The most dramatic signal of a new oil-friendly Administration is Mr. Trump’s reported selection of Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobil, to be his Secretary of State. Mr. Tillerson started his career as a production engineer at Exxon more than 40 years ago before ascending to the role of Chairman and CEO in 2006. During his tenure, he has been a leading voice for U.S. oil and gas exports. The State Department has a major role on energy trade policy and we could see a crumbling of barriers to U.S. energy exports. That said, Mr. Tillerson’s nomination will be controversial due to his work in Russia and he has not been formally announced yet, so his future is not entirely clear.
Over at the Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Trump announced that Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt will be his nominee. In his announcement, Mr. Trump said that Mr. Pruitt will reverse the “out-of-control anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions of jobs” and instead “restore the EPA’s essential mission of keeping our air and water clean and safe.” Mr. Pruitt has indeed led the fight for many years against President Obama’s EPA, particularly on lawsuits to stop the regulation of carbon emissions and isolated wetlands. Under Pres. Trump, the EPA seems poised to roll back rules like the EPA’s methane regulations on oil and gas operators that Mr. Pruitt is currently suing to stop.
Washington State Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers is another friend of the oil industry slated to become part of Pres. Trump’s cabinet as the Secretary of Interior. The Department of Interior manages federal land, which is primarily located out West, but there are a number of locations in our region where drilling on federal land is either underway or being contemplated. Efforts like the long-delayed lease sale in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest could be sped up, for example. The Secretary of Energy looks likely to be oil friendly as well, with Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) leading the way. Both come from states that have experienced an oil boom in recent years, and both are big supporters of the industry.
With all these changes underway, it looks like things may be picking up soon in the oil & gas industry. If you are in need of land services, get in touch with the experts at Cimmaron Land.