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Trump gives overview of policy, but no specifics on energy goals

Washington (Platts)--28 Feb 2017 1048 pm EST/348 GMT


In an address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, President Donald Trump did not utter the word energy, or delve deeply into energy policy debates. But Trump touched on areas of interest to the sector, including efforts to turn back regulation, advancement of a trillion dollar infrastructure plan and speeding development of oil and natural gas pipelines.

Related Factbox: In speech to Congress, Trump targets energy regulations

In his speech, Trump did not directly discuss energy and never said the words oil nor natural gas, and made only a brief mention of the elimination of a coal mining regulation, which he said "threatens the future and livelihoods of our great coal miners."

On energy and energy-related policy, Trump mainly spoke of his efforts over his first five weeks in office, including two memos he said "cleared the way" to build the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and another memo calling for the Commerce Department to develop a plan within 180 days requiring all pipelines within US borders to be made with US materials, including iron and steel.

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Trump Tuesday called that forthcoming plan "a new directive that new American pipelines be made with American steel."

Trump talked about his administration's efforts to repeal federal regulations and pushed for reform of US trade policy.

"We must create a level playing field for American companies and workers," Trump said. "I believe strongly in free trade but it also has to be fair trade."

Trump also mentioned a $1 trillion infrastructure plan he wants Congress to approve, which he said will be based on "Buy American and Hire American" principles.

"To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking the Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure of the United States -- financed through both public and private capital - creating millions of new jobs," he said.

Recounting some of the executive orders he has issued to begin culling federal regulations, he said: "We have undertaken a historic effort to massively reduce job crushing regulations."

And while he mentioned tax reform being developed by his economic advisers, he did not directly discuss a border adjustment tax being pushed by congressional Republicans, which is expected to have a major impact on US producers and refiners.

"[We] must restart the engine of the American economy -- making it easier for companies to do business in the United States, and much harder for companies to leave," he said.

--Brian Scheid, brian.scheid@spglobal.com

--Maya Weber, maya.weber@spglobal.com

--Edited by Geetha Narayanasamy, geetha.narayanasamy@spglobal.com

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