President Trump Announces Executive Orders For Energy Industry

Alan Scaia
April 11, 2019 - 8:19 am
 U.S. President Donald Trump

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - President Trump spent Wednesday in Texas, where he announced two executive orders he says will make it harder for states to block construction on oil and natural gas pipelines.

The president announced the orders at a union hall in Crosby, northeast of Houston.

"My action today will cut through destructive permitting delays and denials," the president said. "You know those delays where it takes you 20 years to get a permit? Those days are gone."

One order would limit the action states can take to block the shipment of liquefied natural gas. New York has blocked the construction of pipelines, preventing producers in Pennsylvania from moving LNG to market.

"Prices of natural gas in New York and New England are much higher than the rest of the country because they don't have easy access to that source of natural gas, even though it's right on their doorstep," says Dr. Richard Denne, the director of the TCU Energy Institute.

The second order would take authority to build pipelines across international borders from the Secretary of State and place it with the president.

The orders would allow the transport of liquefied natural gas in approved rail cars and require the Environmental Protection Agency to meet with states and tribes before approving rules to comply with the Clean Water Act.

While the orders may affect other parts of the country more than Texas, Denne says he understands why the president came to Texas to make the announcement.

"Obviously, he's doing it because he knows he's going to get a friendly audience. If you gave the same talk in New York, you might not get that reaction," Denne says. "But if you did it in front of a union, it might get a good reaction there as well because it is a lot of jobs."

The governor of New York says he would fight "tooth and nail" to block the orders. Andrew Cuomo says states must have a role in determining the location of pipelines.

The president has called on OPEC to increase oil production to slow a rally in prices. Denne says increased production from overseas would lead to a drop in prices but also slow production in Texas.

"The president's kind of playing a game there where he wants low prices of gas, but if it goes too low, that would put the brakes on production in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford," Denne says.

Denne says producers in Texas can now turn a profit on cheaper oil than during the last drop in prices in 2014. OPEC kept production steady because a short-term drop in prices was less costly than losing market share to countries that were taking advantage of new production.

"They were playing a game of chicken with Texas, and Texas won," Denne says. "We just figured out how to do it better and do it cheaper. We're reaping that reward now."

In 2018, the US passed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world's biggest producer of crude oil.