Business Lobbying Groups Praise Trump’s Support of Pipelines

The leaders of two business-aligned lobbying groups praised President Donald Trump’s early array of executive orders on energy regulations and pipelines on Monday.

The heads of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Petroleum Institute touted Trump’s first two weeks in office, pointing to executive actions rolling back regulations and expediting the government’s review of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue said Trump “erased nine years of partisan politics and bureaucratic delays” when he signed a presidential memorandum encouraging TransCanada Corp. to reapply for the Keystone pipeline and calling for its expedited review.

Donohue spoke in Ottawa, Ontario, telling business leaders at the Economic Club of Canada that Keystone is “a golden opportunity to work together,” according to his prepared remarks.

API CEO Jack Gerard told reporters on a conference call he “applaud[s] the president’s direction on Keystone and on Dakota Access.”

Both pipeline projects stalled under the Obama administration. The State Department rejected the Keystone pipeline application. The Army Corps of Engineers initially approved the Dakota Access pipeline but then halted its construction pending an environmental review.

Gerard also praised Trump’s executive order calling for two regulations to be rescinded for every new one added. The federal government should “reset and go back and say what’s important to protect the workforce and the environment,” Gerard said.

But API is concerned about a possible border adjustment tax, which would tax imports while exempting exports, Gerard said, adding the group is still studying the possible impact.

Donohue also acknowledged that some of Trump’s rhetoric conflicts with free trade, and said the Chamber still stands behind the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“Withdrawing from NAFTA would be devastating for the workers, businesses, and economies of our countries,” Donohue said. “Beneath all the debates, arguments, and attention-grabbing headlines, I think our leaders across the board understand this.”

Morning Consult