In less than two weeks in office, President Donald Trump is working to usher in a new era for American energy companies. He’s begun rolling back efforts to combat climate change and is pushing for federal approval of controversial, new infrastructure projects — such as the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.
There is guarded optimism among fossil fuel companies as they wait and see, along with everyone else, how Trump will deliver on his promises to boost American energy production. But his win has also been a major blow to many environmental groups, climate scientists and others who worry about the administration’s disregard for science and policies aimed at protecting public health and the natural world. They’re now steeling themselves for a long, hard fight.
Not surprisingly, President Trump sounds a lot like candidate Trump.
“The shale energy revolution will unleash massive wealth for American workers and their families,” he told oil and gas executives in Pittsburgh last fall.
With that in mind, on his first day in office, the Trump administration deleted information on climate change from the White House’s official website and posted a new America First Energy Plan. It calls for rolling back environmental regulations and promoting the further development of fossil fuels, particularly the nation’s shale oil and gas.
This is good news to people like David Spigelmyer, who heads the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a trade group representing natural gas producers. “We’re optimistic because we believe that free market enterprise will work, and that energy options won’t be taken off the table,” Spigelmyer says. “All sources of energy will be given an opportunity to compete.”