Arielle Campanalie Associate Editor // acampanalie@gie.net

The oil industry is enjoying a very merry holiday season with the price of oil rallying at $50/bbl after The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reached its first deal to cut oil production since 2008 – signaling its return to managing supply in world markets.

Tipping the scale in favor of fossil fuels is President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team for energy, further suggesting an oil industry rebound for the next four years. With the incoming administration’s agenda, a Republican-majority Congress, and recent OPEC decision, 2017 could finally see a boom for manufacturing and exploration in the fossil fuel industry.

The Trump team, reportedly “shaking things up” by avoiding registered-lobbyist recruitment, is interviewing current agency officials about ongoing policies and recommending candidates for the incoming administration. The team features Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, as head of the Energy Department transition operation. Though not-registered, Pyle has long lobbied for Koch Industries and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, which could mean good news for the long-depressed oil and gas manufacturing industry.

Running Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) working group is Myron Ebell, leading climate contrarian and director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Ebell has often criticized Obama’s Clean Power Plan as illegal. Leading the Department of Interior’s transition operation is Doug Domenech, former Virginia secretary of natural resources. Domenech is director of the Fueling Freedom Project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which aims to “build a multi-state coalition to push back against the EPA’s unconstitutional efforts to take over the electric power sector by regulating CO2 via the Clean Power Plan.”

Though the Clean Power Plan and other renewable energy funding might come to a halt, global clean energy efforts will advance sustainable energy manufacturing.

Trump’s developing energy policy
  • Cancel Paris climate agreement, cut off U.S. support for U.N. climate change programs. Ratified globally, U.S. influence could be substantial
  • Lift energy production restrictions. Trump plans to lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas, and clean coal
  • Curb EPA influence. Trump said of the EPA he will, “get rid of it in almost every form”
  • American Energy and Infrastructure Act. A policy to leverage public-private partnerships and private investments – through tax incentives to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment during the next 10 years
  • Open on-shore and off-shore leasing on federal lands, shale energy deposits, eliminate moratorium on coal leasing. Stated in Trump’s America First Energy Plan

With these significant goals, I look forward to learning Trump’s plans for actionable steps capable of achieving the strong American workforce he has promised. — Arielle