The November 8 victory of Donald Trump as the next President raises major questions about how his Administration will approach issues related to the proposed natural gas pipelines that ABRA and the POWHR coalition are fighting. Details of Trump’s plans for energy and environment issues and who he will appoint to administer them will be forthcoming in coming weeks. However, a review of Mr. Trump’s October 22 speech in Gettysburg, PA, in which he outlined his action plan for his Administration’s first 100 days in office, and postings on his new transition website (https://www.greatagain.gov/), provide relevant information:
- A requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;
- Lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward;
- Cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure;
- Lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal;
- Introduce the “American Energy & Infrastructure Act” that would leverage public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years;
- Reduce and eliminate all barriers to “responsible energy production;” and
- Scrap the $5 trillion dollar Obama-Clinton Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan.
It was revealed this week that a possible appointment to at least one of the two Republican vacancies on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may be filled yet this year. One rumored candidate is Neil Chatterjee, a longtime energy aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Chatterjee is a former lobbyist for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.