President Outlines ‘America First’ Energy Policy

Shortly after taking office this past Friday, President Trump updated the White House website to outline his “America First” energy policy. If implemented, the plan would roll back overreaching climate regulations and promote energy development, ultimately leading to lower energy prices and reduced dependence on foreign oil.

As part of his campaign and later during his transition, Trump promised to remove restrictions on domestic energy development such as President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. His administration now predicts that rolling back these regulations could raise the wages of U.S. workers by as much as $30 billion over the next seven years.

PACE has written often about the vast stores of untapped energy resources in the United States, including the world’s largest reserves of natural gas, oil, and coal. An initial reading of the president’s plan is that these policy shifts would take full advantage of those resources, particularly the ones located on federal lands owned by the American people. For example, the administration plans to use revenues from energy production to rebuild roads and other infrastructure and support American agriculture.

“The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans,” a statement from the administration explains.

The administration’s statement details that President Trump remains committed to the growth of clean coal technology and has plans to help revitalize the U.S. coal industry. PACE has supported efforts to maintain coal as an energy resource for American electricity production, noting that future power demand will require not only more electricity generation, but generation resources capable of running with limited interruption.

“President Trump is committed to achieving energy independence from the OPEC cartel and any nations hostile to our interests. At the same time, we will work with our Gulf allies to develop a positive energy relationship as part of our anti-terrorism strategy,” the administration’s statement explains in relation to the nation’s oil interests.

Like all energy proposals, the administration’s plan deserves close scrutiny, especially in terms of how the plan could affect power customers and environmental measures. However, initial reviews are that many elements of the president’s plan would bring much-needed balance between power production and environmental regulation.