Coal, oil industries see brighter future after Trump victory

While the world’s financial markets were rocked Wednesday after US Republican candidate Donald Trump won the race for the White House, the country’s coal and oil industries began counting the days to see promises become reality.

Throughout his campaign Trump repeatedly vowed to save the coal industry after years of bankruptcies and dwindling job prospects for miners.

Trump has promised to ease regulations on the coal and oil sectors, and pull the US from global agreements aimed to curb climate change.

The president-elect also said he would pull back regulations that weighed on the sector, as well as the oil industry, end the US participation in international climate agreements and review a deal to lift sanctions on oil-rich Iran.

He has said he is committed to ease regulations, lift limits on mining and drilling on federal land and promote the construction of energy-related infrastructure such as controversial oil and gas pipelines.

So if all of that is true, the oil and gas industry is a clear winner of this election, Alexandre Andlauer, head of oil and gas at Alphavalue, told WSJ.com. “Pipeline players and suppliers first, then all shale players, followed by the conventional ones (…) US oil companies have a better future today than yesterday.”

According to an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence, Trump could face some difficulty reviving the coal sector as he has also promised to increase domestic natural gas production.

“In addition to federal regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions, the coal industry has been weighed down by competition from low-cost natural gas, which has allowed the nation's utilities an affordable way to transition away from coal,” the analysts write.

Coal prices already are enjoying an unexpected, but welcome bonanza after China, the world’s largest consumer, cut domestic production, forcing power plants to import the commodity. The cost of thermal coal in the Australian port of Newcastle, a benchmark for Asia, has more than doubled since January to a four-year high of $114.75 a tonne.

The renewable sector, on the other hand, may see challenging times ahead as Trump often questioned federal support for solar and wind projects during his campaign. Analysts are already predicting a rollback of green energy subsidies in the coming year.