Have no doubt that the national election outcomes will have profoundly positive impacts upon America’s energy security. As President-Elect Donald Trump said during a pre-election energy policy campaign speech, “Imagine a world in which oil cartels will no longer use energy as a weapon.”
Three key strategies illustrate how that vision can be accomplished:
1) Regulatory Relief. Former presidential candidate Donald Trump promised that his administration will reverse repressive regulatory burdens on businesses. Special attention will focus upon the EPA . . . dramatically cutting its budget and reducing its status to an advisory agency.
Now following through on this, President-Elect Trump’s position appears to be closely aligned with 2016 GOP environmental and energy campaign policy planks. As the platform committee wrote: “We propose to shift responsibility for environmental regulation from federal bureaucracy to the states and to transform the EPA into an independent bipartisan commission, similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with structural safeguards against politicized science.”
Trump has committed to permanently terminating the Obama Administration’s signature Clean Power Plan, which has been stayed by
the U.S. Supreme Court. This could be accomplished in a variety of ways. For example, the GOP Congress might pass a bill that will prevent the EPA from regulating CO2 under the existing Clean Air Act (legislation which was never intended to be applied for this purpose); the new President could simply decline to defend the rule, which is currently under review by the D.C. District Court; or he could direct a reconstituted EPA to rewrite it through a “voluntary remand” process that renders it virtually toothless.
We should fully expect a Trump Administration to end secret green activist “sue-and-settle” law suits. These charades involve closed-door, back-room agreements where pre-negotiated legal filings by environmental organizations charge a federal agency such as the EPA with not issuing or enforcing rules which both parties want. Following quiet settlements, we taxpayers get stuck with legal fees of both colluding culprits.
2) Leveraging Bountiful Fossil Resources. Speaking at a shale oil event earlier this year, Trump said: “Producing more American energy is a central part of my plan to making America wealthy again — especially the poorest Americans. America is sitting on a treasure trove of untapped energy — some $50 trillion in shale energy, oil reserves, and natural gas on federal lands, in addition to hundreds of years of coal energy reserves. It’s all upside, more jobs, more revenues. More wealth, higher wages, and lower energy prices.”
A President Trump will open up more federal lands to oil and gas drilling, while also streamlining energy industry permitting. It currently takes an average 30 days for states to permit an oil or gas well, compared with more than seven months for the federal government to do so.
Donald Trump has also expressed support for the Keystone XL pipeline that will transport oil shale oil from Canada in exchange for a “significant piece” of the profits.
As noted in the GOP platform: “The Keystone Pipeline has become a symbol of everything wrong with the current [Obama] Administration’s ideological approach, After years of delay, the President killed it to satisfy environmental extremists. We intend to finish that pipeline and others as part of our commitment to North American energy security.”
3) Curtailing Climate Alarm-Premised Globalism. President-Elect Trump has vowed to cancel U.S. participation in the Paris climate accord. Even the UN’s climate chief Christiana Figueres candidly admitted that the organizers’ ultimate goal was “to change the [capitalist] economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”
As further confirmed by Ottmar Edenhofer, another UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) official: “ . . . one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth . . . ”
Trump’s policy pledge follows the GOP platform committee’s demand for “ . . . an immediate halt to U.S. funding for the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in accordance with the 1994 Foreign Relations Authorization Act.”
Since the Paris agreement was never ratified by the Senate as required by the Constitution, the Republican-controlled House and Senate can pass a law to clarify official disapproval.
Alternatively, President Trump is allowed to legally pull out of Obama’s Paris agreement by issuing a 1-year notice.
Trump has made it clear that his administration will have no part in funding a $100 billion annual UN pledge by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “to help poor countries adapt to global warming.” Speaking as then-Republican presidential nominee, he told supporters at a Florida campaign: “We will also cancel billions in global warming payments to the United Nations, and use that money to support America’s vital environmental infrastructure and natural resources.”
He once again committed, “We’re going to keep our money here and our jobs here and bring our jobs back.”