Insane Trump Energy Policy Would Put Entire World At Risk


Donald Trump told the Detroit Economic Conference this week that he will propose “a complete rethinking of our energy policy.” What does that mean? According to Trump’s stated plans, it apparently means the Koch Brothers win. Fossil fuel industries will get to extract every last molecule of oil, natural gas, and coal from the earth and burn them to produce profits for themselves. The fact that doing so will likely accelerate the pace of climate change and global warming and destroy human society is irrelevant to these charlatans who place profits above all else — including people’s lives.

Donald Trump

It is fair to say that all government policies should be critically re-examined on a regular basis to insure they are still relevant, cost effective, and effective. But Trump’s plan is nothing less than the wholesale adoption of policy positions espoused by the leaders of the Republican Party for the past several decades. It echoes the policies put forth by Mitt Romney and George W. Bush.

His speech cited studies from the Koch Brothers–funded Institute for Energy Research, the ExxonMobil-funded Heritage Foundation, and the American Petroleum Institute. All purport to prove that clean energy policies put in place by the Obama administration will ruin the American economy. Trump’s proposals call for more fossil fuels and less environmental regulation.

In his speech, Trump blasted what he called “the Obama–Clinton war on coal.” He promised, “I am going to cut regulations massively. Massively.” Say hello to fracking in national parks and forests. Say hello to more coal-fired generating plants belching pollutants into the skies without expensive pollution control technology, and thus costing the US a net $500 billion a year in extra health and livability costs. Say hello to rivers, streams, and aquifers too polluted to support human habitation so that a few people can make billions in profits.

Before the speech, the Trump campaign sent the press a statement of its so-called energy policy plan.

Trump energy policy

“Donald Trump’s energy proposals read like a gift registry for the fossil fuel and financial industries,” Greenpeace executive director Annie Leonard said in a statement. “If a U.S. president would attempt to enact any of these proposals it would not only undo the the progress millions of people around the world have achieved on climate change, it would set this country on a path to economic ruin and environmental devastation.”

Trump’s campaign pronouncements often refer to creating jobs, a topic that resonates with many who have seen their livelihoods devastated by the economic turmoil that roiled the global economy in 2008. Most people have seen their earning power decline since then while a few lucky and very wealthy people have made hundreds of billions in profits. It’s easy to see how people can be seduced by the promise of more jobs and higher wages.

But the Trump vision is nothing more than empty slogans without any basis in reality. The real economic opportunities are in building an infrastructure of sustainable, non-polluting energy resources and a complete transition away from the world’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Humankind can only continue to poison the environment we rely on for so long. “Drill, baby, drill” is a foolish, short-sighted policy that imperils us all.

Source: Think Progress | Photo by Gage Skidmore (some rights reserved)

About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I'm interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.
  • AaronD12

    “Say hello to the purification of our rivers…”

    I believe you meant “putrification”. Still not a good choice of words. “Pollution” is just fine.

    • Steve Hanley

      You are quite correct. I should wear my glasses when using spell check! : – 0

  • Kieran Delaney

    “Insane” and “Trump”…two words, forevermore inextricably linked to one another…

  • mike e

    Steve Hanley should create new super affordable super efficient super clean energy super technologies, and then build the infrastructure overnight. That will be cool. Will never happen, though. Cuz Steve is a ‘car nut’. (Nut? Like ‘T’?Scary?). So – more blah-blah-blah scaremongering in the comfort of his cozy little blog. Cool!

    • Steve Hanley

      One man’s scaremongering is another man’s truth. You can only defecate in the communal pool so long before people begin to notice the water tastes funny. Shall we wait until people get sick and die before we take action?

    • Marcel

      What will never happen? New renewables? It’s scary that a lot of people haven’t got a clue that renewables also happen to be the cheaper option. Jobs? How hard or expensive is it to train coal people to install solar? Steve described the situation very well. It’s reckless to vote for that crazy guy.

      • Steve Hanley

        Yup. The economic opportunities offered by renewables are enormous.

        The only difference between fossil fuel interests and the companies that made Conestoga wagons is that the wagon makers didn’t have unlimited money to buy elected officials to hold back the onset of the automotive age.

        We used to run our factories on steam. The march of technology always creates economic winners and losers. Fossil fuels are dinosaurs, in more ways than one!

