fracking

Gas, oil and coal exports from the US set to surge as Trump relaxes regulations

US President Donald Trump will unveil plans to reduce regulations in the energy sector in order to boost his country’s production of oil, natural gas and coal and export it around the world.

Trump will deliver an address on his administration’s new mantra of “energy dominance” at the Energy Department, officials told reporters. They declined to give any indication as to how the regulations would be tweaked and failed to acknowledge that the fossil fuel export market is already doing well even without these proposed changes.

“We’ve gone from the age of scarcity now to the age of abundance when it comes to American energy,” Mike Catanzaro, a White House energy policy aide, told reporters.

“We want to use those abundant resources for good here at home and for good abroad as well,” Catanzaro said.

Trump’s speech comes a week before he meets in Warsaw with leaders of a dozen central and eastern European nations who are eager to see more US liquefied natural gas (LNG) in their markets as an alternative to Russian gas.

Trump is stopping at the summit on his way to the G20 in Hamburg, Germany, where he is expected to meet face-to-face for the first time in his presidency with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Shipments of LNG will play a big part in the “energy dominance” strategy, Energy Secretary Rick Perry told reporters, but so will exports of coal and US technology that helps reduce emissions from coal-fired plants, he said.

Perry said he discussed the potential for US coal exports to Ukraine with President Petro Poroshenko during his visit to Washington last week.

The Trump administration believes in an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy, Perry said, borrowing the energy catch-phrase of the Obama administration.

US domestic energy prices have plunged in recent years because of the natural gas boom, crowding out competing sources of power, including coal and nuclear. Dozens of nuclear power reactors are in danger of shutting down over the next several years as a result.

The Trump administration wants to make sure the United States remains “technologically and economically engaged” in the nuclear industry, Perry said. “If we do not, then China and Russia will fill that void,” he said.

He said the administration would not be “wildly supportive” of subsidising any sectors of the energy industry. Perry said energy supports in the tax code would be examined as the administration and Congress look at tax reform later this year.

“I think we’ll have a good healthy conversation about the energy sector and tax incentives, subsidies - all of that needs to be on the table and we need to have a conversation about it,” Perry said.

In May it emerged that the Trump administration was considering “safeguard” tariffs to be placed on solar panels imported into the US as a way to protect domestic industries. 

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