Trump paves way for U.S. energy infrastructure development

Photo: U.S. President Donald Trump.

“When it comes to the future of America’s energy needs, we will find it, we will dream it, and we will build it.”  -- President Donald J. Trump

HOUSTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed two Executive Orders to streamline Federal processes surrounding energy infrastructure development. First, the President signed an Executive Order (EO) to address regional and local energy supply constraints, and to promote an efficient energy market. Among the planks in this EO are:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency will review and update the “outdated guidance” regarding certification under section 401 of the Clean Water Act.
  • The Department of Transportation will update its regulations to reflect the modern Liquefied Natural Gas development ongoing in the U.S.
  • The EO addresses regulatory and permitting barriers to financing new energy infrastructure, and prioritizes the safe operation of existing infrastructure on Federal lands.

Trump also signed an Executive Order to improve the process for issuing Presidential permits for certain cross-border infrastructure projects. Planks of this EO include:

  • The EO clarifies that any decision to issue or deny a permit shall be made solely by the President.
  • The Secretary of State will continue to receive permit applications and provide advice to the President on whether a project would serve U.S. foreign policy interests.

In an official statement, the White House said that Trump is “promoting an efficient domestic energy market that creates jobs and provides affordable, reliable energy to consumers.” Central to that goal, said the statement, are the following points:

  • The President’s Executive Orders will strengthen America’s energy security by improving U.S. ability to efficiently, reliably and cost-effectively transport energy resources.
  • Inefficient energy infrastructure forces Americans to depend on energy that is more expensive and less reliable.
  • Improving permitting processes and increasing regulatory certainty will support American ingenuity and create more jobs for American workers. Outdated and burdensome Federal guidance and regulations, said the White House, cause confusion and uncertainty, leading to project delays, lost jobs, and reduced economic performance.
  • A more efficient cross-border permitting process is good for the American economy. Important cross-border projects will generate significant state and local tax revenues that can be invested into American communities, said the Trump administration.

Today’s actions were taken as part of Trump’s commitment to responsibly developing the nation’s “abundant resources and advancing American energy dominance.”
Meanwhile, industry groups were quick to praise the President’s actions.

"IPAA consistently has supported development of much needed infrastructure to transport America’s oil and natural gas resources to consumers. Therefore, it supports the efforts of President Trump in issuing his Executive Orders (EO) to encourage this development. In particular, IPAA supports the aspect of the EO that calls on EPA to update the interim 2010 guidance over permitting under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA)," said IPAA executive V.P. Lee Fuller.

“Today’s actions represent meaningful progress to address some of the most pressing issues that commonly result in permitting delays, and we applaud the Trump Administration for tackling this problem. These actions will help increase predictability and transparency which are both necessary to drive investment in energy infrastructure," said U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute acting president Christopher Guith.

"The President understands the importance of adequate  energy infrastructure to American consumers and businesses who need affordable and reliable energy, and especially to the men and women who build energy projects and support their families and communities with the great jobs these projects create," said Toby Mack, president and CEO of the Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA).


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