THE 4-POINT FORMULA FOR AMERICAN PROSPERITY

Curtis Ellis notes Trump's policies bring 'us closer to energy independence'

President Trump’s economic strategy consists of four elements – tax reform, trade reform, regulatory reform and energy reform.

These four parts work together to boost American growth and incomes.

Lower tax rates put more money in consumers’ pockets, money they will spend on goods and services in their communities. Small businesses got a tax break too, so they can invest and expand to meet the increased consumer demand.

Trade reform levels the playing field for American manufacturers who have been forced to compete against companies subsidized by foreign governments.

That, along with regulatory reform, has manufacturers coming back to the U.S. They no longer fear an onslaught of new government regulations, and they are again building productive capacity in this country.

Energy reform taps America’s natural energy resources. We are now the world’s No. 1 oil producer and the leader in energy technology.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a project on President Trump’s National Infrastructure Priorities List, provides the perfect example of how the four-part synergy works.

The 600-mile long pipeline will carry natural gas from wellheads in West Virginia to customers in Virginia and North Carolina. It will reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil, save $377 million on energy costs annually, produce $28 million per year in local tax revenue and generate $2.7 billion in economic activity across the region. Men and women are now being trained for the 17,000 jobs involved in building the pipeline.

Tax reform encourages companies like Dominion Energy to make major capital investments.

Regulatory reform is streamlining the permit approval process for infrastructure projects. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has secured the final go-ahead to begin construction in Virginia.

Energy reform facilitates the extraction of natural gas from the shale fields in West Virginia, and encourages the use of this clean-burning fuel in our homes, offices and industries. Abundant, affordable energy gives American manufacturers an advantage over foreign competitors with lower labor rates.

These three components of the president’s strategy increase energy supplies. That brings us closer to energy independence, ending our reliance on hostile regimes for the fuel we need for our homes, businesses and automobiles.

Then, the fourth leg of the growth platform, trade reform, makes it possible to export our energy to the rest of the world. That will help reduce our record trade deficits, keeping cash and jobs that would have bled overseas in America.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has environmental benefits as well. Natural gas burns cleaner than coal or oil, and pipelines are far safer than trucks or trains for transporting energy. However, that hasn’t stopped environmental groups from launching spurious court challenges to block it.

When Congress meets this month it must remove the regulatory hurdles that stand in the way of completing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and crucial infrastructure projects like it.

This will ensure our nation has the energy, skilled workforce and opportunities necessary to maintain the broad-based prosperity that has made America the envy of the world.

It’s good policy and good politics.