Trump to bring high energy presidency

Steve Maley:

Judging from Cabinet-level appointments and names being mulled, Donald Trump intends to claim the title of Energy President. Consider:
  • Rex Tillerson at State.
  • Rick Perry at Energy.
  • Ryan Zinke at Interior.
  • Scott Pruitt at EPA.
  • Gen. James Mattis at Defense.

Of these, Interior is key. They set leasing policy on Federal and tribal lands, collect royalties, and regulate safety and permitting for offshore oil. Zinke, from Montana, has supported the Keystone XL pipeline and western coal. Montana is also an oil-producing state. Industry knows how to develop American mineral resources without sacrificing the environment. Offshore regulation needs to become less oppressive and more pragmatic. Given Zinke’s bio (geologist, MBA, Navy SEAL commander), it’s safe to assume he has the requisite leadership skills.

Why is Defense important? The Army Corps of Engineers regulates the nation’s wetlands and waterways. Permit approvals are notoriously slow. A take-charge SecDef could patiently explain to the Corps the urgency of this task; I’m fairly sure they’ll see things Mad Dog’s way. There’s also the stalled Dakota Access Pipeline, which would bring 500,000 barrels of Bakken crude to refineries in the Midwest, replacing more expensive (and dangerous) rail transport.

The Keystone XL pipeline was hung up at State before Obama unilaterally nixed it. Trump really doesn’t need Tillerson on board (as if that were a hurdle); State’s authority derives from an Executive Order, which President Trump may choose to reverse using his phone and pen.

Energy has already had a shot fired across their bow. Good luck on the follow-through, Mr. Perry. [Willis Eschenbach speculates how the new regime might dismantle DoE. Excellent read.] And Mr. Pruitt – a litigant against EPA as AG of Oklahoma – is set to spoil EPA’s picnic with the green groups.

Beyond that, what could President Trump do?

Open ANWR, for starters. Alaskan North Slope production has declined steadily to about 450,ooo barrels a day (down from almost 2 million bpd at its peak). Without more North Slope drilling, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System throughput will decline to its critical minimum — about 200,000 barrels a day — in just a few years. (Graph below.)
There is more.

Maley also speculates that Trump may impose an import tariff on oil giving domestic producers and advantage.

I would add to this list energy and environmental lawyers who can fight off the anti-energy left's attempts to thwart the growth of domestic energy.  The "keep it in the ground" left will do everything it can to run up the cost of domestic production.  They need to attract top energy litigators from major law firms in Houston and Dallas who can deal with the attacks.

The lawyers will be the ground troops to see that the policy is enforced.


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