With the election already long behind us (with many still calling for a recount), attention has turned to what President-elect Donald Trump will do. Of course, the tradition is for the incumbent to release a first 100-day plan; and this new president has followed suit, leading with a promise to roll back energy regulations.
Very straightforward, he says, “I will cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of high-paying jobs.”
Of course, industry officials applaud this claim, with many insisting they need higher prices in order to increase the rate of production.
Accordingly, Independent Petroleum Association of America executive vice president Lee Fuller comments, “To get the full blown benefit of all the reserves out there, you need a higher and stable price.”
For now, then, Mr. Trump (and his advisory team) have rallied against OPEC. For example, energy-advisory firm Rapidan Group president Robert McNally notes, “He is operating from this widespread view, formed in the 1970s, that OPEC is manipulating the price of oil to the detriment of the U.S.”
McNally is also a former National Security Council adviser for energy (serving under President George W. Bush.)
The hope would be, then, that a boom in US energy production would offer more opportunity to “strengthen our ties with our allies and friends and gives us commercial leverage,” as described by Kathleen Harnett White, who is a former environmental regulator in Texas and currently a policy fellow at conservative, Austin-based think tank, the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
And if you look at our capabilities, this mission appears perfectly probable—but only if we have the prices (and revenues) to support it.
At the same time, it could easily be argued that Trump is just doing this to improve his public image. Former Colorado governor Bill Ritter explains, “The popularity of the U.S. president is directly related to the price of gasoline at the pump.” Now the director of the Colorado State University Center for the New Energy Economy, he goes on to say, “You are in really dangerous territory if a president impacts