I did not see this coming.
The regulatory rollbacks of the Trump administration are subsidies, and it’s good that the courts are pushing back:
A number of recent legal defeats and business decisions have stymied three multibillion-dollar pipeline projects around the country, setting back President Trump’s 3½-year effort to expand oil and gas development in the United States.
In a surprise decision Monday, a federal judge ruled that the Dakota Access pipeline — which Trump approved within a month of taking office — must be shut down by Aug. 5, saying federal officials failed to carry out a complete analysis of its environmental impacts. The day before, two energy companies behind the controversial, 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline abandoned their six-year bid to build it, saying the $8 billion project has become too expensive and faces an uncertain regulatory environment. And an April decision by a federal judge in Montana dealt a blow to the Keystone XL pipeline and raised questions about whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will have to conduct more extensive environmental reviews for other projects.
American Petroleum Institute President Mike Sommers said in a statement Monday that his trade group was “deeply troubled by these setbacks for U.S. energy leadership.”
Their tears are sauce for my lamb chops.
In several instances, long-standing statutes such as the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires federal agencies to assess and disclose how their decisions might harm the environment, have tripped up the administration. In his ruling regarding the Dakota Access pipeline, U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg wrote that the federal government had not met all the requirements of the 50-year-old-law, which the administration is seeking to rewrite.
Several tribes, including the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux, first challenged the pipeline in 2016. While the Obama administration slowed the pipeline’s development as it consulted with the tribes, Trump expedited its construction immediately after taking office.
“Today is a historic day for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the many people who have supported us in the fight against the pipeline,” said the tribe’s chairman, Mike Faith, in a statement. “This pipeline should have never been built here. We told them that from the beginning.”
I am happy.