Trump Executive Orders Will Speed Oil & Gas Pipeline Approvals

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One of the bedrock principles of conservatives in America is the doctrine of states’ rights. The big, bad federal government is always trying to shove its heavy handed policies down the throats of the individual states, something that gets reactionaries’ blood boiling. It is not unusual in politics, however, for people to say one thing and do another when it suits their convenience.

Those same conservatives who bang the drum for states’ rights also cheer wildly when someone like America’s alleged president exercises federal power to countermand state policies they disapprove of — things like stricter emissions standards for automobiles, sanctuary city policies, and restrictions on building oil and gas pipelines.

2 New Executive Orders

On April 9, while visiting oil-rich Texas, America’s #Shithole President signed two executive orders designed to prevent states from interfering with the permitting process for new oil and gas pipelines. With the stroke of a pen, Trump trampled on all local concerns about land use, water quality, and fossil fuel pollution. The rationale, of course, is that America needs all the oil and gas it can find in order to be great again. Only by polluting the planet more can we hope to dominate all other nations.

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“Too often, badly needed energy infrastructure is being held back by special-interest groups, entrenched bureaucracies and radical activists,” Trump said according to a report by the Washington Post. “The two executive orders that I’ll be signing in just a moment will fix this, dramatically accelerating energy infrastructure approvals.”

Exposing More Americans To Hazards

Here’s what Phineas T. Bluster is up to. The first executive order requires the Transportation Department to change its rules to allow the shipment of liquefied natural gas by rail and tanker truck. That’s right, lovers of liberty, now your local and state governments will no longer be allowed to stop tankers filled with explosive gas from traveling down your street. What could possibly go wrong?

oil train explosion Quebec
Credit: Surete Quebec via Twitter

Prying Into Corporate Culture

But wait, there’s more. The putative president wants to amend the bylaws of every corporation doing business in America to limit shareholder ballot initiatives that promote environmental and social issues.  Remember, these are the same people who were screaming their lungs out over “government overreach” when the hated Obama was in office. My, how times change.

The order requires the Labor Department to examine whether retirement funds that pursue such social policies are pursuing investment strategies that meet their responsibility to maximize returns. There it is, boys and girls. We can all suffer shortened life spans, be saddled with debts for medical expenses, watch our children suffer from asthma attacks, and pollute the Earth in any way we wish just so long as the oligarchs and plutocrats make money.

The Second Executive Order

The second executive order removes jurisdiction over cross border pipelines from the State Department and places it firmly in the hands of the president. The order will directly benefit Energy Transfer, the pipeline company whose CEO, Keley Warren, was a major contributor to the Tramp’s election campaign. Once again, the so-called president has shown himself to be little more than a crook, peddling his influence for personal gain.

One of the principal issues is Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, which has been upheld twice by the Supreme Court. Washington governor Jay Inslee, who is a candidate for president in 2020, said after Tramp’s announcement that his state would challenge the president’s “dangerous attack” on the environment.

“No amount of politicking will change the facts — states have full authority under the Clean Water Act to protect our waters and ensure the health and safety of our people. Washington will not allow this or any presidential administration to block us from discharging that authority lawfully and effectively.”

The Government Overreach Ploy

“Outdated federal guidance and regulations regarding section 401 of the Clean Water Act, however, are causing confusion and uncertainty and are hindering the development of energy infrastructure,” the second executive order states. Somehow, the idea that destroying the Earth in the pursuit of profits never enters into the thinking of that segment of society who consider Faux News to be the only beacon of light in a sea of darkness.

For them, wresting every available molecule of fossil fuel from the Earth’s mantle is the one and only purpose of life — even if they have to kill every living thing on the planet to do it. People who believe that nonsense are now installed at every level of the US government. No Republican senator is willing to oppose The Trump. All the department heads of all federal agencies are unswervingly loyal to him. The courts are rapidly being stocked with ideologues who toe the same conservative party line.

The battle over these executive orders will now move to the courts. With any luck, a new chief executive will be in office before the court challenges are decided. But with 40% of Americans still rabidly supporting this crazy lunatic, the outcome of the next election is anything but assured. Caveat suffragator.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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