Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gave an energy speech yesterday in North Dakota where he pledged to adopt an American First energy plan that is aimed at having complete energy independence through a series of new policy changes that includes discarding many of the clean energy initiatives adopted by President Obama and relying instead on the fossil fuel industry to accomplish the majority of his goals.
Trump’s energy plan seeks to loosen government regulations, unwind the United States’ commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, and somehow resurrect the clobbered coal industry that has seen large numbers of job cuts in states like West Virginia due to weaker coal demand from China and a shift in the U.S. to natural gas from the shale revolution.
Energy analysts from Goldman Sachs have already noted that demand for thermal coal is declining and said that the trend appears to be “irreversible.”
“In other words, the industry cost curve shifts downward but prices fall below the cash cost of production and balance sheets are depleted. In the case of thermal coal, the majority of production cuts are likely to be permanent because demand is unlikely to recover in the long term,” Goldman analysts said, according to snl.
Despite of the insurmountable challenges facing the coal industry, Donald Trump said in his speech from North Dakota, “We’re going to save the coal industry and other industries threatened by Hillary Clinton’s extremist agenda.”
Hilary Clinton remains committed to supporting many of Obama’s clean energy policies and admits there are fundamental challenges restoring many of the lost jobs in the coal industry.
She has outlined a $30 billion proposal to revitalize coal communities.
Climate Change Hypocrisy
In the past, Trump has claimed climate change is a “hoax” initiated by special interest groups despite overwhelming evidence that suggest climate change is real and likely due to human activities.
“Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position” NASA wrote.
Trump’s anti-climate change stance appears to be largely inconsistent with recent actions taken by his company over his golf course in Ireland that acknowledges the real damaging impact of climate change on his business investment.
ABC NEWS correctly pointed out that the Doonbeg Golf Resort, owned by Trump International Golf links, is currently attempting to get permission from Claire County Council to build a limestone seawall that attempts to protect the golf course and dunes from excessive erosion, according to documents obtained by ABC.
A May 10,2016 application cited “climate change” as primary justification to undertake the limestone seawall project.
“The rising sea levels and increased storm frequency and wave energy associated with global warming can increase the rate of erosion, wave damage, coastal flooding, etc.”
An environmental impact statement used during the seawall application process also concluded, “The evidence for increased storm activity associated with climate change suggests that the erosion will accelerate.”
Trump’s 100 Day Action Plan
Trump’s ambitious energy plan outlined yesterday in North Dakota includes rescinding the Waters of the U.S. rule and President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.
Many of President Obama’s clean energy actions were adopted as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that provided more than $80 billion in clean energy investments.
Trump claims that he is “going to save the coal industry and other industries threatened by Hillary Clinton’s extremist agenda” and ask Calgary-based Trans Canada to renew its permit application for the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Trump cited that the Keystone XL Pipeline would create 42,000 jobs.
But those new 42,000 jobs would only be temporary, lasting a year or two to build the pipeline and complete the project, according to factcheck.org.
The number of permanent new jobs created is far lower and would generate approximately 50 permanent jobs during operations.
Another one of Trump’s 100 day plan includes “scrapping any regulation that is outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers, or contrary to the national interest” that seemingly tilts towards a Republican energy agenda.
Trump appears to be moving away from the EPA when he claimed yesterday in North Dakota that he will “eliminate duplication, provide regulatory certainty, and trust local officials and local residents.”
Trump’s energy plan breaks away from President Obama’s clean energy initiatives, reduces environmental regulations, embraces the fossil fuel industry, and seeks to reverse some of the progress that has been made to lower emissions through the Paris Climate Agreement.
Written By: Johnathan Schweitzer