Washington’s Brookings Institution has joined the legions of think-tanks in projecting what might be expected in energy policy from the new Trump Administration. In a November 17 posting on the Brookings website, Professor David Victor of the University of California, San Diego, who is co-chair of the Brookings Institution’s Initiative on Energy and Climate, says:
With so little to guide predictions, the reality of a Trump presidency has become a national Rorschach test. Conservatives and the anti-establishment imagine an ascendant Trump will set a path for a more competitive national economy, smaller government, and a stronger defense. The left predicts a horror show of policy reversals and seediness. This Rorschach test is now playing out as the country grapples with what all this means for climate and energy.
Continuing, Professor Victor observes:
A Trump presidency presumably will ease the process for leasing on federal lands, although any such changes will surely be tied up in the courts as will efforts to speed approval of pipeline projects—where many states will defy the federal government as pipelines become a key symbol in the “keep in the ground” movement. Regulation by EPA of shale gas operations to reduce emissions of methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) and improve management of water that is used and produced in these wells will presumably be slowed or stopped. But it was already becoming clear that such rules would not have a ruinous effect on drilling—they would be, instead, a compliance cost that with effort would become easier to manage.