Late last month, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) directing all executive departments and agencies to “immediately review existing regulations that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources and appropriately suspend, revise, or rescind those that unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources beyond the degree necessary to protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law.” The EO goes on to further define “domestic energy resources” as oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources.
Though the EO signed by the President fulfills one of his campaign promises to rescind regulations on the energy sector that he believes are “overly burdensome and impact job creation,” the electricity industry is expected to continue down the path toward decarbonization. According to a Utility Dive survey conducted in early 2017, “utilities expect to source more power from renewables, distributed resources, and natural gas in the coming years, while coal will continue to decline.” Though there is still much uncertainty about what the EO will mean for the domestic energy sector, one likely outcome is that whatever actions are taken by the current administration will be challenged in the courts. These challenges will add another layer of policy uncertainty on an industry that relies upon a stable policy environment when making capital investment decisions.
The Wall Street Journal: Despite Trump Move on Climate Change, Utilities’ Shift from Coal Is Set to Continue
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Additional Contributing Author: Rizwan Aslam
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