Donald Trump did not mince words as he outlined his pro-coal mining and fossil fuel election platform, telling an industry audience in Pittsburgh, PA that he will scrap the $5 trillion Obama-Clinton Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan, and overhaul regulations seen as strangling U.S. coal, oil and gas industries.
Speaking to around 1,200, the Republican presidential nominee said if he’s elected in November, he will introduce an “America First energy plan” that will roll back restrictions on shale production, thereby creating 500,000 jobs per year and raising U.S. Gross Domestic Product by $100 billion annually.
But to do that, Trump said he would scrap the $5 trillion Obama-Clinton Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan, the latter of which was passed in 2014 by the Obama Administration with the goal of curbing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.
“I will rescind the coal mining lease moratorium, the excessive Interior Department stream rule, and conduct a top-down review of all anti-coal regulations issued by the Obama Administration,” he told the Ohio Oil and Gas Association and the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, adding, “I will refocus the EPA on its core mission of ensuring clean air, and clean, safe drinking water for all Americans.”
Trump also stated he will open up federal lands and waters to oil and gas drilling, and remove restrictions “on innovative new exploration technologies.”
Meanwhile a key advisor to Trump, Kathleen Hartnett White, a member of his Economic Advisory Council, was striking fear into the hearts of environmentalists and clean energy supporters by airing her views on the powerful Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which Obama has been using as a vehicle for implementing regulatory changes particularly those that govern coal-fired power plants.
The former chairman and commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and co-author of the book “Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy,” told S&P Global Intelligence on Friday that the many rules issued by the EPA need to be cut:
“A basic recommendation I would make to anyone running for president is we need to review this avalanche of rules that has been promulgated over the last eight years and possibly rescind…and replace [them] with new rules,” she said, noting that such rules have restricted economic growth, and that harnessing fossil fuels will spur growth.
However unlike Trump, who has said he would scrap the EPA, Hartnett White believes there is still a place for the agency to regulate the environment, but under a Trump government it would certainly have a more limited role:
“Again this doesn’t mean we don’t need EPA; we don’t need regulation; we’re already doing a good job. No. Just to maintain the achievements reached…is a very important function for an administrative agency [like the EPA],” she said.
According to S&P Global Intelligence, Hartnett White is a climate-change denier who during the interview, “attacked the EPA’s 2009 finding that carbon dioxide emissions pose a threat to public health and welfare” – which prompted the EPA to formulate the Clean Power Plan. She said the legislation should have been passed by Congress and suggested the EPA had over-stretched its mandate:
“Policies of that magnitude to me must be a decision of the U.S. Congress or we don’t really function like a democracy anymore, if we have agencies that through very strained interpretation of existing law can impose such bold measures,” she said.
Her views and those of Trump are in stark contrast to the Democratic Party’s stance on energy, which includes a phase-out of coal, oil and gas production on public lands, as a way of lessening greenhouse gas emissions.