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The incoming Trump administration is widely expected to upend a lot of energy regulations put into place by President Obama, as well as rules that have been in place for decades.
Investors have already bid up energy stocks in anticipation of regulatory rollbacks.
But some of those bets look premature now that we see not all of President-elect Trump's cabinet nominees are on the same page when it comes to the environment and climate change – two issues, however you look at them, driving U.S. energy policy.
Today, I'll tell you how principal cabinet nominees generally look at the issues, and why U.S. energy and environmental policies can't be effected in a vacuum.
Trump's Deregulation Agenda
Besides threatening President Obama's executive orders implementing energy, environmental, and climate change regulations, the Trump administration is going to have to look at decades-old rules and regulations affecting the environment and energy.
One old set of rules, The Clean Air Act Amendments (1990), implemented to address acid rain, urban air pollution, and toxic air emissions, required retrofits for power plants and imposed other costs on energy generation polluters.
More recently, the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which establishes CO2 emission performance rates for power plants to address global climate change, is hugely contentious, for one reason: at present there's no viable environmental control technology to manage CO2.
These examples show how energy and the environment aren't easily separated and how energy policy is a proxy for environmental policy, or vice versa, depending on your starting point.
In terms of the U.S. as a global leader, American energy policy can't be conducted in isolation because of potential global environmental impacts.
We see clearly today that policies designed to regulate carbon emissions have generated conflicts involving politics, science, the energy industry, U.S. national interests, and America's leadership role in the world.
Realities of political and global ideologies, as well as ever-changing political transitions, must be considered by U.S. lawmakers and the administration to avoid short-lived policies that only create more uncertainty for the U.S. energy producers and environment shepherds.
Where Mr. Trump's cabinet nominees are on the issues and how malleable they may be in forging healthy compromises on energy and environmental policies is critical to determining where investment capital should be applied.
Energy vs. Environment: Where Trump's Cabinet Picks Stand
Rick Perry, Mr. Trump's nominee for Energy Secretary, while overseeing a massive expansion of oil and gas development during his tenure as governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015, also made the Lone Star State the country's leading wind power developer. Mr. Trump's transition team noted Governor's Perry's push into alternative energy sources when his nomination was announced.
As far as climate change, at a 2011 event in New Hampshire, Governor Perry noted the world's climate has been in flux "ever since the earth was formed."
He's been pegged as a climate change denier, saying, "There are a substantial numb…
About the Author
Shah Gilani is the Event Trading Specialist for Money Map Press. In Zenith Trading Circle Shah reveals the worst companies in the markets - right from his coveted Bankruptcy Almanac - and how readers can trade them over and over again for huge gains. He also writes our most talked-about publication, Wall Street Insights & Indictments, where he reveals how Wall Street's high-stakes game is really played.