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Anti-incumbent mood gets test in first House GOP primaries

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Illinois, speaks on Capitol Hill in 2013 in Washington. 

AP

COLLINSVILLE — The early days of the Trump administration have resulted in a swirl of actions to peel back regulations and to push for fossil-fuel energy development. A Southern Illinois member of Congress is part of the push.

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, praised executive orders issued by President Donald Trump Tuesday to advance construction on two controversial oil pipeline projects that had been delayed by former President Barack Obama. Trump’s orders made it easier for Trans Canada to build the Keystone XL Pipeline and for Energy Transfer Partners to finish the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been the source of fierce opposition on North Dakota’s Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Environmentalists say the two projects threaten the climate by enhancing production of, and dependence on, oil. Trump and his allies say the projects are another step toward energy independence.

Shimkus has a nexus position in this ongoing fight: He chairs a key Energy and Commerce subcommittee on the environment through which a lot of Trump-era initiatives on energy and the environment — and pushback from Democrats and their allies — will flow.

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