President Donald Trump has unveiled the first of his administration's energy policy, promising to eliminate Barack Obama's environmental regulations and use revenue from oil and gas production to fund infrastructure projects.
The president's “An America First Energy Plan” was posted on the WhiteHouse.gov webpage explaining how Trump plans to govern the nation's energy and environmental policies. The page states Trump's administration will eliminate environmental regulations it says are holding back US economic growth while increasing fossil fuel production of oil, gas and clean coal.
A page detailing climate change initiatives added during the Obama years was noticeably absent.
Trump's energy plan is light on specifics, however, it did say it would end Obama's Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the US rule.
Launched in 2013, the Climate Action Plan was a series of goals and programmes to reduce carbon pollution and increase clean energy deployment in an attempt to avoid some of the worst effects of climate change.
The Waters of the US rule set rules defining which rivers, streams, lakes and marshes fall under the Environmental Protection Agency's jurisdiction.
The energy plan tied these regulations to economic growth, saying that ending these restrictions will increase wages by $30 billion over the next seven years. The plan also states the Trump administration will “embrace” shale oil and gas production in the US.
“We will use the revenues from energy production to rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure,” the plan states.
Trump may be set on rewriting the US's energy policy, but there is only so much of his predecessor's legacy he can undo.
Solar and wind generation soared during the Obama years and in recent years became cost-competitive with fossil fuels. Renewables as a whole accounted for 13 percent of the US's energy generation as of 2015, with another 33 percent coming from natural gas.
Aiding this growth has been tax credits that provide developers and utilities with federal subsidies to invest in renewables. A renewables tax credit extension was passed in 2015 that puts the credits in effect until 2019. Trump has not mentioned whether he will seek to end this policy.