In the final weeks leading up to President-elect Donald Trump being sworn into office as President of the United States, the current sitting president, Barack Obama, is doing everything in his power to enact new legislation before he signs off. Of particular not to President Obama is environmental legislation. As Trump rounds out his Cabinet with friends of the oil and gas industry, is it possible that some last minute legislation will prevent President-elect Trump from realizing his dreams for a drastically expanded energy industry throughout his administration?
Trump is Preparing to Dive Into the Oil and Gas Industry Full Force
In spite of how you might personally feel about some of President-elect Trump’s campaign promises throughout the election, his ideas about the oil and gas industry have always been great comfort to the millions of Americans who rely on the industry (even tangentially) for their well-being. After Trump’s election victory, the President-elect has put the pedal to the metal to realize those promises.
So far, each of Trump’s Cabinet appointees have a working relationship with the industry, which is nothing but good news. Unfortunately, for industry advocates, it seems that President Obama is working overtime to nail down some roadblocks the incoming President will have to hurdle if he wants to improve the nation’s oil and gas infrastructure.
Obama’s Efforts to Protect the Environment Are Coming Quickly
It would be hard to suggest that Obama’s 2016 environmental policies were a knee jerk reaction to Trump’s election, however, it’s hard not draw a connection between Trump’s win and the increasing speed with which new environmental legislation is drafted. Since Trump’s election on November 8, Obama has forwarded the following pieces of legislation:
The Department of Interior enacted a five-year ban on Arctic drilling, which would take the Trump administration considerable effort to overturn.
The administration began to restrict oil and gas companies’ release of methane into the environment, which would essentially require a federal court to overturn.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began to consider conservation efforts for more than 300 “potentially imperiled species”.
What Obama’s Last Minute War Means for Oil and Gas
Ultimately, there are far more opportunities for the expansion of oil and gas than President Obama is able to curtail in his short time left in office. What’s more, with a concerted effort, most of Obama’s legislative efforts are reversible. It helps that Trump has a lot of momentum and backing among Congress and individual state legislatures across the country.
Though the onus will be on the states and Congress to put forth the primary efforts to undo Obama’s attempts to hamstring oil and gas expansion, Trump’s voice will play a role in expediting those efforts. That said, should the President-elect choose to stay on message, it should only be a matter of time before Obama’s efforts are just a memory.