AWEA: Trump Executive Orders ‘Miss A Major Opportunity’

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The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) says new executive orders issued by President Donald Trump on energy infrastructure are a missed opportunity for improving the electric grid.

The two new orders are designed to streamline federal processes on developing energy infrastructure.

One is designed to “address regional and local energy supply constraints and to promote an efficient energy market,” including updating Clean Water Act guidance, updating regulations on liquefied natural gas development, and addressing regulatory barriers to financing energy infrastructure. The other order is designed to “improve the process for issuing presidential permits for certain cross-border infrastructure projects.” In the White House’s fact sheet on the orders, neither mentions infrastructure in support of clean energy.

In response to the announcement, Amy Farrell, senior vice president of government and public affairs at AWEA, says although it is a “critical priority” to enhance energy infrastructure, the orders “miss a major opportunity by focusing almost exclusively on pipelines, whose capacity has increased 10 times faster than electric transmission capacity over the past decade.”

“The U.S. electric grid was rated an unacceptable D+ by the American Society of Civil Engineers – hardly the backbone we need for a 21st-century, high-tech U.S. economy,” continues Farrell.

“With billions in private investment to upgrade and expand transmission infrastructure being held up by regulatory uncertainty and inefficient process,” she concludes, “we are missing a huge opportunity by focusing on only part of the infrastructure solution.”

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Mark Roest
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Mark Roest

This could be an opportunity for battery storage.

Todd K.
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Todd K.

Batteries will help in some locations for local use of wind/solar energy, but won’t help much when, for example, energy is generated in excess of demand in west Texas and that electricity is needed in California. Hydropower from Hoover and Glen Canyon dams is being drastically reduced to keep the lakes from reaching record lows. We still need lots of high-capacity electric transmission lines. Trump refuses to build them and instead helps his friends in the oil industry build oil/gas pipelines.