A Bright New Day for American Energy
The U.S. energy industry—and by extension, the American economy—is about to enter a new era of global dominance, as a result of two major turning points that occurred in the waning months of 2016: the election of Donald Trump as the next president, and the surrender of OPEC in the oil price wars.
Trump’s energy policy is vastly different than that of Hilary Clinton. Had she been elected, billions of dollars would have been invested in wind and solar energy programs and subsidies. By contrast, Trump has promised to cut green energy subsidies.
In a video Trump released to outline what he intends to accomplish during his first 100 days in the White House, he declared, “I will cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of high-paying jobs.”
Regulatory reform is sorely needed. A National Petroleum Council analysis found that a company needs permits from a dozen federal and state agencies just to explore for oil in the Arctic. Yet, the region is estimated to contain 90 billion barrels of oil and 30 percent of the globe’s natural gas reserves, and Russia and China are already staking claims there. Trump is likely to allow U.S. energy companies to compete for those resources. Also, according to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. government currently prohibits exploration and drilling on 85 percent of the off-shore area it controls.1 Trump could open it all to oil producers.
During the campaign, he also vowed to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP); reject the Paris Agreement on emissions limits; and increase production of coal and natural gas. Under the CPP, scenarios show that by 2030, electricity generated by coal would drop by 28 percent; without the CPP, it will increase by 5 percent.
The second major turning point for the U.S. energy industry was the announcement in December 2016 that Saudi Arabia and OPEC were going to cut oil production by 800,000 barrels per day...
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