The Trump administration has issued an Executive Order and a series of memoranda relating to energy and the environment.

The goal of the Executive Order–Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects–is to expedite environmental reviews and approvals.  It provides that action by the Chair of the Counsel of Environmental Quality

Moving forward, in part, on a campaign promise to adopt an infrastructure plan to “transform America’s crumbling infrastructure,” today President Trump issued an Executive Order titled “Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects.”
Continue Reading Trump Executive Order Labels “Improving the U.S. Electric Grid” as a “High Priority Infrastructure Project”

As expected, with the inauguration of President Trump all Obama Administration content on the White House website has been replaced with content of the new Administration. The new content includes “An America First Energy Plan”, the entire focus of which is national security and job creation benefits of the Administration’s “embrace” and promotion of

The Trump Administration will take office intent on reversing many Obama Administration policies. Although the Trump Administration’s publicly released 100-day plan does not announce a new energy policy, campaign promises and priorities of the Republican-controlled Congress suggest a number of early initiatives that will impact the power sector.  Moreover, the Trump transition team for the Department of Energy signaled a variety of potential energy policy priorities in requesting information from the outgoing Obama Administration.  The impacts of these regulatory and legislative initiatives will need to be evaluated against the backdrop of market, technology, international, and consumer driven dynamics that are transforming the power sector independent of federal law and policy.  The Covington Energy Group will be watching closely the new Administration’s and Congress’ initiatives and evaluating their significance in altering or reinforcing the transformative changes sweeping the power sector.  Below, we identify the more prominent expected initiatives from the new Administration.
Continue Reading Watching for Initiatives from the Trump Administration and Congress Affecting the Power Sector

Official publications of the Trump campaign and transition team propose significant changes in energy policies.   The principal focus of the proposed policy changes addresses energy independence and job creation through greater production of fossil fuel resources.  But apart from pronouncements to “scrap … the Clean Power Plan” there is little to glean from the official publications regarding the incoming administration’s plans to address the much needed transformation of the Nation’s electricity system.

Additional insights about potential Trump administration policies affecting the electric power sector can be gleaned from assorted comments by the President-elect and transition team officials. Since the election, they have signaled possible policy initiatives to scrutinize wind energy subsidies and bird kill impacts, promote nuclear energy and lift restrictions on “clean coal”.  But these hints at policy direction, coupled with an intention to move away from the Clean Power Plan, still leave the electric power industry awash in uncertainty regarding future federal policies to modernize and increase the efficiency, resiliency and security of the Nation’s power grid.

Meanwhile the corporate sector continues to demand federal policies to promote American prosperity through clean energy transformation and is focused on locating business operations in states that facilitate corporate procurement of clean energy.  Independent of clean energy and climate change considerations, the leading trade association of the electric utility industry is highly focused on grid modernization through efforts to redesign and transform the use and operation of the grid to integrate distributed energy resources, replace distribution lines and deploy new technologies and systems that will enhance reliability, resiliency and efficiency.    
Continue Reading Transforming the Nation’s Electricity System: Survivable Elements of Obama’s Policy Roadmap for the Trump Administration