You may have already forgotten that Donald Trump has an “Energy Plan,” possibly because he outlined it in one of those low-wattage teleprompter speeches back in May when he was pretending to “pivot” to the whole “presidential tone” that he never quite mastered, and eventually seems to have given up on. To the extent that he has a plan, it’s a load of rightwing extraction-industry fanfiction in which we’ll deregulate, drill, mine, and burn our way to a prosperous if somewhat smoky future where everyone’s rich and science stops happening to the planet’s atmosphere. It oozed from that single speech onto Trump’s campaign website, and virtually nobody has paid any attention to it since. But since Monday’s debate resurrected Trump’s insane “China invented global warming” tweet — which he denied ever saying but is still right there in his Twitter history — the smart folks at The Guardian decided to talk to some genuine energy experts about that and other parts of Trump’s “plan,” which mostly turn out to be every bit as based in fantasy as his history of climate change.
Hey, since we’re here, let’s pop that tweet up one more time so you can remind yourself he really said it:
Yeah, that one.
So what do people who really know about energy policy and the energy industry think of Trump’s plan to deregulate and drill us into prosperity? You know, after they finish giggling and wipe the coffee off their computer monitors?
comments about the need to retrain coal miners who’ll be affected by the shift to cleaner energy (look it up, we ain’t relitigating the quote here). The problem is, almost everyone agrees, that coal is declining not because there’s a war on coal but because of plain old economics: fracking, with all its problems, has made natural gas a hell of a lot cheaper than coal, and even if we magically wished the EPA and MSHA into the cornfield and appointed Don Goddamned Blankenship as Energy Secretary, coal is never going to be as big as it used to be. It’s not only a fossil fuel, it’s quickly becoming a fossil industry. But don’t just take it from a hippie commie mommyblogger, take it from Energy Experts like the Brookings Institution’s Charles Ebinger, who says “coal jobs aren’t coming back and for Mr Trump to say they’re coming back is erroneous and fanciful.” Or if Brookings is too liberal, how about this libertarian dude?
All of them, to varying degrees, fault the billionaire’s basic premises and call his promises farfetched and at times contradictory.
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.
“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.”
Or maybe an actual Coal Guy and Trump donor, Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray, who gave a Trump PAC $100,000?
“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.”
Better take away his hardhat (Ha! like the CEO would wear one!) and give him a pantsuit, huh?
Trump’s also completely wrong about the portion of the world’s oil available to be drilled for the sake of “energy independence” — a meaningless catchphrase in the first place, since we both import and export oil.
permanently employ about 35 to 50 people.
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 40bn barrels, while Saudi Arabia alone had proven reserves of 268bn barrels.
Donald Trump isn’t even convincing oil industry lobbyists, who know lying bastards when they
are see one:
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.”
Oh, yes, and the stuff about global warming being a hoax made up by China? Still bullshit. In case you were wondering.