Oil Policy in Texas and Elsewhere Can’t be Ignored by Trump’s New Political Order
Trump Election Shakes Up Oil Policy—Energy Journalhttp://on.wsj.com/2fUxP6J Neanda Salvaterra 11/10/2016
Donald Trump’s surprise victory in Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election has fanned expectations that he would clear the path for new oil pipelines, end U.S. participation in global climate change pacts and boost American oil output and coal mining.
Mr. Trump has promised to revive several oil projects rejected by President Obama. During the campaign, Mr. Trump invited TransCanada Corp. to reapply to complete the transcontinental Keystone XL pipeline linking Canada’s oil sands to the Texas Gulf Coast after the Obama administration rejected it in 2015.
The Trump administration may also reconsider an Interior Department rule limiting hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas wells on public lands, and an Environmental Protection Agency provision bringing more small waterways and wetlands under federal protection.
Mr. Trump has also promised to reverse Obama-era environmental regulations on mining and burning coal that are widely blamed in America’s coal country for the wave of bankruptcies, mine closures and layoffs the industry has suffered through the last decade.
The president elect has also indicated that he would withdraw Mr. Obama’s climate rule cutting power-plant carbon emissions, which is already facing a legal challenge that is almost certain to reach the Supreme Court.
A federal appeals court decision on that regulation is expected in coming months, and a Trump administration could take the opportunity to opt out of defending the rule.
CARBON-TAX MEASURE FAILS IN WASHINGTON STATE
Meanwhile, voters in Washington state rejected a ballot measure that would have created the nation’s first carbon tax as a tool to combat climate change, reports Cassandra Sweet.
The proposal, Initiative 732, would have imposed a new tax on gasoline and other fossil fuels and cut the state’s sales tax and taxes on manufacturers. It would have given tax credits to low-income earners.
The measure garnered only 41.5% of the vote after encountering opposition from some environmental groups as well as energy companies and large power users.
The Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists and some other environmental groups said they opposed it because they didn’t expect it to boost renewable energy.
OPEC OIL OUTPUT EXPECTED TO REMAIN HIGH
The International Energy Agency said OPEC’s oil production rose to record highs in October and is expected to remain elevated this month, highlighting the challenge the cartel will face hammering out a plan to cut output at its meeting later this month, writes Selina Williams.
OPEC crude output rose by a 230,000 barrels a day to a record high of 33.83 million barrels a day in October, well in excess of the high-end of its proposed output range. Production recovered in Nigeria and Libya and flows from Iraq hit an all-time high of 4.59 million barrels a day.
The cartel’s task of trimming global oil supplies is further challenged by producers outside the cartel, such as Russia, Brazil, Canada and Kazakhstan, which are also ramping up the amount they produce, the IEA said.
Oil prices were steady Thursday after the IEA’s report, putting a lid on bullish sentiment. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.7% to $46.70 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were unchanged at $45.27 a barrel.