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President Trump. Photo: than Miller/Getty Images

Trump will announce 2 executive orders in Houston on Wednesday to help energy companies "avoid unnecessary red tape" in order to speed up development of pipelines and other projects, a White House aide said.

Why it matters: While U.S. oil and natural gas production is already at record levels, companies have chafed at the regulatory process for some infrastructure projects, notably battles over gas pipelines in the Northeast.

But, but, but: There isn't enough information yet to know whether the orders will assert new powers that will speed up development. Executive orders range from consequential moves to more symbolic documents that signal a chief executive's priorities.

What's next: Trump will discuss the orders in remarks Wednesday at the International Union of Operating Engineers' training center in Houston.

What they're saying: The White House aide said the orders are aimed at expanding oil-and-gas production, spurring more private infrastructure investment, streamlining permitting, and "further reducing regulations."

  • The goal is to allowing the U.S. to "continue to be the undisputed global leader in crude oil and natural gas production for the foreseeable future."  
  • "American families and businesses in states with energy restrictions will be able to access affordable and reliable domestic energy resources," the aide said.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

16 mins ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia structures in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.

Dave Lawler, author of World
36 mins ago - World

Biden's big Saudi reset

Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Ryad Kramdi/AFP via Getty

President Biden spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman this evening ahead of the release of a CIA report expected to implicate the king's son, and the kingdom's de facto ruler, in the murder of a U.S.-based journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Why it matters: In one month, Biden has ended support for the Saudi war effort in Yemen, frozen a large arms deal and snubbed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) by declining to speak with him directly.

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