Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg

Freeing the U.S. From OPEC No Longer Just a Dream: Bloomberg Government Energy

In one way, President Trump has a very real path to success.

Donald Trump took the oath of office Friday amid an ominously darkened sky and hooded anarchists smashing windows in downtown Washington. His inaugural address may have had its admirers, but its talk of "carnage" and "tombstones" certainly failed to unite a skittish nation.

To all of this, we’re here to tell you that in one way President Trump has a very real path to success. An America First Energy Plan, posted on the White House website soon after noon on Friday, said he would focus on lowering energy costs and "freeing us from dependence on foreign oil."

"President Trump is committed to achieving energy independence from the OPEC cartel and any nations hostile to our interests."

Weaning the U.S. from OPEC’s whims has long been a goal of American leaders -- at least rhetorically. From the days of Richard Nixon that’s been a pledge of U.S. presidents. But Bailey Lipschultz and Mark Shenk say that unlike those earlier calls, Trump may actually be able to succeed. U.S. imports are back up, but because of the shale boom U.S. production is up and there’s scope for it to rise further.

"Signs point toward possible energy independence," they say. "To achieve that, though, the country may need to reconsider a push for exports that was supported by Republicans. Since scrapping restriction on sales to countries other than Canada at the end of 2015, U.S. crude exports have risen to more than 700,000 barrels a day."

ICYMI: For more on what the Trump team has planned, see Jennifer Dlouhy’s story that ran Friday.

Separately, Friday’s order to halt the publication of new regulations put four energy efficiency standards on hold, according to the Washington Post.

Also Today

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to vote on the confirmation of Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state today at 4:30 p.m.

Tweet of the Day

Quote of the Day

"I am happy to see the President immediately commit to advance coal technology and fuels that will help our nation ensure reliable baseload generation," Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, said in a statement. "The last administration’s energy policy crippled my state and this change will be welcomed in West Virginia. I have spoken with the President regarding the importance of fossil energy to our economy."

Chart of the Day

Other Priorities

Trump’s White House also listed these energy priorities:

  • Scrapping the Clean Power Plan and WOTUS rules
  • Boosting U.S. drilling on federal lands
  • Committing to "clean coal technology" and to reviving the coal industry
  • "Refocusing" EPA on its essential mission of protecting our air and water.

Clean Coal Ain’t Cheap

A U.K. competition to spur carbon capture and storage technology that was scrapped in 2015 was on track to cost taxpayers about 8.9 billion pounds ($11 billion), the National Audit Office said Friday. That was up from the estimate in 2012 of 2 billion pounds to 6 billion pounds in capital and operational costs. The U.K. Treasury scrapped plans for the funding, dealing a blow to companies including SSE Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Alstom SA, which were hoping to win support for projects that demonstrate the technology.

Shocked, Shocked

As faux controversies go, let’s put this one at the top for the still nascent Trump administration: A number of publications reported the shocking news that the White House website was scrubbed of references to climate change. Except, well, that’s not exactly correct. The Obama-era White House site was archived, and the Trump-era website -- with its priorities!! -- was put up. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 18 months, it should be obvious that the Trump administration takes a different view on climate change to the Obama team. Agree or disagree with that viewpoint, but don’t be shocked that Trump placed his own energy plan on the White House website.

Related articles from the Washington Post, New York Times and Mother Jones are here:

Meanwhile, in California

Trump put the brakes on climate change goals; California hit the accelerator. The state issued its plan on Friday for how it will bring emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The proposed plan continues the Cap-and-Trade Program through 2030 and includes a new approach to reduce greenhouse gases from refineries by 20 percent.

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