Trump Signs Executive Orders To Fast-Track Oil And Gas Pipelines

From The Daily Caller

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

  • President Donald Trump signed two executive orders to speed up oil and gas pipeline projects.
  • Trump seeks to curtail the ability of states, like New York and Washington, to kill vital energy projects.
  • New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo blocked gas pipeline projects, triggering an energy crunch in the northeast.

President Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders aimed at speeding up oil and gas pipeline permitting, including limiting the ability of activists and states to block key energy projects.

Trump signed the orders Wednesday at an International Union of Operating Engineers’ training center near Houston. Some labor unions have pushed back against Democrats’ anti-fossil fuel agenda, including the recently introduced Green New Deal.

Trump ordered federal agencies to speed up permitting for pipeline projects, including asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to curtail state authority to block projects under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The administration is responding to criticisms that some states have weaponized CWA permitting to block energy projects.

Trump speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition 2019 Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the Republican Jewish Coalition 2019 Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., April 6, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

For example, New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has blocked a number of natural gas pipelines from running through his state, depriving the northeast of much needed energy supplies.

The supply crunch hit hard during winter when the region was forced to import gas from Russia. New York City locals fear a moratorium on new gas hook-ups will stall commercial developments.

Across the country, Washington state, under Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, a 2020 contender, has blocked coal and oil export terminals planned along the Pacific coast. The state’s actions relied on a wide-ranging permit review that included factors that had nothing to do with water quality.

“President Trump is doing some spring cleaning on regulations used by no-growth advocates to stop infrastructure in its tracks and deny Americans the benefits our energy dominance promises,” Dan Kish, a distinguished senior fellow at the free market Institute for Energy Research, said in an email.

“President [Barack] Obama lamented the lack of shovel-ready jobs; President Trump is going straight to the operating engineers who will build our infrastructure to show how he will clean out the stables and make America stronger,” Kish said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks before signing the Red Flag bill, also known as the Extreme Risk Protection Order bill, in New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks before signing the Red Flag bill, also known as the Extreme Risk Protection Order bill, in New York, U.S., Feb. 25, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

However, Trump’s ability to curtail pipeline obstruction is rather limited without action from Congress.

The order also directs the Transportation Department to update rules for shipping natural gas by rail. It also asked the Labor Department whether or not climate activist shareholder resolutions violate the fiduciary duty of retirement funds.

Shareholders have approved resolutions at major companies, like ExxonMobil, to report on how global warming and climate regulations could impact future business operations. Likewise, some city and state pension systems have sought to divest themselves of fossil fuel assets over global warming concerns.

Environmentalists see shareholder resolutions and divestment as an effective way to keep fossil fuels in the ground in the absence of federal regulations.

“I applaud the Trump administration for scrutinizing those who use and abuse the ‘socially responsible’ claim,” Steve Milloy told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Milloy, a former Trump transition team member, and former coal executive Fred Palmer founded the group Burn More Coal to challenge shareholder resolutions being pushed by climate activist investors.

Indigenous leaders participate in protest march and rally in Washington

Indigenous leaders participate in a protest march and rally in opposition to the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines in Washington, U.S., March 10, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

“In my view, socially responsible investing is an investor fraud,” said Milloy, who is also the publisher of JunkScience.com.

Trump’s second order will clarify presidential authority for the approval of cross border pipeline permits, like the one he issued for the Keystone XL pipeline in 2017.

Despite Trump’s approval of Keystone XL, the project has been further delayed by legal challenges. The Obama administration initially rejected Keystone XL over concerns it would tarnish the U.S.’s image as a leader in the fight against global warming.

Follow Michael on Twitter

Advertisements

41 thoughts on “Trump Signs Executive Orders To Fast-Track Oil And Gas Pipelines

  1. Meanwhile, our “junior high” prime minister here in Canada is doing everything he can to block construction of pipelines.

  2. Two things jump out.

    The banner in the last picture.

