As we shift our focus from the holiday season to planning for 2017, energy is likely to remain a central topic.
In Washington, we will see significant changes related to energy policy. The incoming Trump administration has already signaled it will stimulate domestic production of energy and streamline permitting for vital infrastructure. The effects of that are sure to trickle down to the state and local level, as well, including to eastern North Carolina.
Even as we ended 2016, energy was still making headlines. Just within the last two weeks - as one of President Obama’s last moves in office - future consideration of energy exploration in Arctic waters and off the northeastern Atlantic coast south to Virginia was banned.
In contrast, days before Obama’s decision, President-elect Donald Trump tapped ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as the planned nominee for Secretary of State.
In the coming years, the president-elect and members of Congress will play a critical role in shaping America’s 21st century energy renaissance, determining whether our nation will cement its position as a global energy leader.
The energy policy conversation in 2017 should focus on an all-of-the-above approach grounded in market-based principles. Continued private sector investment in renewable technologies backed by clean-burning natural gas should be a priority. Emphasis should also be placed on new technological advancements in traditional energy sources like carbon capture for coal and economically sustainable nuclear. Finally, it is important to acknowledge the vital role energy infrastructure projects, like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, play in our daily lives and economy.
This conversation going forward is about American competitiveness, international influence, national security, energy security and long-term economic strength and prosperity here at home.
What we do know is the need for energy will continue to grow in 2017 and beyond. Due to population growth and emerging economies, energy demand is anticipated to grow 25 percent between 2015 and 2040. Furthermore, oil and natural gas will continue to play a large role in meeting that growing demand.
Based on a recent study conducted to forecast energy’s outlook: