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‘Trump’s Promises Are Empty:’ Energy Experts Lay Waste to His Proposals

From making coal great again to ‘cancelling’ the Paris accord, industry analysts say Trump's ideas are farfetched

By Peter Stone

Donald Trump’s energy agenda — which includes pledges of “complete energy independence,” making coal great again and ditching the Paris climate deal — is drawing bipartisan fire from industry analysts, former members of Congress, and even one coal mogul.

All of them, to varying degrees, fault the billionaire’s basic premises and call his promises farfetched and at times contradictory.

caimanPhoto by Gage Skidmore Republican presidential candidate Donald trump has referred to climate change as a hoax.

They say the Republican presidential candidate uses faulty math to tout his vision of America’s energy independence, fails to understand energy economics in his pledge to revive the coal industry, and is peddling a big myth by claiming that global warming is a hoax.

Some energy analysts also observe that Trump’s energy prescriptions, including big regulatory cutbacks that have long been industry wishes, are politically expedient and unrealistic. In making his promise to “save the coal industry,” for instance, Trump has backed slashing environmental rules, taking that message to West Virginia earlier this year, when he pledged that the state’s miners, as well as those in Ohio and Pennsylvania, “are going to start to work again, believe me.”

But Charles Ebinger, a senior fellow at Brookings for energy security and climate issues, told the Guardian that “coal jobs aren’t coming back and for Mr. Trump to say they’re coming back is erroneous and fanciful.” Noting that cheap natural gas has been the primary driver behind years of decline for the coal industry, Ebinger added that Trump seems to be “pandering to coal miners.”

Other analysts concur. “Donald Trump’s promise to revive the US coal sector can only be realized by reining in hydraulic fracking,” said Jerry Taylor, the president of libertarian thinktank the Niskanen Center.

“That’s because low-cost natural gas (courtesy of fracking) has done far more to shut down coal-fired power plants and, correspondingly, reduce demand for US coal than has EPA regulations. Given that he promises exactly the opposite — moving heaven and earth to increase US natural gas production — Trump’s promises are empty.”

Even Trump backer and coal mogul Bob Murray, who runs Murray Energy, which has given $100,000 to a pro-Trump Super Pac, says that the coal industry won’t ever be great again. “I don’t think it will be a thriving industry ever again,” Murray told an energy publication this year. “The coal mines cannot come back to where they were or anywhere near it.”

Likewise, Trump used dubious data when he spoke at an energy event in May in North Dakota arranged by fracking billionaire Harold Hamm, a key Trump policy adviser who has been mentioned as a possible energy secretary and recently hosted a big campaign fundraiser.

Echoing some of Hamm’s priorities, Trump pledged to lift moratoriums on energy production in federal areas, to revoke policies that limit new drilling technologies and to “cancel” the Paris agreement.

Trump also promised “complete energy independence,” a bullish commitment since about a quarter of US energy needs are met by imports, and one that relied on flawed projections of proven oil reserves. Trump stated that the US had 1.5 times the oil of all OPEC countries combined. But at the end of 2014, the US had proven reserves of just under 40 billion barrels, while Saudi Arabia alone had proven reserves of 268 billion barrels.

Similarly, Trump claimed that constructing the Keystone XL pipeline — which, unlike Hillary Clinton, he backs — would create and support 42,000 jobs. But industry projections suggest that building the pipeline would yield about 6,000 jobs directly, and another 7,000 jobs indirectly.

Ex-Conoco Phillips lobbyist Don Duncan compared Trump’s energy proposals to those of an “old snake oil salesman,” saying: “Trump’s energy cures are based on a lot of numbers that clash with energy industry data and scientific studies.”

Trump’s penchant for ignoring facts and hard evidence is also underscored by his attacks on global warming and the Paris accords.

Trump famously tweeted in 2012 that the “concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing less competitive.” Taylor called this “risible.”

“Not one scintilla of evidence exists to back the charge up,” he said. “It’s another example of his willingness to say anything at all — no matter how ridiculous or dishonest — to justify the know-nothingism of his base.”

Trump denied during Monday’s presidential debate having said such a thing, but in a speech last December he referred to global warming as a “hoax” three times in one sentence.

Former US congressman Bob Inglis, a South Carolina Republican who runs a group promoting free enterprise climate change ideas, said Trump’s global warming views were dangerous. “People who presume to be leaders by offering false hope and inflaming passions are disqualifying themselves for leadership.”