    If we must die, we die defending our rights.” Sitting Bull

    After the Battle of the Bighorn, Sitting Bull retreated to Canada. The Canadians didn’t do anything to him but neither did they do anything for him. Thus reduced to starvation, he returned to America and meekly surrendered. He ended up touring with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

    The other thing:

    … President Trump is going straight to the operating engineers who will build our infrastructure to show how he will clean out the stables and make America stronger, …

    By cleaning out the Augean Stables in a single day, Hercules demonstrated his intelligence. For his brilliant accomplishment, he didn’t get much thanks though. link Let’s hope that, come next election, working Americans will be grateful enough to reward President Trump with their votes. Having to import natural gas from Russia should be sufficient demonstration that the Democrats are bent on destroying America.

    • About the Democrats trying to destroy America …

      A few years ago, some people were predicting that America would break up. Now we have Americans calling for a divorce. link Things really are getting bad.

      • There are many on the left, particularly the west coast, who want to split, as well. They are growing tired of not being allowed to change the country into a socialist paradise.

        The link you provided is a response to those left-wing demands. It represents these who wish to be left alone, and not give up the rights they currently exist.

        If you want the country to remain united, tell the West Coasters that to change the Constitution, it must be done via the Amendment process, not a packed Supreme Court, or unrestrained, illegal regulation supported by a willing judiciary.

      • The left has allowed the advocate groups to take over the legal system, enabling judges to make major political choices for us.

        If it is bad now, imagine what would happen if the Democrats get control of the presidency and congress.

        The problem is not the traditional left vs right.

        The left has shut down the normal thoughtful discussion of pro/cons and real constraints of all issues and options, in the press.

        We now have left proposals now which are impossible to implement. It is as if the left were unintentionally trying to sabotage the country.

        Immigration is a good example. Obama was for legal immigration. What has changed? The problem is not the logic of the problem but rather the political strategy of making everything a fight for political advantages, rather than working to find what is good for the country. We are not helping other countries by allowing immigration chaos.

        To speak correct, honestly, have real criticism of any of the ‘politically correct’ paradigms is to be a denier or some other derogatory name.

      • Canada is having the same problems. Our east and west coasts are the same as yours. Our prairie provinces are hard working resource extractors. One of the latest polls shoed 65% of Albertans supported separation. And Saskatchewan was at 50%.

        There is an obvious solution to be had. Take a swath from Texas to Alaska, joining all of the fly over states and provinces. The left coasts can beg for aid once their socialist utopia goes full Venezuela.

        Sadly they won’t be able to eat their pets which they will have granted voting rights to…

    • “commieBob April 11, 2019 at 12:52 am

      After the Battle of the Bighorn, Sitting Bull retreated to Canada. The Canadians didn’t do anything to him but neither did they do anything for him. Thus reduced to starvation, he returned to America and meekly surrendered. He ended up touring with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.”

      Not to overlook that for the rest of his life, Sitting Bull sold autographs, posed for pictures after getting paid and happily sold “Sitting Bull collectibles” to gullible tourists.

      Sitting Bull demonstrated his intelligence; learning to cope with capitalism, took advantage of people’s foolishness and even made friends with those considered his enemies at the time of his quoted statement on that sign.

  3. Your USA Democrats who we used to consider to be similar to our Australian Labour Party in their aims and aspirations, are far worse. Much closer to our Greens, who are to quote the old saying “Water Melons” Green on the outside but very red inside.

    To have to import Gas because of obstruction over pipelines is almost
    unbelievable to us.

    MJE VK5ELL

    • Mate, the Australian Labor Party is so worried about losing heartland inner suburban electorates around Australia to the Greens , they are competing with the Greens to pander to the bourgeois public servant class that has been taking over these former working class areas over the last few decades.

      The ALP cares more about these voters than their traditional working class base. The ALP likes to assume that rusted on voters will continue to vote for them even if they govern in a way that is contrary to their interests (e.g., creating an economic environment that promotes manufacturing jobs).

      Australia needs a great disrupter like Trump to come along.

  4. Careful, you’re dealing with environmental zealots that believe they are defending mother earth against white-privilege SUV’s. If they don’t get what they want by rioting and supporting favorable legal activity, they turn to sabotage. I have been a Director in five companies, and three of them had specific concerns about environmental sabotage, especially where something with a buzz-word could be involved, like cyanide, or radiation, for example. Gas pipeline explosion?

