President Donald Trump has ordered a review of the company’s role as the country’s largest oil and gas producer and a new environmental policy review to determine whether ExxonMobil is violating federal environmental laws.
Trump’s action on Friday also called for a review by a new EPA Administrator.
Trump issued the order at the end of his first full day of meetings with industry leaders at the White House, according to a White House statement.
It came just days after Trump signed an executive order directing the Interior Department to begin investigating whether Exxon misled the public about climate change and other environmental issues during its exploration and development of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from Canada’s tar sands to the Gulf Coast.
The order was aimed at ensuring that the company is complying with the Clean Water Act and other federal environmental rules.
The EPA was investigating whether the company had misled investors about climate risk and pollution and whether it failed to disclose its risks to investors.
The White House said it was reviewing all the EPA’s reports about the Keystone pipeline.
“We want to be sure that every oil company that we have any dealings with is in the best interest of American workers and the environment,” the White White House spokesperson said.
ExxonMobil said in a statement that the president’s order “removes the regulatory uncertainty surrounding the Keystone project and helps ensure that future projects are environmentally responsible, responsibly operated, and comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.”
The company said it will begin the review “at the earliest possible time,” with an emphasis on reviewing the company and its products.
The president’s announcement was welcomed by environmentalists and oil workers who have long pressed for the creation of a regulatory agency to protect workers, the environment and the economy.
“This is a critical step in addressing the threat of climate change, and it is a major win for the American people,” said Jim Salisbury, executive director of the Oil and Gas Alliance of America.
The oil and natural gas industry, which relies heavily on federal government support, has long argued that climate change threatens the environment, particularly with oil drilling in areas like the Arctic.
But Trump has said he wants to boost production by a quarter or more, a claim that oil companies and some Republicans say would create new and unforeseen problems.
“The Keystone XL will create jobs and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts on the environment.
The administration is making good on its campaign promise to bring back the Keystone jobs, not only for American workers, but for American families and communities,” Salisbury said.
The Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies are reviewing ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies’ environmental records to make sure they are complying with existing federal environmental and public health rules.