on the Clean Water Act
- Aims to legalize rail LNG shipments
- Removes barriers to investing in certain energy projects
- Compels two federal agencies to study and release reports on energy issues in New England and the West Coast
- Accelerates renewals for energy project right of ways
Through the second order, the State Department will be instructed to update the timeline for the permit process for cross-border energy projects to 60 days. Currently, the permitting process for pipelines and electricity transmission lines between the U.S., Canada and Mexico can drag on for years.
During his tenure as president Trump has made energy development a priority, and part of his efforts have included rolling back government regulations. Just last week, Trump issued a new permit for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline, sidestepping a court decision that shut down a previous authorization by his State Department. The pipeline will carry crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to the U.S. Midwest.
The lack of pipeline expansion and capacity in several key oil producing regions are hurdles that have continued to pose a challenge for oil and gas producers, especially in prolific U.S. shale basins such the Permian. It remains to be seen if Trump’s latest executive orders will go the distance in providing any relief.
The White House's official press release around the executive orders is posted here.
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