    • That represents a total growth of about eight-tenths of one percent for the eight years he was in office. He couldn’t slouch much more than that.

    • When did the permit process for those miles start? He often takes credit or is given credit for things that have nothing to do with his actions.

    • “richard April 11, 2019 at 3:06 am
      12,000 miles of pipeline were built under Obama’s watch so he was no slouch.”

      Given how hard Obama made obtaining necessary pipeline construction permits, it is surprising that Obama or Obama supporters would make that claim at all.

      One suspects that the majority of those pipeline miles were from permits prior to Obama or constructed locally under state permits.

      • Not surprising at all, sadly. Obama (and his supporters) have no shame, and unabashedly take credit for things they opposed and tried (and failed) to stop.

    • Here’s a comparison of the mileage at the end of 2008 (right before Obama took office) and the end of 2010:

      Crude oil
      2008: 50,963 miles
      2010: 54,728

      +3,765

      Petroleum products
      2008: 61,599
      2010: 64,752

      + 3,153

      Natural gas transmission
      2008: 303,182
      2010: 304,691

      + 1,509

      Natural gas distribution
      2008: 2,074,513
      2010: 2,095,690

      • Nice of you to only include those projects that were already in the works and couldn’t be stopped.
        Since Obama was in office for 8 years, why just look at the first 2?
        Didn’t the full numbers support the point you wanted to make?

    • “For some perspective, we looked at the miles added during the last three years of George W. Bush’s presidency. They tell a wholly different story: 63,243 new miles of small natural gas distrbution lines — more than Obama’s overall total. But crude oil? Just 756 miles. Petroleum products: 808 fewer miles in 2005 than in 2007. We’re not suggesting Obama has done better than Bush in this regard. The comparison simply reinforces the point that oil and gas supply and demand, and the industry’s response to it, results from decisions made far from the White House”

  5. Is Governor Cuomo colluding with Russia?

    New York blocked pipelines which would have delivered U. S. natural gas to the Northeastern states, forcing them to buy Russian gas.

    Collusion! Collusion!

  6. While I am in perfect agreement with and approve of the large scale move to passive investing (i.e., “indexing” arising from the overwhelming long-term evidence of its indisputable efficacy), one of the worrisome and largely unrecognized aspects is the tremendous (and terrifying) concentration of proxy voting rights in the hands of a very small group of individuals at places like Vanguard and BlackRock.

    As an investor, I have the very highest regard for Vanguard (as does Warren Buffett) and I always promote it; nevertheless, this concentration of proxy voting with respect to its possible effect on climate-related corporate governance is troubling.

    • In his own words:

      “There is a deep down, underneath all the work I do, I think there’s a laziness in me,” Obama said

  7. Canada is just as crazy.
    Radicals will not allow additional pipelines to the West Coast.
    Too many tankers on the pristine waters of the Pacific.
    Radicals will not allow a pipeline to transport oil from Alberta to the East Coast.
    They prefer to keep oil tankers plying the pristine waters of the Atlantic Ocean.b

  8. How anyone could possibly believe that Russia, who relies on oil for foreign exchange, would want Republicans to control the White House is absolutely beyond me. But I’ve even seen people say with a straight face that Democrats promoted oil exploration, instead of trying to block everything they can in deference to the anti-oil, greenie wing of their party.

  9. Environmentalists see shareholder resolutions and divestment as an effective way to keep fossil fuels in the ground in the absence of federal regulations.

    divestment is only effective for virtue signaling and has no effect on whether or not fossil fuels stay in the ground. Shareholder resolutions may be effective (assuming they can muster the votes needed to get the resolution passed), but you need to be a shareholder to make them which you won’t be once you’ve divested yourself of your shares. So divestment is an effective way to stop shareholder resolutions.

  10. Keep it up, President Trump!
    Stimulating energy supply and industrial growth is truly Making America Great Again and it’s driving the socialist democrats nuts!

    • ‘and it’s driving the socialist democrats nuts!’

      That IS one of the perks.
      And oh my GOD, how they’ve needed it.

    • Stimulating energy supply and industrial growth is truly Making America Great Again and it’s driving the socialist democrats nuts!

      That’s what’s known as a win-win.

      Still not tired of Winning!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *