Burnett: Trump on energy and the environment, year 1

By H. Sterling Burnett

[Excerpted from an article in Breitbart; for the full story, go here.]

Elections have consequences, and in the energy and environmental policy areas, the consequences resulting from the election of Donald Trump have been profound.

When it comes to being President, ideas and vision are in many cases just as important as the policies implemented. In this regard, there has been a radical shift in the goal driving energy policy since Barack Obama left the White House. Under Trump, energy policies are no longer formulated based on the false narrative that humans’ fossil-fuel use is causing dangerous climate change….

Under Trump, U.S. energy policy is guided by the overarching goal of promoting American energy dominance, a position reflected throughout the Trump Administration’s America First Energy Plan.

The Heartland Institute assembled an Action Plan for the Trump Administration consisting of 34 actions and policies it believes will help, in Trump’s words, “make America great again.” Trump—with Congress’ help, in some instances—has already accomplished in whole or in part eight of the 13 energy and environment recommendations in the Action Plan.

For instance, Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Trumclimate agreement and rescinded the Clean Power Plan—thereby partially adopting recommendations two and five on Heartland’s list. Trump also approved the Keystone XL Pipeline (recommendation 3), and on November 20, the Nebraska Public Service Commission likewise approved the project—the final major regulatory hurdle needed for the expansion to begin.

With Scott Pruitt at the helm of Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the EPA has ended its use of sue-and-settle agreements, which radical environmentalists and collaborators within the EPA have relied on for years to shape energy and environmental policy without legislative oversight and outside of the normal regulatory process….

Trump has also cleared Obama holdovers from the EPA science advisory committees and issued a directive to ensure advisers serving on EPA Federal Advisory Committees are not receiving EPA grants and have no other conflicts of interest. Many of these positions at EPA and other agencies are now being filled with Heartland policy advisors. Additionally, Trump has dramatically reduced funding for climate programs….

Neomi Rao, director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, reports the administration has thus far formally revoked 67 rules, blocked 635 regulations that were being developed, placed 244 proposed regulations on “inactive” status, and placed a hold on more than 700 regulations. According to White House staff, the regulations the Trump Administration has rescinded completely have saved the economy more than $8.1 billion in regulatory costs over their lifetime, or about $570 million per year….

 

Trump still has much more to accomplish, but any fair assessment conducted by supporters of reasonable energy policies would consider his first-year achievements a tremendous start.

If the stock market, job growth, unemployment decline, business investment, and consumer confidence are any indication, Trump is well on his way to making America great again, and his climate, energy, and environment policy changes are playing no small part in that.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D.,  is a senior fellow on energy and the environment at The Heartland Institute, and a member of the CFACT Board of Academic and Scientific Advisors.

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