Trump’s “America First” Energy Plan Leaves America BehindOn the eve of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources confirmation vote for Rick Perry to be Secretary of Energy, it’s important to take a close look at the Trump administration’s plans for America’s energy future. The administration’s new webpage on “An America First Energy Plan” is—like much of the president’s rhetoric—wrong-headed, short on details, and divorced from reality.
In fact, it’s most notable for what it doesn’t say — there’s not a word about the clean energy revolution, a boom in wind, solar, and energy efficiency that is creating millions of jobs, saving billions of dollars, and even saving lives by cutting pollution. This misleading plan not only fails to put America first — it threatens to pull America back to the 20th century. NRDC will fight to make sure that the Trump administration doesn’t succeed at making America’s energy choices worse.
Here’s a look at a breakdown of the Trump plan [in italics] contrasted with the authors' comments on what that plan gets wrong [no italics]:
The Trump Administration is committed to energy policies that lower costs for hardworking Americans ...
One of the best tools at our disposal to slash energy bills is energy efficiency — but it isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Trump plan. Since 1987, federal energy efficiency standards on appliances and equipment have saved Americans a cumulative total of $2 trillion on energy costs. Standards set in 2016 alone will save $75 billion on utility bills. With such tremendous cost-cutting power, it’s no wonder that federal efficiency standards have long enjoyed bipartisan support. Leaving efficiency out of an energy plan is a major oversight.
Despite wild swings in fossil fuel prices, America’s electricity bills and the per-kilowatt-hour rates recorded on them have been relatively stable and affordable for decades, thanks in good part to leadership at the state level in support of energy efficiency and renewable resources. In fact, after adjusting for inflation, U.S. electricity is cheaper today than it was more than a quarter-century ago, in 1990. And in some regions, solar and wind energy are already cost-competitive with fossil fuels, helping to lower everyone’s utility bills.
…and maximize the use of American resources…
In 2015, nearly 70 percent of new electric generation came from American wind and solar power. Yet these American energy resources aren’t mentioned at all in the Trump plan — even though many heartland states, both red and blue, want more, as clean energy is helping revive both rural and rust-belt economies. And let’s not forget that Rick Perry’s home state of Texas is a national leader in wind energy. Today, more than 2.5 million Americans work in clean energy, from skilled factory workers making batteries for hybrid vehicles to military veterans who now scale turbine towers as wind energy technicians. China plans to create 13 million jobs by 2020 by investing in clean power. Where are the clean energy jobs in the Trump plan?
...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.
Sound energy policy begins with the recognition that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves right here in America. The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans. We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands that the American people own. We will use the revenues from energy production to rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure. Less expensive energy will be a big boost to American agriculture, as well.
The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America’s coal industry, which has been hurting for too long.
In addition to being good for our economy, boosting domestic energy production is in America’s national security interest. President Trump is committed to achieving energy independence from the OPEC cartel and any nations hostile to our interests. At the same time, we will work with our Gulf allies to develop a positive energy relationship as part of our anti-terrorism strategy.
Lastly, our need for energy must go hand-in-hand with responsible stewardship of the environment. Protecting clean air and clean water, conserving our natural habitats, and preserving our natural reserves and resources will remain a high priority. President Trump will refocus the EPA on its essential mission of protecting our air and water.
A brighter future depends on energy policies that stimulate our economy, ensure our security, and protect our health.
Under the Trump Administration’s energy policies, that future can become a reality.
Article at the Natural Resources Defense Council: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/roland-hwang/trumps-america-first-energy-plan-leaves-america-behind
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