The Guardian
The Guardian UK, one of Britain's top daily newspapers, provides coverage of international environmental issues. Earth Island Journal is a member of the Guardian's Environment News Network.

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Comments

In the words of Bugs Bunny…“What a Buffon, what an Ignoramus!”
The EDUCATION system in the USA has failed and led to this outcome. Apparently the morons who voted for DRUMPF don’t know how to FACT check a damn thing. When you say Climate change is a hoax..it just takes a few seconds to get thousands of results from Google. Then all you need to do is read, compare results and come to an obvious conclusion. DRUMPF played his Morans well…he spoke like them, ate like them (cue Mcdonalds meal on airplane), acted like them and no matter how dishonest he appeared to the MINIONS they followed him right off the cliff!

By JOHN on Fri, December 02, 2016 at 11:18 am

Manufacturing went overseas for dirt cheap wages, only because they could not replace people with mechanization cheaper. Manufacturing jobs have been dying for a long time. Driving jobs are also doomed and being replaced with self driven vehicles. We have great jobs for engineers of which 80 percent are filled by legal immigrants on visas. New jobs with futures are science and engineering, solar power, and pot are all growth areas. Oil will also die and be replaced by clean energy. To many people trained in what they wanted to do, not for the good jobs that are available. and in demand.

By Mike Seymour on Mon, November 28, 2016 at 5:02 pm

I can’t believe my life is now in the hands of a moron called “ORANGE MAN.”

By Valerie Bear on Mon, November 28, 2016 at 1:05 am

A bit pre-mature don’t ya think, Hilary’s still counting votes and the man hasn’t even been inaugurated yet. Give it a friggin rest….

By olivia on Sat, November 26, 2016 at 11:47 am

When every one is thinking and saying the same thing, then no one is thinking.

By Gord Lawson on Wed, November 23, 2016 at 12:37 pm

extinction level event is what 35 Nobel laurates stated      
the world is trembling at the thought of no USA to turn to for help
now a tv clown and life long selffish criminal in the mafia sits in the whitehouse with friends gooseteping and chanting heil trump
Death to all HATRED

RIP USA

By jo mama on Tue, November 22, 2016 at 1:30 pm

I now feel sorry for the US. You have signed your country over to a complete idiot and now you will get exactly what you deserve. Some 59 million idiots voted for a goof and another 100 million or so didn`t bother to vote. Congratulations! You are now the laughing stock of the entire world. Enjoy watching your country tear itself apart which will happen very soon. Goodbye! I will never buy anything made in the US again! Ever! You really are a bunch of deplorables!

By wayne s on Mon, November 21, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Ok Ladies and Gentlemen, Here is an a better Idea for all Americans and the rest of the entire world. We are human beings and if you look real close at us all we are the most useless and most waistfull and most problem causing living things alive on this planet. Simple as this everyone has opinions and ideas on who is right and who is wrong and the bottom line is that most humans have forgotten who created everything that there is including Humans, I hear so much crap from every angle of the world but yet no one has given God the creator of all things the chance to be the answer to all things. We as humans are basicly saying God is no use anymore and he cant do anything right so we must take over =his position to fix everything. (REALLY) well good luck with that you stupid idiots and take your power struggles and all your bull shit to your grave and I bet the world will still be here when your gone and that will answer all about you now wont it. You want to see a better world all around then here is an idea go to God but if you do dont ask foe help and then take over because you think he is doing a poor job and your better.See what he can do. Oh and if you are wondering what he can do look around you take a big breath of air and look at Gods creations and then look at humans creations. Hmmm who did a better job so far stupid. The world will fail no doubt with out God and thats why you are seeing all these problems of the world is because we all put the problem here are selves period. I pray the world somehow will put God back as the leader of the world and lets see how he does as a leader.Good luck humans

By robert Snow on Mon, November 21, 2016 at 3:18 pm

As far as the Keystone pipeline is concerned - Calgary-based pipeline-maker TransCanada Corp. has filed a $15-billion NAFTA claim against the U.S. government, arguing that while it racked up expenses, it was being misled by the Obama administration that the decision would be based on the technical merits, not politics. So maybe the article should have mentioned this as well as belittling the jobs it’s construction will create.

