Beyond Donald Trump’s advocacy for American energy independence, his stance on specific energy policy during his campaign was often blurry. Today, the Wall Street Journal discussed President-elect Trump’s victory at the polls as a victory for the coal and oil industries.
Republican Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president promises relief for U.S. coal miners, a boost for American oil players and fresh uncertainty for Western energy companies’ plans to return to Iran, as he seeks to undo eight years of Obama administration energy policy.
During the debates, Trump promised to save coal jobs and criticized Hillary Clinton’s promise to work towards eliminating coal as a power source, due to its potential for carbon pollution and its contribution to climate change.
The past two years have been tough on the oil and gas industry. More regulation, in addition to low energy prices, have curbed drilling. As the rig count tentatively rises, energy industry experts anticipate a more oil-friendly future with Trump:
“In relative terms, the oil and gas industry is a clear winner with the new president. Pipeline players and suppliers first, then all shale players, followed by the conventional ones” said Mr. Andlauer. “U.S. oil companies have a better future today than yesterday.”
However, the Journal notes that increase in coal mining activity could potentially hurt natural gas producers, who have filled the energy gap as coal is phased out.
Supporting domestic coal production could free some gas for export, meaning more liquefied natural gas going to crowded markets such as Europe. That could also further depress prices for LNG, of which there is a large oversupply globally.
Since Trump’s policy decisions are less than clear, the many are poised in anticipation as President-elect Trump prepares for office. With speculation over Harold Hamm as the new energy secretary, it could shape up to be a positive year of growth in the energy sector, thanks to what many consider friends of the industry in decision-making roles as the new administration takes up residence in Washington.