January 30, 2018
One year after his inauguration, President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on January 30. He covered a range of policy topics throughout his speech, including immigration, the economy, workforce development, and infrastructure issues. President Trump touted some of the administration’s accomplishments from this past year, such as passing tax reform and eliminating many federal regulations.
Despite the administration’s efforts over the past year to make energy independence and dominance a priority, the President only made a few passing remarks relating to energy and natural resource issues during his speech. “We have ended the war on American energy, and we have ended the war on beautiful, clean coal,” President Trump stated, adding that, “We are now, very proudly, an exporter of energy to the world.” In contrast, others noted that the Energy Information Administration’s most recent annual projections indicate that, although the U.S. does export energy, it will not be a net exporter of energy until 2026, if current trends continue.
President Trump called on Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for new infrastructure investment and directed that any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process, “getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.” The Trump Administration has already moved to revise the federal environmental review and authorization processes for infrastructure projects, but legislation to rescind or revise environmental regulations will likely face strong opposition from Democrats in Congress. In addition, President Trump urged lawmakers to invest in job training, open vocational schools, support paid family leave, and end the defense sequester.
Sources: C-SPAN; E&E News; Energy Information Administration; FactCheck