Trump’s Energy Plans: A climate of change

Donald Trump sworn in as 45th President of the United States

WASHINGTON DC – Pledging to empower America’s “forgotten men and women,” Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday, taking command of a deeply divided nation and ushering in an unpredictable era in Washington. His victory gives Republicans control of the White House for the first time in eight years.

Looking out over the crowd sprawled across the National Mall, Trump painted a bleak picture of the nation he now leads, lamenting “American carnage,” shuttered factories and depleted U.S. leadership. President Barack Obama, the man he replaced, sat behind him stoically.

Trump’s address lasted just 16 minutes. While his inauguration did draw crowds to the nation’s capital, the numbers appeared smaller than for past celebrations. Trump is not without his supporters though.

Roy Nichols said Donald Trump’s victory has given him a new optimism about his country’s future.

“I feel good about America again,” Nichols said outside Union Station in Washington, D.C. The 64-year-old retiree from Paducah, Kentucky, traveled to Washington to be a counter protester supporting Trump and planned to be at Saturday’s women’s march as well.He said his son had completed multiple military deployments to the Middle East, and he particularly admired Trump’s hard-line stance against the Islamic State group.”At least give him a chance,” Nichols said. Source: AP

 

Demonstrations unfolded at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police helped ticket-holders get through. After the swearing-in, more protesters registered their rage in the streets of Washington. Police in riot gear deployed pepper spray and made numerous arrests after protesters smashed the windows of downtown businesses, denouncing capitalism and Trump.

The new president’s first words as commander in chief were an unapologetic reprisal of the economic populism and nationalism that fueled his improbable campaign. He vowed to stir “new national pride,” bring jobs back to the United States, and “eradicate completely” Islamic terrorism.

“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only, ‘America First,'” Trump said.

In one remarkable passage, Trump ripped into Washington’s longtime leaders as he stood among them at the U.S. Capitol. For too long, he said, “a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.”

For Republicans eager to be back in the White House, there was little mention of the party’s bedrock principles: small government, social conservativism and robust American leadership around the world. Trump, who is taking office as one of the most unpopular incoming presidents in modern history, made only oblique references to those who may be infuriated and fearful of his presidency.

“To all Americans in every city near and far, small and large from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again,” he said.

The new president was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts, reciting the 35-word oath with his hand placed upon two Bibles, one used by his family and another during President Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration.

A climate of change

Before the day was out, the new incoming administration removed all references to climate change from the official White House website. WhiteHouse.gov is now firmly under the control of the Trump administration. It has been incorrectly reported that this data was removed entirely, however the Obama era website has since been relocated to an official government archive and remains open to all as part of the public record.

It’s no secret that Trump does not think much of Climate Change, commenting on last year’s campaign trail that he thinks there isn’t much to it. He’s also levelled unsupported theories that climate change is a hoax started by china to give them an advantage in trade.

The incoming head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt was pressed by Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont) on his thoughts around Climate Change. While Pruitt disagrees with Trump’s view that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese to make U.S manufacturing non-competitive.

Pruitt did admit after pressure was applied that “Science tells us the climate is changing and human activity in some matter impacts that change,” he said.

Pruitt also added, “The ability to measure and pursue the degree and the extent of that impact and what to do about it are subject to continuing debate and dialogue.”

Other key Trump advisers set to head key departments and agencies include Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Perry was tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to head the Energy Department and has vowed to be an advocate for an agency he once pledged to eliminate. He has promised to rely on federal scientists, including those who work on climate change. Perry told a Senate committee on Thursday that he regrets his infamous statement about abolishing the department and insisted it performs critical functions, particularly in protecting and modernizing the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

“My past statements made over five years ago about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking,” Perry said. “In fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination.”

In 2011, at a Republican presidential primary debate, Perry became a punchline who famously forgot the department was one of the agencies he wanted to eliminate.

At his confirmation hearing, Perry also pledged to promote and develop American energy in all forms, advance the department’s science and technology mission and carefully dispose of nuclear waste. And he acknowledged that climate change is real.

“I believe some of it is naturally occurring, but some of it is also caused by man-made activity,” Perry told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “The question is how do we address it in a thoughtful way that doesn’t compromise economic growth, the affordability of energy or American jobs.”

Perry, who served 14 years at Texas governor, said he was for “all of the above” on energy production — oil and gas to renewable sources like wind and solar power — before President Barack Obama embraced the strategy.

“We truly advocated an all-of-the-above strategy, reducing carbon emissions not just through development of cleaner fossil fuels, but through the development of renewable sources too,” Perry said.

During Perry’s tenure as governor, Texas maintained its traditional role as a top driller for oil and natural gas, while also emerging as the leading producer of wind power in the United States and a top 10 provider of solar power.

In his inauguration speech, President Trump insisted “The jobs left, and the factories closed … the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon.” Fact checking from the Associated Press Washington Bureau found the U.S. economy to be a lot healthier than the wreck Trump describes. Jobs have actually increased for a record 75 straight months. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in December, close to a nine-year low and to what economists consider full employment.

Source: ObamaWhiteHouse.gov Record on Climate Change


President Obama’s White House record on climate change was actually quite positive for the U.S economy. Rather than being disastrous for the national economy, the Obama era’s economic and climate policies prove that it is possible to reduce carbon emissions while also growing the economy. The Bureau of Economic Analysis found that under the Obama administration emissions were slashed by 9.4%. In the same period of time, economic growth hit 10.6%, a remarkable achievement even without CO2 reduction policies given the malaise the U.S economy has found itself since the 2007/2008 global financial crisis.

Comparing the old with the new

Obama’s White House page on climate change makes the following opening statement;

President Obama believes that no challenge poses a greater threat to our children, our planet, and future generations than climate change — and that no other country on Earth is better equipped to lead the world towards a solution.

That’s why under President Obama’s leadership, the United States has done more to combat climate change than ever before, while growing the economy. In fact, since the President took office, carbon emissions have decreased 9 percent, while the U.S. economy grew more than 10 percent.

In comparison, the new Trump White House statement on climate change has already begun the process of re-branding climate change as America First Energy. The America First Energy Plan makes the following opening statement;

Energy is an essential part of American life and a staple of the world economy. The Trump Administration is committed to energy policies that lower costs for hardworking Americans and maximize the use of American resources, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil.

For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years.

The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America’s coal industry, which has been hurting for too long.

If those burdensome regulations are truly holding the united states back then the national economy would not have grown by 10.6%.

At the Sundance premiere of documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel,” former US vice president Al Gore says he’s discussed climate change with Donald Trump and states “there is some reason to believe that what they actually end up doing won’t be as bad as some of the statements in the campaign would lead you to believe.” (Jan 20) Source: AP

Time will tell which side of Trump will emerge to shape the future of US energy over the next four years.

For anyone interested in comparing the old with the new visit: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/.

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