President Donald Trump laid out six new initiatives he believes will help achieve “American energy dominance,” including opening up new areas to offshore drilling and exporting more natural gas.
“We have near limitless supplies of energy in our country,” Trump told energy CEOs, lawmakers and others gathered in Washington, D.C., Thursday as part of “Energy Week.”
Trump announced new initiatives to expand U.S. energy trade and production. He said his administration would review nuclear energy policy to expand the use of reactors and lift Obama-era restrictions on financing overseas coal plants.
The Interior Department would also develop a new offshore drilling plan to open up more areas to energy development, Trump announced.
“We have so much more than we ever thought possible,” Trump said. “Under the previous administration, so much of our land was off limits to development.”
“America will be able to access the vast energy wealth,” Trump said. “The golden era of America is now underway.”
Trump also announced the approval of an oil pipeline to Mexico, which he joked would “go right under the wall.”
Trump also said the Energy Department would approve applications to export liquefied natural gas from Louisiana, and mentioned a U.S. company was in talks to ship gas to South Korea. The Obama administration reformed the natural gas export approval process in 2014. Trump could speed that process, but no plan to do so has been laid out.
Trump made energy policy a major feature of his presidential campaign, promising to repeal Obama administration global warming policies that restricted energy production. Trump also pledged to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
So far, Trump has rolled back Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations targeting coal-fired power plants and land use, and he’s signed legislation to repeal rules that would have forced more mines to close down.
Trump announced he would withdraw from the Paris agreement in June, upsetting some of his own administration and big corporations that favored staying in the accord.
Already having targeted EPA regulations, Trump’s been increasingly looking at barriers to energy development on public lands. The president lifted a moratorium on new coal mines and
Trump also put national monuments under review that possibly violated the Antiquities Act. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recently recommended shrinking the Bears Ears monument in Utah, which President Barack Obama created in 2016.
Environmentalists have obviously opposed Trump’s energy agenda. Activists have filed a slew of lawsuits to oppose Trump’s policies, including a lawsuit filed against the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall on the grounds it could harm endangered species.
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