As we near the 50-day mark of the Trump administration, I thought it was time for a quick update on federal energy initiatives. President Donald Trump spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last Friday, February 24, in Maryland and then addressed a joint session of Congress last night, February 28. In both speeches, President Trump touted his efforts and plans to unleash the U.S. energy industry.
CPAC is sponsored by the American Conservative Union, which is one of the earliest conservative organizations. It was founded in 1964 as a response to the defeat of Senator Barry Goldwater for president and has focused on liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values, and strong national defense. The first CPAC took place in 1974 and the headliner was California Governor, and future president, Ronald Reagan.
In his CPAC speech, as reported by Platts, President Trump pledged to cut regulation and boost fossil fuel production. The Platts' article noted that in January, Trump signed memos aimed at increasing the pace of approving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access crude pipelines and called for a Commerce Department report on requiring pipelines within U.S. borders to be made with U.S. steel: "[i]f they want a pipeline in the United States, they're going to use pipe that's made in the United States," Trump said Friday at CPAC.
During his address to Congress, President Trump did not dwell long on energy related issues, but he did specifically mention both the Dakota and Keystone pipelines and stressed that there would be tens of thousands of new jobs created, and that all the pipelines would be made with U.S. steel. Not mentioned was the linkage between new royalties and lease payments paid by the industry for the right to drill on federal land and the trillion dollar infrastructure initiative, which I previously discussed in January. It is clearly an unprecedented initiative that would bolster the industry and rebuild our nation’s transportation infrastructure.
We are still in the early stages of the Trump administration, but it is clear that unleashing the energy industry is a priority. And that is good news for U.S. energy workers.