In late May, Donald Trump (with policy input from fracking billionaire Harold Hamm) laid out his 100-day energy action plan:
- "Rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the United States rule."
- "We're going to save the coal industry, we're going to save that coal industry, believe me, we're going to save it, I love those people, these are great people -- and they love that job."
- "I'm going to ask TransCanada to renew its permit application for the Keystone Pipeline."
- "We're going to lift moratoriums on energy production in federal areas."
- "We're going to revoke policies that impose unwarranted restrictions on new drilling technologies."
- "We're going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement."
- "And stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs."
Some of these goals are not completely realistic. U.S coal mining production and employment has been falling for decades. Global and national compacts cannot be dismissed by presidential whim within 100 days. Grist reports, "Trump’s new energy agenda is all Republican politics without even the patina of policy seriousness offered by some more experienced politicians."
Anyway, now that it's official, now that Donald Trump is the Republican Party's nominee for president, following this week's convention in Cleveland -- what more have we learned about the candidate's energy policy?
The next DOE Secretary, Harold Hamm
In the words of former Romney energy advisor Harold Hamm, speaking last night at a GOP event, "President Trump will become the first president to achieve American energy independence."
Hamm seems to be Trump's primary energy advisor and, as such, has been the subject of speculation that he would be Trump's choice for Secretary of Energy -- the current office of nuclear scientist Ernest Moniz and former office of Steven Chu, Nobel Prize winner.
Hamm's pro-drilling bias is no secret -- he's made billions in North Dakota's Bakken Shale and sees Obama as trying to "destroy" America's fossil fuel "renaissance." He wants to "get rid" of foreign oil.
He told the GOP crowd, "Every time we can’t drill a well in America, terrorism is being funded," adding, "Every onerous regulation puts American lives at risk."
Chances are good for the nomination of DOE Secretary Harold Hamm in the Trump administration's first 100 days.
GOP Republican Party platform
According to the Washington Post, the newly adopted GOP platform "tosses aside an environmental regulatory structure built on congressional legislation and judicial rulings over more than four decades, dating to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Richard M. Nixon."
Here are some highlights from the energy section of the GOP's platform document, which does include a shout-out to energy storage.
- The platform calls coal “an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource," adding, "Those who mine it and their families should be protected from the Democratic Party’s radical anti-coal agenda."
- A Republican administration "will build on those policies to find new ways to store electricity, a breakthrough of extraordinary import."
- "We support the opening of public lands and the outer continental shelf to exploration and responsible production, even if these resources will not be immediately developed."
- "Because we believe states can best promote economic growth while protecting the environment, Congress should give authority to state regulators to manage energy resources on federally controlled public lands within their respective borders."
- "Keeping energy in the earth will keep jobs out of reach of those who need them most."
- "The Democratic Party’s campaign to smother the U.S. energy industry takes many forms, but the permitting process may be its most damaging weapon. It takes an average of 30 days for states to permit an oil or gas well. It takes the federal government longer than seven months."
- The Keystone Pipeline is described as "a symbol of everything wrong with the current Administration’s ideological approach. After years of delay, the President killed it to satisfy environmental extremists. We intend to finish that pipeline and others as part of our commitment to North American energy security.
- "The same Administration now requires the Department of Defense, operating with slashed budgets during a time of expanding conflict, to use its scarce resources to generate 25 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2025. Climate change is far from this nation’s most pressing national security issue."
- "We support the development of all forms of energy that are marketable in a free economy without subsidies, including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power, and hydropower."
- "We respect the states’ proven ability to regulate the use of hydraulic fracturing, methane emissions, and horizontal drilling."
- "We encourage the cost-effective development of renewable energy sources -- wind,solar biomass, biofuel, geothermal, and tidal energy -- by private capital."
- "We support lifting restrictions to allow responsible development of nuclear energy, including research into alternative processes like thorium nuclear energy."
- "We oppose any carbon tax."
Mr. Trump and one of the few Silicon Valley investors who supports Trump, Peter Thiel, will be speaking at the convention later today. If something of importance is said about America's energy situation, we'll add the update here.