Big Oil revels in Trump victory, expects less red tape

But the president-elect does not yet have clearly formed policies on most energy issues so the implications will become clear only in the weeks and months ahead as he starts to build an administration.

Brent crude, the worldwide marker, dropped as much as 3.6 per cent to its lowest level since August, hitting $44.40 a barrel.

Despite an air of favouritism towards a struggling and dirty coal industry, from which he plans to remove emissions regulations by scrapping Obama's Clean Power Plan, Trump appears to see the value of a variety of renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Pro-energy and global warming skeptics were thrilled at Trump's win.

And with its vast reserves of natural gas and coal, Pennsylvania could become a national testing ground for the implementation of Trump's campaign promise to "unleash" US energy reserves.

According the The New York Times, Ebell will be Trump's "lead agent in choosing personnel and setting the direction of the federal agencies that address climate change and environmental policy more broadly".

He wants to take a much tougher line on Iran, which may include the reimposition of nuclear-related and other sanctions.

Among those are killing the Clean Power Plan, taking the US out of the Paris Agreement, appointing a climate denier to head the Environmental Protection Agency and an oil and gas executive to head the Energy Department, and cutting all federal climate funding. The majority of Republicans who will be serving in the House and Senate when the new Congress convenes in January 2017 deny climate change, and that means that the Republican Party's 2016 platform will set the guidelines for what these Republicans attempt to accomplish now that they will control both the Legislative and Executive branches of government.

The CPP was the main regulation Obama was relying on to meet a pledge he made to United Nations members to get the Paris agreement passed.

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But it is much less clear how far and how fast energy policy will change in practice because the incoming administration will face formidable institutional constraints to its freedom of action and hard policy trade-offs.

As we reflect on what this means for our country and our planet, it's most important that we stand in solidarity with all those who have been targeted by Trump during his campaign.

The president can issue executive orders and rescind orders issued by his predecessors but in most areas his power is still limited by due-process requirements.

The cast of influential characters will be far different under Trump than Obama or Clinton.

But it must still ensure that its interpretations are reasonable and decisions are not "arbitrary, capricious, (or) an abuse of discretion" under the Administrative Procedure Act. Trump can slow down the pace in the U.S., but it will accelerate elsewhere, leaving the USA at a significant disadvantage; although it should be noted that USA renewable investments are driven to a large extent by state-based targets.

The Obama administration was able to use regulatory powers to help remake the energy landscape mostly because it could persuade the judiciary to agree with many of its statutory interpretations.

"De-carbonisation, which has been the organizing principle of Obama's energy policy, came to a screeching halt last night", said Bob McNally, president of consultant Rapidan Group in Washington and a former senior energy official at the White House under Republican President George W. Bush.

CPP dumps state-determined goals and replaces them with a federal mandate of reducing carbon production from existing power plants.

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The president has a lot of power but he can not remake energy policy on his own, at least not quickly and completely. Obviously, that represents a strategic economic and foreign policy benefit. He said Trump's victory could have a "domino effect on other nations".

New York City-based Environment New York - a citizen-powered environmental advocacy organization and the public face of the Environment New York Research & Policy Center, a registered 501 (C) 3 - issued a strongly worded statement Wednesday, just hours after Trump's upset win over Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton forever rewrote US political and policy textbooks.

USA foreign policy has always been successful and powerful when it can rally allies, and weakest when the United States is isolated.

Many delegates expressed hopes Trump as president would accept mainstream scientific findings. He noted the agreement says it will take four years for any country to pull out of the agreement - the length of Trump's presidential term.

While vowing to "cancel" the global Paris climate accord Obama championed, Trump would also rearrange domestic energy and environmental priorities.

US energy policy has always involved substantial elements of both continuity and change, and it has rarely been consistent or coherent.

Ebell declined to comment this week on his work or the type of people likely to be appointed to run the EPA, instead referring inquiries to the Trump transition headquarters.

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