By Bob Nail on Sat, November 19, 2016 at 1:38 pm

TRUMP was ELECTED and it all comes down to this… 25 years ago we were told by Republican establishment and the Democrat Clintons, Globalization Globalization, Globalization. Since the 50’s to the 80’s the largest employers of the US were US Steel, GM motors, Standard Oil (Exxon now) ect… all paying equivalent to $30+ an hour in todays wages. By the late 90’s in the Midwest all manufacturing started to rapidly disappear, In the Northwest the logging industry started to rapidly disappear. We were told don’t worry with retraining and a shift in the economy to more service and tech work we will be better off. Now if you type in biggest US employers it is Wal-Mart, Target, Yum brand Foods, and McDonald’s, average pay is Minimum wage!
To top off this they now find themselves competing for the minimum wage jobs with illegal immigrants at home and foreigners from countries that don’t play by any rules if those jobs are being shipped overseas. They can’t make their house payments but are told by the media that they will be branded racists if they complain. Meanwhile elites out there raised their net worth over 10 fold from all the cost benefits of Globalization.  Duties and tariffs are for protecting a countries workers from unfair competition.  When a country signs a free trade agreement with Mexico or Vietnam then it’s workers must compete with Mexico’s minimum wage of US $4.70 PER DAY and Vietnam’s 56 cents per hour. What are the results of these trade deals? Loss of a countries manufacturing jobs and lowering of manufacturing wages. Trump is the only leader talking about this - the rest seam to be more interested in Globalization than their citizens welfare.

By Bob Nail on Sat, November 19, 2016 at 1:34 pm

I sincerely hope that those who appear to know how everything about Trump and that he would /will fail, will be as conscientious in recognizing him equally if he is successful.
The media “expert”  panels who were so sure that Clinton would
win the presidential race should perhaps not be in so much of a rush to condemn him without giving it time.
Egg on face twice would be very embarrassing.
Trump is innocent until proven guilty….The same rule obviously didn’t apply to the Democratic choice and the people have spoken.
Let’s revisit this article in one year’s time shall we ?

By William Thompson on Sun, November 13, 2016 at 3:02 pm

Readers who cannot see the sense in this article maybe need to read it over and over until they get the message of what this article is really saying. The article clearly shows Trump is unfit for leading a country. I did not vote for Hilary or Trump, but I know that Trump is now one of the biggest challenges this planet faces.

By John Williams on Fri, November 11, 2016 at 8:54 am

In my openion Climate need to change, as Sun energy constantly burning gases there, any thing burning must re-create itself using self propel gases into new gases constantly at the sun iner circle, thus it is constant bombardment of gases, thus they are infinite, until end times, which govern by God creation.  Men - has ignore the God doing - how God created all the universe, and finally made man, to keep using what God created and sometimes go against God.
The problem we make ourself God, which is impossible.
yes there is day world had to end, as life of each of end as we grow old each minute and second.


Anthony Furtado

By Anthony,Antonio Furtado on Fri, November 11, 2016 at 6:57 am

Someone explain to me when for 600,000 years the Co2 level has never gone over 350 and changes can take 10.000 years why we are now over 400 in a few years if humans aren’t adding to what happens normally.

By Hippienutbag on Sun, November 06, 2016 at 10:45 am

The problems with Guardian an the like is that they do not know what side is the West’s bread buttered on and are afraid to (try to) think out of the box.

This is not to whitewash Trump’s weaknesses and vices, but to put them in perspective.

By Alex Wolf on Sat, November 05, 2016 at 12:03 pm

First time in the history of America, at an unprecedented level sitting US President, First Lady traveling across US in support of former Secretary of state. Why? 
Voters have to decide whether to vote for a failed leader, who lies, deceives, show favouritism, collaborate and support oppressive regimes, support alleged war criminal regimes, fail to bring perpetrators to accountability and apply double standard policies or not? Vote sensibly to defeat evil leaders!
God Bless America!

By Shiva on Sat, November 05, 2016 at 11:16 am

It is clear that you are against Mr. Trump.  Many issues you mention above are used to limit the prosperity of the U.S. and strengthen the global nations.
For instance many decades ago the coming “global cooling” was used by environmentalists to enforce laws to limit our U.S. manufacturing industry, then when it became evident that the climate was changing to warming in the last few decades it became “global warming”, now since global warming has stopped it has changed to “climate change”.
The truth is our climate is similar to a pendulum which swings between cooler and warmer cycles.  Which is nothing other than natural climate change and man has very little ability to affect it.

By Kent Paulhamus on Mon, October 31, 2016 at 7:03 am

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