In Texas, Trump blames environmental activists for executive order easing oil and gas permitting process

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As more polling showed Donald Trump’s support tanking in key parts of Texas, the President flew into Houston on Wednesday to announce new executive orders that cut red tape for the oil & gas industry.

“My action today will cut through destructive permitting delays and denials,” Trump said in his speech in Crosby, where he also boasted about the economy and America’s energy industry.

“Too often, badly needed energy infrastructure is being held back by special interest groups, entrenched bureaucracies, and radical activists,” he said.

One of the executive orders signed by the president will make it more difficult for states to block pipelines and energy projects that may pose a threat to clean water, like a pipeline delayed by New York regulators since 2014 due to concerns over groundwater pollution

The other order will make it easier for proposed cross-border pipelines and energy projects to receive permits.

The easing of these regulations is a response to members of the energy industry writing a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month, where they complained that the pipeline permit process had “become a target for environmental activists and states that oppose the production and use of fossil fuels,” according to the Associated Press.

Trump’s visit to Texas to deregulate the oil & gas industry comes weeks after a series of chemical fires broke out in the Houston-area— including Crosby, where one worker was killed in an explosion. 

In March, Texas City residents were forced to take shelter inside their homes when another chemical fire erupted and raised air quality concerns. 

You can read more about Houston-area politics here.

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