By Ryan Sitton
April 28, 2017
This weekend marked the end of President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, and what a productive 100 days it has been for the oil and gas industry.
For eight long years the industry suffered at the hands of an anti-fossil fuel administration set on regulating operators out of existence. In just 100 days, President Trump has made more progress promoting responsible energy production than Obama did in two terms.
First, President Trump announced his America First Energy Plan. This plan outlines Trump’s vision that energy policy should be based on sound science and data, not politics. The plan also calls to attention the fact that all Americans want clean, reliable and affordable energy, and to produce that, we need an all-of-the-above strategy.
I had the honor of interviewing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt recently, and he echoed President Trump’s sentiments. Both the President and Cabinet understand the importance of developing energy to our national security, and further acknowledge that economic growth and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive. We can create jobs AND sustainably maintain and protect our natural resources, and we will.
In his Energy Independence Executive Order, Trump calls for the expansion of offshore drilling and review of overly burdensome and duplicative federal regulations, among other oil and gas related items.
President Trump has also made great use of the Congressional Review Act, an act that had only been used once since it was created in 1996 to undo duplicative and unnecessary federal regulations. Trump has signed 14 Congressional Review Act resolutions so far, which will save American taxpayers $10 billion in repealed regulations.
Among other things, the resolutions require The White House to:
– Review the cost of the Clean Power Plan
– Review EPA’s Waters to the U.S. regulation
– Clear regulatory burdens to small businesses
– Lift the moratorium on onshore coal leasing
– Begin a plan to reorganize or eliminate wasteful government agencies
– Give the HHS Secretary the discretion to provide states with the flexibility under Obamacare.
At a time when we’re seeing oil prices beginning to rise, Texas production reaching record highs, new investments in the Permian Basin, and new refineries and pipelines being planned, peeling back federal regulation is more important than ever. As President Trump said, “Today we’re unleashing American energy and clearing the way for thousands and thousands of high-paying American energy jobs.”
Keep in mind, all of this occurred in just the first 100 days. As a regulator of all oil and gas activity in the state, I am excited to see what President Trump will do over the next four years.