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2016 election: Impact on energy policy

Nov 15 2016
What a Donald Trump victory will mean for U.S. energy policy
Republican President-elect Donald Trump has shared a vision for changing the direction of U.S. energy and environmental policies. Trump wants to roll back many of President Barack Obama’s climate regulations, such as the Clean Power Plan, which requires reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions from electric power plants. Passing legislation that modifies environmental requirements under the Clean Air Act may be challenging, especially in the Senate.

Congressional reform of renewable fuel standard possible in 2017
President-elect Donald Trump has said positive things about the Renewable Fuel Standard, yet many of his fellow Republicans in Congress would like to dismantle the program. House Republicans may try to pass RFS reform legislation (H.R. 704, for example) in 2017, which Trump likely would sign. While that bill wouldn’t completely gut the program, it would significantly lower the biofuel targets. Some Democrats have expressed concerns about the program and may not try to block anti-RFS bills.

Trump likely to remove damper on coal output on federal land
Republican Donald Trump probably will seek to reverse President Barack Obama’s moratorium on new coal leases on federal land, and he doesn’t need the green light from Congress to do so. Obama’s Jan. 15 announcement of the moratorium laid the groundwork for an eventual halt to that production — almost 400 million tons a year, or about 40% of U.S. coal output. By contrast, the Clean Power Plan is expected to reduce demand by about 230 million tons from the 2015 level.

State control of oil leases for federal land unlikely with Trump
Efforts to give state agencies more control over oil, gas and coal production on federal land would face high hurdles, even under Republican President-elect Donald Trump. Congress would need to pass legislation authorizing such a change, which it’s unlikely to do even though the Republican Party platform calls for it. The federal government is the largest U.S. land owner, yet most oil and gas production is on private property. The Interior Department now has oversight on land owned by the federal government.

Greater offshore drilling access possible under Trump presidency
The U.S. Interior Department on March 15 announced a plan that blocks oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic Coast, though Republican President-elect Donald Trump could reverse the decision. The Republican platform calls for greater offshore access for oil and gas producers, including a proposal to allow production on the outer continental shelf. If Trump pushes forward such a plan, he may face opposition from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia lawmakers.

Power sector’s gas use may deflate if Trump stops anti-coal rule
Republican President-elect Donald Trump wants to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which may lead to decreased natural gas use in electric power. Switching from coal to natural gas is one way for utilities to cut their carbon emissions and meet the rule’s requirements. An analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed power-sector natural gas use declining about 11% by 2030 without the regulation in place.

This analysis is by Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Rob Barnett, Cheryl Wilson, James Evans, Andrew Cosgrove, Vincent G Piazza and Kit Konolige. It appeared first on the Bloomberg Terminal, via Bloomberg Professional

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