North American Oil & Gas Pipelines

FEB 2017

North American Oil & Gas Pipelines covers the news shaping the business of oil and gas pipeline construction and maintenance in North America, including pipeline installation methods, integrity management innovations and managerial strategies.

Issue link: http://digital.napipelines.com/i/786027

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 17 of 43

I'm writing this column in mid-January, before the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump and while his cabinet nominees are amid Senate confirma- tions. By the time you read this, Trump will be president, and many, if not all, of the cabinet nominees will be confirmed. A number of these nominees could play a significant role in developing policy and rules that will impact the oil and gas pipeline industry. As such, it's time for a little political "hot stove" talk about the new president's energy team. Here, I'll identify a few important, energy-related government positions, highlight the Trump administration's anticipated lineup, review the starting players' statistics and make a few projec- tions about the upcoming season. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame manager Casey Stengel once told his baseball team: "All right everyone, line up al- phabetically according to your height." Taking our cue from "The Old Perfessor," let's start our analysis with the cabinet positions, listed in alphabetical order. SECRETARY OF ENERGY "The mission of the Energy Depart- ment is to ensure America's security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions." The Secretary is responsible, among other things, for the country's nuclear weapons program, nuclear reactor production for the Navy, energy conservation, energy research and domestic energy production. Nominee: Rick Perry (66) is the son of a West Texas cotton farmer, a graduate of Texas A&M and a former Air Force of- ficer. He served as Texas governor from 2000-2015 and twice ran unsuccessfully in the Republican presidential primaries, including in 2016. Perry would replace Ernest Moniz (72), who helped negotiate the nuclear agreement with Iran. Projection: When running for Presi- dent, Perry suggested that the DOE be abolished. Whether Congress abolishes the department, which was established in 1977 during the Carter administra- tion, remains to be seen. But look for him to support fossil fuels more and re- newable energy less than his predecessor. SECRETARY OF INTERIOR "The Department of the Interior pro- tects and manages the Nation's natural resources and cultural heritage; provides scientific and other information about those resources; and honors its trust re- sponsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities." The Sec- retary oversees several agencies, includ- ing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which has responsibility for more than 10 percent of the land in the Unit- ed States and one-third of the country's minerals. As a general matter, the depart- ment's policies have a significant impact on the western United States, where much of the federal land and resources are located. Nominee: Ryan Zinke (56) was born and bred in Montana. The son of a plumber, he attended the University of Oregon on a football scholarship as an offensive lineman. Afterward he became a Navy SEAL, served in the Montana State Senate and most recently was elected the sole representative of Montana in the U.S. House, serving on the Natural Re- sources and Armed Services committees. Zinke campaigned for North American energy independence. He would replace Sally Jewell (60). The current BLM Direc- tor is Neal Kornze, whose replacement has not yet been nominated. Projection: Under Jewell and Kornze, BLM issued controversial regulations im- pacting oil and gas production on federal and Indian lands. The regulations, which were part of the Obama administration's climate change agenda, include 1.) the Fracking Rule, which imposed limitation of hydraulic fracturing and impacted more than 10 percent of the country's natural gas production and 5 percent of its oil production and 2.) proposals to reduce waste, such as a prohibition of venting, limitation on the rate of routine flaring during the development of oil wells. Zinke and the new BLM Director are expected to promote access to oil and gas resources on federal lands. SECRETARY OF STATE "The [State] Department's mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosper- ous, just and democratic world and fos- ter conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere." Additionally, the State Department is involved in the process of granting a Presidential Permit to authorize the construction and opera- tion of pipelines that cross the border between the United States and Canada or Mexico. Nominee: Rex Tillerson (64), grew up in Texas and received an engineering degree from the University of Texas. Af- ter graduation, he went to work for Exx- on and is now the CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp. He never worked in government, but has negotiated deals with foreign governments, including Russia. Tillerson would replace John Kerry (73). Projection: On Nov. 6, 2015, Kerry "de- termined that the national interest of 18 North American Oil & Gas Pipelines | FEBRUARY 2017 napipelines.com WA S H I N G T O N WA T C H By Steve Weiler Political Hot Stove Talk U.S. Government Regime Changes That Could Impact Pipeliners "Never make predictions, especially about the future." Casey Stengel, Baseball Manager

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of North American Oil & Gas Pipelines - FEB 2017