- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 29, 2017

President Trump on Thursday said he’s approved a new petroleum pipeline to Mexico as part of a broader plan to export American energy around the world.

“It’ll go right under the wall,” Mr. Trump said of the new pipeline during a speech at the Department of Energy.

His address coincides with the White House’s “Energy Week,” and the president used Thursday’s event to announce several new initiatives that he says are key to economic growth and kick-starting a “golden era of American energy.”

Mr. Trump ordered a wholesale review of U.S. nuclear energy policy, and directed the Treasury to review possible financing of overseas power-generation plants that run on American coal.

He also said the Department of Energy will approve two applications to export liquefied natural gas from facilities in Louisiana, and directed the Interior Department to create a new offshore oil-and-gas leasing program to oversee all energy exploration off America’s coasts.

Those steps and others, the president said, will highlight how dramatically the country’s energy fortunes have changes.

“Many of us remember the long gas lines and the constant claims that the world was running out of oil and natural gas. Americans were told our nation could only solve our energy crisis by imposing draconian restrictions on energy production. But now we know that was all a big beautiful myth,” he said.

“We’re going to be an exporter,” Mr. Trump continued. “We will export American energy all over the world, all around the globe. These energy exports will create countless jobs for our people and provide true energy security to our friends, partners and allies all across the globe. But this full potential can only be realized when government promotes energy development … instead of obstructing it like the Democrats.”

The president said the nation has “near limitless supplies of energy,” and he vowed that the U.S. will become truly energy independent under his watch.

Indeed, the U.S. is now the world’s leading producer of natural gas and is No. 3 in the world in oil production — a dramatic turnaround from even a decade ago.

Environmentalists immediately panned the speech and said Mr. Trump’s energy plan is deeply flawed.

“Trump’s dangerous ‘energy dominance’ scheme is to pillage and plunder every corner of this country to make corporate polluters richer,” said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “This twisted administration celebrates its efforts to wipe out fundamental environmental protections that protect Americans’ health and safety. He wants to frack and drill the country’s most spectacular public lands into oblivion. He abuses unemployed coal workers by saying he’ll bring back jobs he knows aren’t coming back.”

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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