A year after Trump’s executive order, American energy is surging

President Trump issued two executive orders Jan. 24, 2017 that ended years of expensive and unnecessary delays for the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. It was a turning point for the U.S. energy industry and the nation’s economy.

The orders were part of a broader strategy, kicked off that day, to remove political restraints on American energy and infrastructure development. The U.S. energy sector was growing in the years before, but the previous administration’s systematic efforts to block major energy infrastructure projects and slow domestic production had prevented the industry from reaching its full potential.

One year later, the tangible results of this critical policy change continue to become evident. Domestic energy production is surging to historic levels, fueling economic growth and job creation.

{mosads}Just days before the one-year anniversary of Trump’s executive orders, the International Energy Agency projected that the United States in 2018 would pass Saudi Arabia to become the world’s second-largest oil producer. The agency says the United States will surpass Russia to become the world’s largest oil producer by the end of next year.


U.S. oil output could reach more than 10 million barrels per day, according to Reuters. This growth has resulted in a number of economic benefits for the U.S.: reducing our reliance on international energy resources, creating steady jobs in rural communities, and reducing consumer prices for products like gasoline. 

In places like North Dakota and Midland, Texas, jobs are abundant and the economy is booming. Across the Midwest, American energy production and infrastructure expansion are making significant economic contributions. They are supporting thousands of families, helping farms, manufacturers and other domestic businesses compete in a tough global market, and helping governments balance their budgets.

North Dakota state revenue increased by more than $43 million in the five months after the Dakota Access Pipeline opened last June, according to the Wall Street Journal. Further, the project’s operation could result in additional tax revenue of up to $250 million by the end of this two-year budget period.

That one pipeline is contributing tax revenues to four states as it delivers domestic oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The Dakota Access Pipeline is capable of carrying half of the oil produced in the Bakken shale reserve at today’s production volume.

America’s energy fortunes began to change with the hydraulic fracturing revolution. Domestic energy production could have reached these peaks years ago. But, bowing to political pressure, the Obama administration tried to curtail domestic production by denying permits for major pipelines and issuing regulations such as its intentionally tough 2015 rules on production on federal lands.

Trump saw these obstacles for what they were — political moves that held back the U.S. economy. He began 2017 by reversing the Obama administration’s economically harmful pipeline orders, and it ended the year by undoing the rules barring hydraulic fracturing on federal lands.

Americans used to fear the economic power Middle Eastern states had over our economy because we relied on them for so much of our energy. Now the United States is about to surpass Saudi Arabia as an oil producer. This is an economic and a strategic triumph.

Our national security is strengthened by our ability to assert our independence from foreign oil producers. It is further strengthened by our ability to sell oil and gas abroad, turning Russian, Saudi, and Venezuelan client states into American customers. 

This is America’s new position in the world, and it is being realized thanks to better U.S. energy policy and a renewed focus on development and infrastructure.

We can make our position even stronger by further developing our domestic energy resources and building the infrastructure we need to bring those resources to market. The Trump administration plans just that for 2018, which ought to make every American grateful.

Craig Stevens is the spokesman for Grow America’s Infrastructure Now, a national coalition focused on promoting key infrastructure investments. Follow the Coalition on Twitter @GAINNowAmerica.

Tags Craig Stevens Donald Trump oil export oil production
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