‘Trump Admin May Approve Major Export of Natural Gas to India’

Washington: The Trump administration is expected to give its consent for major export of natural gas to energy-hungry India, a senior US official has said, underling that energy sector is likely to be a major area of bilateral co-operation. “Watch for it,” the official said.

His comments came as US President Donald Trump is set to sign an executive order to wipe out his predecessor Barack Obama’s climate change legacy.

No decision yet has been taken on Trump administration’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change. And same is the case with the various co-cooperation that the US has been doing with other countries including India on clean energy and climate change issues, the official said on condition of anonymity.

The official, however, said that energy sector is likely to be a major area of co-operation between India and the US.

Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, during his visit to the US this month, had discussed with new Energy Secretary Rick Perry the possibility of importing LNG from the US and Indian investment in the energy sector there.

Pradhan had also discussed with Perry energy cooperation between India and the US, Indian investment in Liquefied natural gas (LNG) and Shale sectors, and the possibility of the US exporting LNG to India from early next year.

Perry had said co-operation between India and the US in the energy sector is in mutual interest as India’s energy need is set to see a rapid increase as the economy expands.

“The policy tomorrow will look back and look forward,” the official told reporters on the eve of the signing of the clean energy executive order.

“Energy independence is the goal,” the official said, adding that the new energy policy is driven by economy.
Trump, the senior administration official said, believes that there are many clean energy policies of the Obama administration that should be reviewed or should be “taken off the books to the extent we can”.

The executive order would also provide a framework for Trump administration’s strategy on energy such that each department and agency of the government will be responsible for identifying all regulations, all rules that serve as obstacle and impediments to domestic energy.

The executive order among other things will callfor a review of the Clean Power Plan, and overturnlimits on coal leasing on public lands, methane regulations, and requirements to include climate change as part of environmental assessments, as well as callfor a re-examination of the social cost of carbon.

“When it comes to climate change, we want to take our own course and do it in our won fashion,” the official said.
“In terms of the Paris Agreement whether we are staying or not is still under discussion. Paris Agreement is still under discussion,” he said.

However, it will not address several major environmental rules issued during the Obama administration.