Regardless of what you think of Donald Trump, his election as President can be viewed as good news for the frac sand industry. Trump supported fracking throughout his campaign, though he did vacillate in his attitude toward local fracking bans. However, his recent announcements regarding his transition team provide additional confidence that his administration will strongly support domestic energy production. Energy lobbyist Mike McKenna has been tapped to lead a transition team focused on the Department of Energy. Climate change skeptic Myron Ebell has been picked to lead the transition team for the EPA. And rumors abound that Continental Resources’ Harold Hamm, a Trump supporter and advisor, could be tapped as Energy Secretary.
While Trump’s claim to eliminate the EPA altogether is something most view as “all talk”, he is expected to dramatically cut Obama administration rules that have hurt the oil & gas industry (related to clean water, carbon emissions, endangerment, etc.)
How Trump deals with issues in the Middle East and how he manages diplomacy with OPEC nations will be important to watch. Disruptions in international relations, global security, and trade can lead to a need for U.S. oil & gas companies to step in with additional capacity. All that remains to be seen.
Something else to consider is that Trump appointees focused on energy & the environment are likely to be in favor of reducing regulations, promoting pipeline infrastructure projects, fast-tracking crude oil and natural gas exports, and approving refinery and other development related projects. It should allow the industry to react quickly to opportunities domestically and around the world.
All of that means increased potential opportunities for shale development and those in the frac sand supply chain who are prepared to jump at these opportunities. Stay informed on the latest news & emerging opportunities by subscribing to the Frac Sand Weekly News Digest and by attending our upcoming conferences.
For additional commentary on the impact of this election (including brief comments by me), you can read this announcement from The Heartland Institute.