Energy chiefs go public on Trump

US President Donald Trump signs an executive order in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 24, 2017. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

The ideas and policies of President Donald Trump have dominated energy discussions on airwaves in recent weeks. Oil and gas companies had largely kept their thoughts to themselves. But over the last week, the hopes of energy executives are sneaking into earnings calls.

A week ago, Goldman Sachs analyst Neil Mehta quizzed Chevron chief executive John Watson.

Watson first said he was “very pleased” with the Trump agenda. “We have seen an avalanche of regulation over the last decade,” Watson said. “Freeing up infrastructure pipelines, all of that is quite positive for our business, for the country, job creation, and a lot of things.”

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Still, Watson wasn’t so sure about Trump’s proposed border adjustment tax. “I think we need to take a close look at, perhaps, the consequences of that,” Watson said.

On Thursday, it was Citigroup’s Alastair Syme, grilling ConocoPhillips’ Ryan Lance about the new administration.

“I think it’s a little early to tell,” Lance said.

Still, he expressed common hopes: Regulatory relief. A pipeline boost.

But Lance, too, was uncertain about the idea of a border adjustment tax “and its potential impact on how crude and other products move across the border.”

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“We’re watching it closely,” Lance concluded.

That’s another consensus: “I think we need to have a little patience,” said Watson, “for the different ideas that are being put out there, and hopefully we’ll get to the right outcome.”