  • kevin mccune

    So much hate and whining ,I know some people will lose their livelihood if more coal mines,shut down ,but as a whole they are simply not major employers except in isolated communities,if you can prove to me to me that these ,black holes in the earth and the half assed reclaimed land is good for anything but short term profit ,then I will change my mind”A strip mine is forever ” you going to put the tops back on the ridges? I think not,naysayers ask the people on the Dan River what they think of coal ash (not the first time it has ever happened either,out riparian systems and coastal enviroments are catching hell ,pure and simple,inquire as to how big the percentage of the population of Chesapeake bay oysters are compared to colonial times ,its an eye opener.

  • Justin R

    Wow what a article.
    The EPA implements a system that can be easily manipulated and pay for it dearly with no regards to how it will not only take a toll on Germany but more importantly the people in the US that would suffer because of it. The EPA burns through tax dollars and turns the water in Colorado orange and for what? “it will dissipate out, no worries.” Good job. Where I live it has been over 100F outside almost every single day here lately for most of the day, People have A/C units working overtime in homes and businesses. Worried about global warming turn off your air conditioner… That doesn’t seem to be to popular. Meanwhile you look at the fuel economy regulations automakers are expected to meet now and in the future and when you look at the line graph it looks like Obama was adding on his part to it and fell asleep with his pen on the paper. Cars are already cutting quality on parts to save money and meet demand but lets add on to that by implementing ridiculous fuel economy regulations, push them out with the thinnest oil and transmission fluid that cost way more then the standard that been working fine and innovations that are so often failures often at the owners cost. Take the ultra low velocity oil and stick it in a engine that is put together tighter then a ugly 3rd grader and sure it can meet the requirements when rolling out the factor doors, but you get your new car home and start reading the owners manual (if your responsible enough to do so) and see that it says it is okay for the car to consume oil like the car you traded it with 270,000Miles on a tired old motor. Experts in the industry have said the thinner oil they are pushing for will likely lead to cars that pollute more and lost fuel economy at a more progressive rate. But who am I to say that cars that don’t last as long won’t manufactured and transported dealerships at 0 impact to the environment starting tomorrow or the day after that.

    As far as polluted rivers.. who knows, that could be already taken care of on the list 500,000 jobs.

    But either way the earth isn’t going to last forever so why not make the best of it while we are here. If everything in your article was true and was going to happen, Trumps got my vote… We have a lot of damage to undo after Obama and it is going to take extreme measures so go somewhere that needs it with ideas.

    • super390

      My God, “make the best of it while we are here” by burning up the world for cheap comfort and trying to dump toxic wastes in the neighborhoods of those who don’t look like us? What is even the point of society and laws if we just get to trash everything for short-term benefit?

      You act as though extinction is just business, as if the people who suffer are expendable, but not the sacred free market and property rights. Do you know that lead contamination rates in children, especially urban children, dropped after the EPA forced everyone to use unleaded fuel? Do you know that every reputable doctor accepts that this in turn dropped mental retardation rates? And that these medical phenomena are correlated with violent crimes? Trump wants to eliminate the EPA entirely. Who, sir, will deal with such problems after that? The companies that lied about tobacco and cancer while making their cigarettes more addictive?

      • Steve Hanley

        Tell it, brother!

        I am quietly amazed at how many people reject the “profits over people” model. It used to be pretty lonely out on the edge of the climate change movement. It gives me hope. : – )

  • WebUserAtLarge

    Make America great again – thats funny, considering Trump’s agenda. Today, in the world where China, India and many other developing countries embracing and promoting clean renewable sources of energy, America, if left to Trump, will be hammered back into the dark ages. All the while looking like a joke rather then a great nation. When allies like Australia and Great Britain announce one breakthrough in clean energy deployment after another, getting well on the way of energy independence, Trump would have us get INTO greater dependence on this non-renewable resource AND make us more vulnerable to actions of questionable allies and downright enemies.

  • kevin mccune

    Oops ,upvoted myself again by accident (most web sites wont let you do that) anyway this “cant see it from from my house ” attitude has to change ,the greatest benefiters from this desolation,should shoulder the greatest responsibility ,seriously this population issue has to be addressed (never by abortion ,BTW ) The more of us “Zegs ” there are,the less we are worth . Slavery (except wage slaves) ois not an issue now ,beings that the have nots ,will serve the rich for a pittance ,check out your history ,after the “black plague ” comparatively speaking skilled workers then where at there maximum “value” .