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America’s 2018 Energy Watch List: Issues and Policy

Energy Watch by MARK A. STANSBERRY

The beginning of last year, my column “America’s 2017 Energy Watchlist” presented the “moving parts” which I believed would be the main focus regarding energy issues and policies: President Trump and the Republican led Congress, OPEC and the supporting non-OPEC countries, jobs, investments in the oil and gas sector, ipos/mergers and acquisitions, LNG/natural gas, earthquakes, cybersecurity, regulations, infrastructure, geopolitical/China/Russia, along with energy education, transportation/auto makers, coal, nuclear, wind/solar, media digital, and world supply/demand were among other areas of my daily focus.
Here is an important part of my “2018 Energy Watchlist”:

PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THE REPUBLICAN-LED CONGRESS: Look for more energy proposals coming from the administration. A year ago, when I wrote the 2017 Watchlist column, it was six days before the U.S. presidential inauguration. A lot has been implemented and eliminated. President Trump’s plans have included development of regulatory and legislative initiatives: rescinding Obama’s executive actions and regulations that were outdated and lifting moratoriums on energy production in federal areas… As of this writing, according to the Wall Street Journal, “Federal energy regulators rejected a Trump administration plan aimed at shoring up struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants to bolster the nation’s electricity grid, saying the administration hadn’t persuaded them it was needed to ensure the system’s reliability.” Again, look for other energy proposals.

OIL: Crude oil production in the U.S. is expected to reach record proportions in 2018, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA expects crude oil production to reach an average of 9.9 million barrels per day which would surpass the previous record of 9.8 million barrels per day in 1970.

OPEC and the supporting non-OPEC countries: Will their pledge continue to be upheld? And how much difference do they really make?

JOBS: The oil and gas companies across the U.S. are optimistic about the future of the oil and gas industry. If there is price sustainability, the U.S. will have more energy jobs.

IPOS/M&A: There are several companies on the sideline considering both initial public offerings (IPOs) and mergers & acquisitions (M&A).

LNG/NATURAL GAS: In 2018, investments will continue in the building of our nation’s LNG infrastructure. Natural gas is leading the transition from being a net importer to a net exporter primarily due to the LNG efforts in the Gulf Coast region.

CYBERSECURITY: Cybersecurity efforts will continue in the energy industry. Look for more private/public partnering in cybersecurity initiatives.

REGULATIONS/TAXES: As mentioned earlier in this writing, President Trump and the Republican-led Congress seem focused on eliminating many regulations. Federal tax reform has been a positive for the oil and gas industry. The oil and gas industry is not only going to benefit from the reform but the nation will benefit from economic pro-growth initiatives. More proposals are expected to revitalize economic expansion. The energy industry will play an important role.

INFRASTRUCTURE: There is a great need for the nation’s energy infrastructure. Look for more investments and projects beginning in 2018.

GEOPOLITICAL/TRADE: Again, geopolitical tensions along with cooperation will be at the forefront.

Also, offshore drilling, energy education, environmental, transportation, weather, power generation, coal, nuclear, wind/solar, media, digital, technology… will continue to be of focus. “Sustainability” will be a key word of focus in 2018.

NATIONAL ENERGY TALK: (NET) National Energy Talk was launched last July in Elk City, Oklahoma, and has held meetings in Tulsa, Edmond and Oklahoma City. In 2018, NET will begin its efforts outside the state. National Energy Talk is a platform engaging a national energy dialogue. Visit Facebook: National Energy Talk to support/learn more about NET.

Mark A. Stansberry serves as chairman of the GTD Group; He is an award-winning energy author and an Energy Advocate.

Updated 01-24-2018

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