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Trump tries to stop states from delaying energy projects

Trump will issue two executive orders seeking to speed gas, coal and oil projects delayed by coastal states as he looks to build support ahead of next year’s election.

Trump tries to stop states from delaying energy projects

Trump’s orders will direct his Environmental Protection Agency to change a part of the US clean water law that has allowed states, on the basis of environmental reasons, to delay projects such as pipelines to carry natural gas to New England and coal export terminals on the West Coast.

“PROJECT DELAYS CAUSE ECONOMIC DECLINE”

Trump will issue the orders at a training center for union members in the petroleum industry in Houston, an event sandwiched between fundraising events in Texas for the 2020 campaign.

Trump tries to stop states from delaying energy projects

“Outdated federal guidance and regulations issued by the EPA have caused confusion and uncertainty leading to project delays, lost jobs and reduced economic performance,” a senior administration official told reporters in a conference call. “We are not trying to take away power from the states, but we are trying to make sure that state actions comply with the statutory intent of the law.” An environmentalist decried the planned orders. “Trump can try to rewrite regulations in favor of Big Oil, but he can’t stop people power and our movement,” said May Boeve, the head of 350.org.

Trump tries to stop states from delaying energy projects

The orders will direct the EPA to review and update guidance issued during the administration of President Barack Obama on the so-called 401 provision of the Clean Water Act. The measure required companies to get certifications from states before building interstate pipelines approved by the federal government.

New York state used it to block pipelines that would send natural gas to New England, forcing the region at times to import liquefied natural gas from countries including Russia. In 2017, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat and 2020 candidate for president, denied a water permit for the Millennium Bulk Terminal, a coal export facility that would have expanded the ability of companies to send western coal to Asian markets.

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