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What Will Happen with Trump and the Energy Industry?

When Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States, to say that it shocked the world would be an understatement.

Many didn’t anticipate him winning so now, private industries are scrambling to understand what a Trump presidency will mean for their industry and it’s caused a certain level of uncertainty.

In this post, we hope to reduce some of that uncertainty around the energy industry by asking industry leaders what they think will happen in the upcoming years under the Trump administration.

What Will Happen with Trump and The Energy Industry?

Here’s what they shared….

Philip Racusin, CEO of EnergyFunders

“We believe Donald Trump’s presidency will be a net positive for the oil and gas industry and will increase investments in oil and gas technology. This is good for EnergyFunders because it will continue to drive awareness of direct oil and gas investing as an area for consideration within the alternative investment space. Modern wealth advisors are now recommending to their clients to have up to 20% of his or her assets in alternative investments. Alternative investments are generally riskier than investing in a mutual fund, a highly rated bond, or ETF, but can offer unique tax advantages and much higher returns to compensate for risk. Direct oil and gas investing fits comfortably into this alternative investment space, and EnergyFunders allows investors to spread their investment across multiple projects with low buy-ins.”


Jake Rozmaryn, CEO of Ecobranding 

“Trump’s team talks about an anti-clean energy agenda, including rolling-back incentives, and bringing back coal jobs. The problem with this rhetoric is that economics drive energy markets and all signs indicate that the best bet to overhaul our energy infrastructure will be an advanced energy system that favors distributed generation, smart grids, renewable energy, energy storage, etc. We are past the tipping point for clean energy and are going to continue making progress with or without the federal government as a partner. Coal executives are closing coal plants because the economics no longer make sense. The public favors clean energy. State governments get it. Corporate adopters aren’t abandoning their clean energy ambitions. Under Trump, we’re going to continue seeing energy innovation, an increase in demand for clean energy, and a decrease in the cost of renewables and energy storage technology.”


Harvey Abouelata, President of ARiES Energy

“If I were Trump, I would want all energy sources moving forward. Trump is going to be supportive of fossil fuels, but grid infrastructure must be supported, and depending on technology, geography, usage, each source, renewable or otherwise, has a place. The bottom line now is if solar is mature. Over the last 5 years, we’ve seen prices fall until solar stands on its own against traditional fuels. I doubt Trump is going to disrupt something in play successfully. Current renewables incentives, the ITC and accelerated depreciation, are tax-based — not grants. Trump supports cutting taxes and incentivizing businesses to spend, create jobs and invest. I think this plays into his pro-business platform. Moving forward, we’ll see major breakthroughs in price and technology for energy storage. This will put renewables in an even more competitive position by offsetting demand and time-of-use charges. Distributed generation is the future of the energy industry.”


Allen Baker, Energy Insurance Broker & Risk Manager at Hub International

“According to Allen Baker, an Oklahoma-based energy consultant with HUB International, the Texas and Oklahoma oil & gas sector is very optimistic. Baker notes that, Energy industry leaders tell him that Trump’s election suggests ‘better days are ahead of us’. This is a huge psychological shift for regional firms which have weathered the worst downturn in over a decade. Baker notes that this optimism is so far based largely upon Trump’s cabinet picks – namely, Rex Tillerson, Scott Pruitt and Rick Perry who are widely perceived to be friendly to the oil & gas industry – and not on any specific energy proposals by the incoming administration. Moreover, Baker suggests that the recent upturn in commodity prices and increased exploration and production activity – as evidenced by increased active rig counts in the region – is fueling the sector’s optimism, as well. Nevertheless, he notes that energy companies still view the Trump Presidency as a potential boon to the industry.

Oklahoma’s oil & gas companies’ interests are represented by the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, an Oklahoma City-based energy advocacy group. According to conversations with the OIPA, Baker adds, for the past 8 years Obama has used his regulatory agencies to increase burdensome regulations on oil & gas in an effort to promote green energy. With the election of Donald Trump, and his emphasis on American energy policy, the OIPA believe the burdensome regulatory arena we’ve seen for the last 8 years will be significantly diminished.”


Udi Merhav, Co-Founder and CEO at EnergyOrbit

“First and foremost, President Trump is a businessman, so his ultimate decisions in the matter may be influenced more by economics than politics. There may be much grandstanding to save coal and boost up big oil, as well as research into new renewable energy technologies may lose funding to “clean coal”. The Administration will most likely dismantle the Clean Power Plan, but that may be the extent of what can be done to stall renewable energy progression. The president may also aspire to withdraw from the Paris Accords. Today, solar and wind energy are cheaper than coal and natural gas in a majority of regions of the US and 30 countries in the world.

Additionally, the growth of this market is based on actions taken by state governments, and commercial businesses. What we should be watching for are actions, or overreaching, from the Administration to chill or interfere with state actions on renewable energy.


Scott Sklar, President of The Stella Group, Ltd.

“The new Administration will push traditional fossil fuels which will lower natural gas prices and therefore offset coal generation further, and reduce petroleum imports. Unclear on renewable energy and efficiency at the moment, but appears likely to severely cut government support of the zero emissions technologies which could cut US jobs and subject taxpayers and ratepayers to less reliable energy delivery and longer term costs. But too early to tell at the moment. High job growth in the biofuels, energy efficiency, solar and wind industries across the country, along with supported by the Christian Coalition, the Tea Party and the Young Republicans, may blunt the anti-renewable energy faction within the Administration.”


Barbara McGarity, Senior Energy Executive at Payless Power

“The Trump administration will likely be pretty good for the energy industry, especially for natural gas. With his big focus on domestic drilling, his policies will likely be good towards traditional energy sources and will help lower the cost of energy for consumers. However, with his plans to roll back many of Obama’s policies on renewable energy, it would seem that alternative energy sources such as solar will go up a bit.”

About the author

Nick Hastreiter

I write about the future of business. I approach this by interviewing founders, CEO's, and other game changers to share their vision for the future of their industry.

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