‘Trump’s promises are empty’: energy experts lay waste to proposals | The Knowledge Dynasty

‘Trump’s promises are empty’: energy experts lay waste to proposals

From making coal great again to cancelling the Paris accord, industry analysts say his ideas are farfetched and his talk of climate change as a hoax is dangerous.

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 billionaires 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.

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 states 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 arent coming back and for Mr. Trump to say theyre 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 Trumps 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 wont ever be great again. I dont 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 Hamms 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 40bn barrels, while Saudi Arabia alone had proven reserves of 268bn 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. Its 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.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/29/donald-trump-energy-proposals-coal-natural-gas

Comments are closed.

Categories

Coursera

New Skills, New You: Transform your career in 2016 with Coursera

Likes

Follow us on Twitter