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Trump pledges 'bold action' on US energy, broad regulatory reform

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Trump pledges 'bold action' on US energy, broad regulatory reform

Washington — US President Donald Trump Friday said his administration was preparing efforts to expand US oil, natural gas and coal production.

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"We're preparing bold action to lift the restrictions on American energy," Trump said during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, outside Washington.

The 50-minute speech was light on details, with Trump repeating claims he would boost US fossil fuel production and cut regulation.

Related: Find more content about Trump's administration in our news and analysis feature.

While Trump said he supported federal regulations that protect the environment and worker safety, he suggested that roughly 75% of those regulations were "repetitive" and "horrible" for business.

While he did not identify specific regulations he was targeting for repeal, the administration and Congress have already repealed the Interior Department's Stream Protection Rule, a coal mining regulation and a US Securities and Exchange Commission regulation requiring US-traded oil, gas and mining companies to report payments to foreign governments. The House of Representatives has also passed a measure to roll back Interior's methane rule, aimed at curbing venting, flaring and leaking from oil and gas operations on federal lands. The Senate could vote next week on that measure.



Analysts expect the White House to target a number of regulations opposed by the domestic oil and gas industry, including limits on offshore drilling, stricter fuel economy standards and limits on methane emissions.

During an appearance at CPAC Thursday, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon indicated that the Trump administration was going to overhaul the US regulatory system.

"If you look at these Cabinet appointees, they were selected for a reason," Bannon said. "The way the progressive left runs is, if they can't get it passed, they're just going to put it in as some regulation in an agency. That's all going to be deconstructed. And I think that's why this regulatory thing is so important."

Following Friday's speech, Trump signed an executive order that requires all federal agencies to set up "regulatory reform" task forces to "evaluate existing regulations and identify candidates for repeal or modification."

The order follows a related effort by Trump requiring federal agencies to eliminate two existing regulations for each new regulation finalized.

"To hold the task forces accountable, agencies will measure and report progress in achieving the president's directives," the White House said Friday in a statement.

Last month, Trump signed memos aimed at increasing the pace of approving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access crude pipelines and called for a Commerce Department report on requiring pipelines within US borders to be made with US steel. "If they want a pipeline in the United States, they're going to use pipe that's made in the United States," Trump said Friday at CPAC.

Trump, who is scheduled to give an address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday, highlighted Friday his priorities while in office this year, including health care, tax reform and renegotiating trade deals, including the North American Free Trade Agreement.

--Brian Scheid, brian.scheid@spglobal.com

--Edited by Valarie Jackson, valarie.jackson@spglobal.com