Republican Presidential Candidate Trump Promises Energy Deregulation

Published September 27, 2016

Speaking to approximately 1,500 gas-industry executives, managers, and salespeople at a Marcellus Shale Coalition conference in Pittsburgh, PA on September 22, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump committed to rescinding many regulations restricting fossil fuel production put in place by the Obama administration. As part of his “America-First Energy Plan,” Trump promised to lift restrictions on America’s “untapped energy—some $50 trillion in shale energy, oil reserves, and natural gas on federal lands, in addition to hundreds of years of coal energy reserves.”

Trump would end “all unnecessary regulations, and [place] a temporary moratorium on new regulations not compelled by Congress or public safety.”

As examples of the types of projects a Trump administration would approve, Trump cited an $850 million coal export terminal in Washington state, a $3 billion Northwest gas pipeline, and a $6.8 billion gas-export terminal, all projects halted or stalled by the Obama administration since 2012.

Trump said $33 billion in projects have been derailed by regulations, environmentalists’ opposition, and falling energy prices.

Prosperity From Fossil Fuel Development

Despite the Obama administration halting new coal, gas, and oil lease sales on public lands and passing new regulations limiting fracking and coal mining, Trump noted, the development of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on private and state lands has stimulated gas and oil production throughout the Marcellus and Utica shales, creating tens of thousands of jobs.

Mr. Trump promised new prosperity in the gas industry via deregulation, saying deregulation would lift gross domestic product by $100 billion a year and add 500,000 jobs annually in the next seven years.

In his speech, Mr. Trump also promised to “end the war on coal,” including rescinding a coal-lease moratorium and conducting “a top-down review” of all coal production limits and regulations restricting the use of coal to produce electricity issued by the Obama administration.

Rick Wasfy, a representative for a company which removes sand from gas wells after fracking told the Wall Street Journal he was satisfied with Trump’s speech.

Trump’s focus on deregulation showed, “he knows what he’s talking about,” said Wasfy.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., ([email protected]) is the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.