Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has unveiled his energy policy, calling for stripping back Environmental Protection Agency protections, reigniting the coal industry, increasing fossil fuel drilling and withdrawing from the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
On May 26, Trump delivered a speech outlining his energy plan in Bismarck, North Dakota. The policy proposals seemed to be a complete reversal of President Barack Obama’s energy achievements, The New York Times reports.
“We’re going to deal with real environmental challenges, not the phoney ones we’ve been hearing about,” Trump said.
The business mogul vowed to rescind the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, an ambitious effort to curb U.S. emissions of greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent by 2025. He would also remove all regulations placed on the coal industry during the Obama administration.
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“Regulations that shut down hundreds of coal-fired power plants and block the construction of new ones -- how stupid is that?” Trump said.
The GOP nominee also pledged to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, a voluntary deal joined by 190 other nations to lower emissions to curb climate change. Trump asserted the agreement gives foreign powers the authority to moderate U.S. energy.
“This agreement gives foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use on our land, in our country,” Trump said. “No way.”
The Paris climate agreement is voluntary and participating countries would not be able to tell others how to cut their emissions. The deal has yet to be ratified and made law, meaning Trump could withdraw the U.S. from the agreement without repercussions if he is elected president.
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Trump declared he would cut off all U.S. financial aid to countries for the purpose of cutting their emissions. Developing nations whose economies will suffer by slashing emissions will need U.S. money to ease the transition. Trump believes this is a waste of taxpayer money.
“We’ve got big problems, folks, and we can’t be sending money all over the world,” Trump said.
Trump also vowed to revive the coal industry, although the decline of coal has been largely due to the natural gas boom. Robert McNally, president of energy consulting firm Rapidan Group, has stated that if Trump wanted to raise the economic viability of coal, he “would have to find a way to raise natural gas prices.”
The presidential hopeful also pledged to create energy independence for the U.S. by offshore drilling and resuming the building the Keystone XL pipeline.
Trump’s energy plan goes against nearly all of the recommendations of climate scientists who stress that emissions, especially from burning coal, are contributing to worsening climate change.
The businessman may not mind because, as established through a series of social media messages throughout the years, he does not believe in climate change, Mother Jones reports.
“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” Trump tweeted out in 2012.
“This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullsh--- has got to stop,” Trump tweeted out in 2014. “Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice.”
On May 23, Politico found that Trump had applied for a permit to construct a sea wall alongside his golf course resort in Ireland. In that permit, the company cited climate change as a concern for the safety of the resort.
"Predicted sea level rise and more frequent storm events will increase the rate of erosion throughout the 21st century,” the application stated.