On Tuesday, February 4, President Donald Trump gave the State of the Union Address for 2020. Although his remarks on the energy industry were brief, they were historic:
Thanks to our bold regulatory reduction campaign, the United States has become the number one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world, by far. With the tremendous progress we have made over the past three years, America is now energy independent, and energy jobs, like so many other elements of our country, are at a record high. We are doing numbers that no one would have thought possible just three years ago.
A promise fulfilled
A long line of past Presidents promised American energy independence. Now, at last, it’s ours. This is due in large part to President Trump. He realized that for this country to have national security like it never had before, he would need to rescind many of the regulations put into place during the Obama administration.
Repealing the redundant
On December 29, 2017, he repealed a rule of redundancy. It was put into place to create a framework of oversight, disclosure, and operating standards “to ensure the environmentally responsible development of oil and gas resources on Federal and Indian lands.” This rule, however, was a redundant burden on the industry. It required operators to submit fracking applications to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for approval about a fracking well’s structural integrity. When that rule was made, it must have been overlooked that the BLM already had “an extensive process in place to ensure that operators conduct oil and gas operations in an environmentally sound manner that protects resources.” Plus, all of the states that have fracking already have laws or regulations in place addressing the process.
The repeal of this particular rule also did away with an undue financial burden on the industry. It’s regulatory compliance costs would cost the industry between $14 million to $32 million. And that isn’t counting the price of litigation. When the rule was enacted, it was suspended immediately pending litigation. So rescinding it thankfully saved the industry and government a lengthy litigation process.
Nearly a year before repealing the above rule, President Trump signed orders advancing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Thanks to him that pipeline has been up and running since June of 2017. It transports 570,000 bpd, moving 40% of the Bakken’s daily oil output. The North Dakota Petroleum Council’s President remarked, “We think this is a great step forward for energy security in America.” Considering our new-found energy independence, he couldn’t have been more correct.
There is much more for which President Trump is responsible. Here are just a few items:
- Limiting the ability of states to block interstate energy projects, including pipelines, under a provision of the U.S. Clean Water Act.
- Withdrawing the United States from the Paris agreement.
- Proposed rolling back limits on methane emissions at oil and gas operations.
President Trump has made it quite clear he knows the energy industry is the backbone of this great nation. And he is actively working to protect it.