Accessibility links

Experts Offer Differing Views on Trump's Impact on Energy

  • Jim Randle

FILE - An employee welds pipe at Pioneer Pipe on Oct. 25, 2016, in Marietta, Ohio. The construction, maintenance and fabrication company employs around 800 people, supplying products to the oil and gas industry.

Oil industry leaders and analysts are split over their views of what President-elect Donald Trump's policies could mean for the nation's oil sector, which has been battered by falling oil prices the past few years.

Recently, oil prices have recovered somewhat.

In a Washington speech Wednesday, American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said Trump's pledge to cut regulations and reform taxes could help the energy sector and produce additional jobs.

Gerard said the U.S. oil and natural gas industry supports 9.8 million jobs but could employ hundreds of thousands more if "smart" regulation replaced rules that he called duplicative, contradictory or "silly."

Industry analyst Diane Munro, however, said Trump's policy proposals are "hawkish" and a "cauldron of contradictions," which raise a perceived risk for international oil markets.

FILE - ExxonMobil chairman and chief executive officer Rex W. Tillerson speaks at a news conference in Dallas, Texas. Tillerson was named President-elect Donald Trump's choice to be secretary of state.
FILE - ExxonMobil chairman and chief executive officer Rex W. Tillerson speaks at a news conference in Dallas, Texas. Tillerson was named President-elect Donald Trump's choice to be secretary of state.

Writing for the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, Munro said Trump's vow to upend the Iran nuclear agreement and his suggestions of a Saudi oil ban while campaigning have added to the "fraying" relationship between Washington and Riyadh, raising the level of uncertainty.

Trump has nominated several people with strong oil industry ties to his Cabinet.

Munro called the "oil-centric" Cabinet "unprecedented."

Gerard said the group is "world class" with unique skills. He said they not only can represent the nation well, but they know they "work for the American people."

He said Americans have benefited from a surge in U.S. oil production that has helped cut prices, saving average families $1,300 a year on electricity costs, and hundreds more in lower gasoline prices.

Oil market prices have been rising over the past couple of months after members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to limit production. With oil supplies in closer alignment with oil demand, prices have rebounded.

Previous OPEC production-cut agreements have been violated by many members, limiting the impact of the effort to control the market.

Gerard said it is difficult to predict how well or poorly OPEC will enforce this latest agreement.

XS
SM
MD
LG