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Donald Trump presidency could impact energy industry

U-S President-elect Donald Trump’s surprise election Tuesday night has left a lot of questions surrounding the country’s future. Grande Prairie Regional College political science instructor Dawn Moffat McMaster says one of the big ones is whether he’ll reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“Our economic systems have been very closely entwined for a long time, so if that does come to pass – which is not necessarily a given but is likely – we’re essentially looking at a big question mark.”

It’s widely believed that the next president will be able to appoint between two and four Supreme Court justices, and Moffat McMaster says that will mean a shift in the court for likely a generation. Roe v. Wade, which gives women the constitutional right to make their own decisions about abortion is one of the decisions that could be overturned, and gun ownership rights could be expanded.

One thing locally Donald Trump’s presidency could have an effect on is the energy industry out of Grande Prairie and Canada. Moffat McMaster says based off of his campaign, the U.S. might lighten up on its environmental standards.

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“The Obama administration had blocked the Keystone XL pipeline. It is doubtful, I think, that the Trump administration would do so. You’re definitely going to see less pursuit of an addressing of climate change under a Trump administration.”

Back in 2012, Trump infamously tweeted that the concept of climate change was created by the Chinese. He later claimed it was a joke. Trump has also said that he will “cancel” the Paris Climate Agreement within 100 days of taking office.

With a majority Republican house and senate, the U.S. could see significant policy change over the coming years. However, Moffat McMaster explains that the American system has checks and balances, which can make things harder to get done.

“That said, you’re talking about a Republican-controlled senate and a Republican-controlled house; you haven’t seen this kind of concentration of power down there since the second World War. It’s going to come down to how willing a Republican congress will be to check the power of a Republican president.”

Moffat McMaster adds that historically, radical change is less likely than it can sometimes seem. Trump will take the oath of office on January 20th.

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