OUR GREAT MINDS

    by Vejuna Aria Guzulaityte

    Is it really Morning in (America’s) Fossil-fuels Business?

    Most of us are already saturated with the media harping on Trump’s name appearing all over the television and tabloids. Headlines such as “The Oil and Gas Situation…”, “Trump Assumes Power, Changes on The way”, “Making sense of President Trump’s Energy Plan” and so on, have become a part of our daily life.

    Recently, I saw a headline that said – “It’s morning in America’s fossil fuels business”. Alluding to President Trump signing off on two totemic pipeline projects and “burdensome regulations” on miners and drillers were dismissed. It is obvious, that the intention is to open up more federal land for them along with tax policies that favour exports and penalise imports. U.S. President Donald Trump, as most of us already know, has plans to support domestic oil and gas industry, job creation and local manufacturing. As stated in the official Donald Trump’s vision, he is going to unleash an energy revolution that will bring vast new wealth to his country. The new President is going to encourage the use of natural gas and other American energy resources that will both reduce emissions but also reduce the price of energy and increase economic output. Very appealing and very contradictory at the same time.

    Although, as we are humbly watching events in the Whitehouse, we see other possible outcomes. For instance, one proposed House Republican corporate tax reform could even lead to radical changes not only in U.S. crude oil and petroleum products flows but in the global markets as well. I don’t agree with the idea that what is good for America’s fossil fuels business is also good for the whole industry. If we take a deeper look into this situation, it might even reveal the opposite. Yes, these new regulations will help local families and create new jobs (as promised), yes, it might also raise the value of American products in the global market, but there are other important things as well. The world has just witnessed that excess supply pushes oil prices down and with the US increased exports, it’s possible that we will end up with oversupply in the global market once again.

    It was a shock to major global companies when the President signed an executive order to withdraw from the Asia-Pacific accord. It was never ratified but it was very important still. This created a stormy reaction that is developing in various forms globally, in the press and in social media. To those who were wondering if Donald Trump will keep his promises, I could suggest holding tight as we can clearly see that the end of these trade deals, is just the beginning. “And the world keeps turning” – as Megan Hess from Bloomberg commented on this matter.

    The world indeed is still turning but this will have a notable impact not only on manufacturers but on the energy industry as well. Tax policy is being changed and it will affect export crude oil, export refined products, equipment and chemicals. Some see the benefit in it, others discuss hardly predictable import expenditures. What is to come next? No one knows.

    So, all in all, Trump’s plan for American energy strength is causing a commotion. I believe that it is very important to be able to evaluate the long-term effects of every decision we are to make. Maybe some see a morning in the America’s fossil fuels business, but as a specialist working globally, I do not.

    When everything is ever-changing, I find it very important to be able to stop and take a minute to contemplate and discuss important matters. Attend industry conferences. Gather the facts. Get your voices heard. Speak up and offer differing perspectives. If there’s one thing great about social media, it’s an opportunity to “share” what we know and transfer knowledge in new and creative ways.

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