A cornerstone of President Donald Trump’s agenda has been to promote domestic energy production, create jobs and improve economic growth, and he has directed federal agencies to replace or repeal burdensome and outdated regulations that stand in the way of these objectives.
Accordingly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reviewed the previous administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). Many believe the agency greatly exceeded its authority by promulgating the CPP, which is why 150 entities, including 27 states, 24 trade associations, 37 rural electric co-ops and three labor unions challenged the rule. A majority of Congress formally disapproved of the CPP, and the Supreme Court stayed its implementation —an unprecedented intervention by the nation’s highest court.
Aside from legal concerns, the CPP’s punitive demands on energy providers would have unnecessarily raised electricity prices, decreased the competitiveness of America’s manufacturers, cost Americans jobs and undermined the nation’s energy security. For example, an economic analysis by the National Economic Research Associates found that the CPP could have caused double-digit electricity price increases in 40 states.
Unfortunately, low- and middle-income Americans, many of them minorities and senior citizens, would have borne the brunt of that burden. According to a 2015 analysis of energy prices, middle-income Americans spend nearly 20 percent of their after-tax income on residential and transportation energy; low-income Americans spend more than 20 percent.
The Trump administration’s plan respects the law, promotes energy independence and supports economic growth and job creation. EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy rule (ACE), would restore the states’ proper role under the Clean Air Act and our system of federalism. Our plan would allow states to establish standards of performance that meet EPA emissions guidelines. Unlike the CPP, the ACE rule would not interfere with states as they construct diverse, reliable energy portfolios that can provide affordable energy to fuel economic growth.
ACE also would update EPA’s New Source Review (NSR) permitting program. Previously, NSR regularly discouraged companies from employing the latest energy-efficient equipment. Our NSR updates would remove regulatory barriers and further incentivize our nation’s power plants to upgrade their facilities in an environmentally beneficial way.
EPA takes its Clean Air Act responsibilities seriously and is committed to providing certainty to state and industry partners. We will not use our authority to pick winners and losers in the energy marketplace. Rather, our proposal would permit states to make energy decisions based on what works best for them rather than what the federal government tells them to do. The era of top-down, one-size-fits-all federal mandates is over.
Our rule also would ensure that America remains the gold standard for energy production and environmental protection. From 2005 to 2017, U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 14 percent, according to the Energy Information Administration, while global emissions increased over 20 percent.
Additionally, since 1970, total emissions of the six criteria air pollutants (carbon monoxide, lead, ground-level ozone, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide) established under the Clean Air Act have dropped 73 percent, while the economy grew over 260 percent.
The bottom line is that the United States is achieving energy dominance while reducing energy-related carbon emissions and improving air quality and public health. No other nation in the world can claim likewise.
The CPP would have stunted this progress through regulatory overreach. It threatened energy security and prosperity to produce a negligible impact on the climate by the year 2100. Under the ACE rule, carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector will continue to fall.
Reliable and affordable energy is the foundation of America’s strength. Without it, our prosperity and security can fall outside our control.
The president understands this. His administration is repealing unnecessary barriers to energy development at an unrivaled pace. EPA is acting to provide the states and the energy sector the regulatory certainty they need to continue our environmental progress while providing modern, reliable energy that all Americans can afford.
Andrew Wheeler is Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. This op-ed appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on August 21, 2018.
President Trump is working to rebuild America’s Energy and He has made America the source of Energy for the world. President Trump will be signing two executive orders today:
The first order will direct the Environmental Protection Agency to update federal guidance on the Clean Water Act, seeks to legalize liquefied natural gas shipments by rail, speeds up renewals for energy project right of ways, seeks to remove barriers to investing in certain energy projects and compels two federal agencies to study and issue reports on energy issues in New England and the West Coast.
Under the second order, the State Department will be directed to speed up the permit process for cross-border energy projects to 60 days. The current permitting process for pipelines and electricity transmission lines between the United States, Mexico and Canada can take years.
Americans have long been told that our country is running out of energy, but we now know that is wrong. America’s energy revolution has produced affordable, reliable energy for consumers along with stable, high-paying jobs for small businesses—all while dropping carbon emissions to their lowest level in 25 years. American energy policy must balance environmental protection with economic growth in order to encourage innovation, discovery, and prosperity. Source: The White House
Presidential Permit – 3/29/2019
By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States of America, I hereby grant permission, subject to the conditions herein set forth, to TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. (hereinafter referred to as the “permittee”), to construct, connect, operate, and maintain pipeline facilities at the international border of the United States and Canada at Phillips County, Montana, for the import of oil from Canada to the United States. The permittee is a limited partnership organized under the laws of the State of Delaware, owned by affiliates of TransCanada Corporation, a Canadian public company organized under the laws of Canada.
