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Texas, Alaska Senators Look Ahead To Trump Energy Policies

“Nobody believes that no regulations is a good answer,” Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said.


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Travis Bubenik
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) mingles with attendees of CERAWeek 2017 in Houston, TX.

Republicans from Texas and Alaska – two energy-producing states – are expecting more fossil fuel-friendly policies from the Trump Administration. They called Friday for a scaling-back of environmental regulations at the close of a global energy conference in Houston.

At CERAWeek by IHS Markit, Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska both said the new administration's pro-business approach could help their states' energy industries grow. They suggested that would be a welcome change from Obama-era rules that they feel hindered the industry.

Cornyn wants to see the permitting process for pipelines sped up. He said Republicans want more freedom for the energy industry, but not total freedom.

"Nobody believes that no regulations is a good answer,” he said, “but in terms of over-regulation, the energy industry in particular I think has been over-regulated."

On climate policy, Cornyn said energy companies should be trusted – not mandated – to be cleaner.

"We should have faith in our ability to innovate our way out of these challenges,” he said. “Creating another government enterprise or international treaty which constrains our economic growth or hurts our job creation I don't think is the answer."

The new EPA Chief Scott Pruitt said this week he does not think carbon emissions are a primary cause of global warming. The senators from Texas and Alaska said they both believe humans contribute to global warming, but that they'd rather debate solutions to that problem than the nature of the problem itself.