Policy across the U.S. is changing fast since the election of President Trump. And natural resource companies have already begun to benefit from the shift.
Now two more major measures have just come down — which could open big opportunities for mining and energy in the U.S.
The Department of Interior yesterday unveiled a raft of new policies. One of the biggest being a rollback of Obama-era regulations put in to protect wildlife.
Specifically, the sage grouse. A bird that resides in several prime mining and petroleum jurisdictions — particularly in western U.S. states such as Nevada.
The Obama administration had brought in federal protection for the sage grouse. Including strict rules on land use in areas where the bird resides — which had threatened to withdraw large tracts of land from mineral development and oil and gas drilling.
But the Department of Interior has now directed that several changes be made to that legislation. With officials saying the revised rules will attempt to strike a balance between preservation and economic opportunities.
The biggest change will be allowing state agencies to grant exemptions to the federal legislation. Which could allow local lawmakers to approve extractive activities in places that would have previously been off limits.
And that wasn’t the only big change made by Interior. With officials also reversing another Obama administration policy — one that had reformed royalties paid by coal and petroleum developers on federal lands across the U.S.
The revised rules had closed loopholes that critics say resource firms were using to dodge tax payments. But industry had complained that the new measures were unnecessarily complex, impeding development of new projects.
Those rules will now be rendered void — with the royalty system reverting to the old regime as of early September. Watch for all of these shifts to help spur project activity across America, particularly in the coal sector — which should now see improved profitability.
Here’s to the times a-changing.
By Dave Forest
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