This permit supersedes the Presidential permit issued to the permittee, dated March 23, 2017. For the avoidance of doubt, I hereby revoke that March 23, 2017, permit. Furthermore, this permit grants the permission described in the previous paragraph and revokes the March 23, 2017, permit notwithstanding Executive Order 13337 of April 30, 2004 (Issuance of Permits With Respect to Certain Energy-Related Facilities and Land Transportation Crossings on the International Boundaries of the United States) and the Presidential Memorandum of January 24, 2017 (Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline).
The term “Facilities,” as used in this permit, means the portion in the United States of the international pipeline project associated with the permittee’s application for a Presidential permit filed on May 4, 2012, and resubmitted on January 26, 2017, and any land, structures, installations, or equipment appurtenant thereto.
The term “Border facilities,” as used in this permit, means those parts of the Facilities consisting of a 36-inch diameter pipeline extending from the international border between the United States and Canada at a point in Phillips County, Montana, to and including the first mainline shut-off valve in the United States located approximately 1.2 miles from the international border, and any land, structures, installations, or equipment appurtenant thereto.
This permit is subject to the following conditions:
Article 1. (1) The Border facilities herein described, and all aspects of their operation, shall be subject to all the conditions, provisions, and requirements of this permit and any subsequent Presidential amendment to it. This permit may be terminated, revoked, or amended at any time at the sole discretion of the President of the United States (the “President”), with or without advice provided by any executive department or agency (agency). The permittee shall make no substantial change in the Border facilities, in the location of the Border facilities, or in the operation authorized by this permit until the permittee has notified the President or his designee of such change and the President has approved the change.
(2) The construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of the Facilities (not including the route) shall be, in all material respects and as consistent with applicable law, as described in the permittee’s application for a Presidential permit filed on May 4, 2012, and resubmitted on January 26, 2017.
Article 2. The standards for, and the manner of, construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of the Border facilities shall be subject to inspection by the representatives of appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies. Officers and employees of such agencies who are duly authorized and performing their official duties shall be granted free and unrestricted access to the Border facilities by the permittee. Consistent with Article 10, this permit shall remain in effect until terminated, revoked, or amended by the President.
Article 3. Upon the termination, revocation, or surrender of this permit, unless otherwise decided by the President, the permittee, at its own expense, shall remove the Border facilities within such time as the President may specify. If the permittee fails to comply with an order to remove, or to take such other appropriate action with respect to, the Border facilities, the President may direct that possession of such Border facilities be taken — or that they be removed or that other action be taken — at the expense of the permittee. The permittee shall have no claim for damages caused by any such possession, removal, or other action.
Article 4. When, in the judgment of the President, ensuring the national security of the United States requires entering upon and taking possession of any of the Border facilities or parts thereof, and retaining possession, management, or control thereof for such a length of time as the President may deem necessary, the United States shall have the right to do so, provided that the President or his designee has given due notice to the permittee. The United States shall also have the right thereafter to restore possession and control to the permittee. In the event that the United States shall exercise the rights described in this article, it shall pay to the permittee just and fair compensation for the use of such Border facilities, upon the basis of a reasonable profit in normal conditions, and shall bear the cost of restoring Border facilities to their previous condition, less the reasonable value of any improvements that may have been made by the United States.
Article 5. Any transfer of ownership or control of the Border facilities, or any part thereof, shall be immediately communicated in writing to the President or his designee, and shall include information identifying the transferee. Notwithstanding any transfer of ownership or control of the Border facilities, or any part thereof, this permit shall remain in force subject to all of its conditions, permissions, and requirements, and any amendments thereto, unless subsequently terminated, revoked, or amended by the President.
Article 6. (1) The permittee is responsible for acquiring any right-of-way grants or easements, permits, and other authorizations as may become necessary or appropriate.
(2) The permittee shall hold harmless and indemnify the United States from any claimed or adjudged liability arising out of construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of the Facilities, including environmental contamination from the release, threatened release, or discharge of hazardous substances or hazardous waste.
(3) To ensure the safe operation of the Border facilities, the permittee shall maintain them and every part of them in a condition of good repair and in compliance with applicable law.
Article 7. The permittee shall file with the President or his designee, and with appropriate agencies, such sworn statements or reports with respect to the Border facilities, or the permittee’s activities and operations in connection therewith, as are now, or may hereafter, be required under any law or regulation of the United States Government or its agencies. These reporting obligations do not alter the intent that this permit be operative as a directive issued by the President alone.
Article 8. Upon request, the permittee shall provide appropriate information to the President or his designee with regard to the Border facilities. Such requests could include, for example, information concerning current conditions or anticipated changes in ownership or control, construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of the Border facilities.
Article 9. The permittee shall provide written notice to the President or his designee at the time that the construction authorized by this permit begins, at such time as such construction is completed, interrupted, or discontinued, and at other times as may be requested by the President.
Article 10. This permit shall expire 5 years from the date of its issuance if the permittee has not commenced construction of the Border facilities by that date.
Article 11. This permit is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees or agents, or any other person.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, have hereunto set my hand this twenty ninth day of March, 2019, in the City of Washington, District of Columbia.
DONALD J. TRUMP