Report: $50 Billion in Projects Held Up by Trump Indifference

Written by SK Ashby

As you know, hundreds of positions in the federal government have not be filled and Trump hasn't even nominated anyone to fill most of these positions.

Conservative voters would probably say that's a good thing because they believe the federal government is just a big micro-managing regulation machine, but refusing to staff the federal government has real consequences for the national economy that probably aren't obvious to those voters.

According to Bloomberg, at least $50 billion in energy projects are currently stalled, and some may even be canceled, because Trump has left swaths of the federal government empty.

By the time Midwesterners fire up their furnaces this fall, the $2 billion Nexus pipeline is supposed to be pumping natural gas to heat homes from frosty Ohio to frostier Ontario. But six months out, the 255-mile (410-kilometer) pipeline exists only on paper. [...]

Nexus is just part of at least $50 billion worth of ventures slowed or stalled while the agency that approves them, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, awaits presidential appointments. For the first time in FERC’s 40-year-history, the agency doesn’t have enough commissioners for a quorum to vote on project applications. At least a half-dozen pipelines valued at $12 billion face imminent delays, while projects valued at $38 billion are slogging through an approval process that’s slow in the best of times. An additional $25 billion of proposed developments just beginning the application process also could be slowed if the situation persists late into the year.

There are probably some readers of this blog who don't care if a natural gas pipeline is delayed or canceled, however these delays are expected to impact consumer energy prices next winter because none of them are expected to be approved in time to actually construct them. And massive natural gas pipelines are not the only projects that have been delayed. The construction of new hydropower plants has also been delayed.

Even if Trump nominates a horde of candidates tomorrow, it will take months to approve them in the Senate and that's without counting the possibility that many of them could be blocked or even withdraw from consideration.