As anyone who’s paid any attention this election cycle knows, Donald Trump plans to construct “a really big wall” along America’s border. It turns out some of his top policy advisors would like to build other kinds of barriers as well, namely to block our country’s clean energy transition.
Tonight at the RNC, we’ll hear from Harold Hamm, the prime energy advisor and personal friend of presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Founder of oil exploration company Continental Resources, Hamm is a big player in the oil and gas industry. He owns $15.6 billion in shares of his independent shale drilling business.
Trump has referred to Hamm as “the King of Energy,” and according to a Wall Street Journal article, was the mastermind behind Trump’s first speech on energy policy.
Trump’s May speech could be a good indication of what we’ll hear from Hamm tonight. Below are a few of the alarming components of Trump’s energy policy that could rear their ugly head once Hamm takes the stage.
Denying the Scientific Evidence of Climate Change
Climate scientists are in near complete agreement that climate change is real and human activity is causing it. Despite this, Trump has repeatedly said his administration would “focus on real environmental challenges, not phony ones.”
Overturning EPA regulations and promoting drilling
Trump urged for more drilling initiatives and less “costly” environmental regulations that make it “harder to turn a profit.” In addition, he pledged to kill the Clean Power Plan once and for all. Trump also plans to restore construction on the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring petroleum from Canada to the United States.
Eliminating funding for Global Warming programs
In his first 100 days in office, Trump vowed to “stop all payments of US tax dollars to UN global warming programs” and in turn use the tax money to stimulate and keep jobs within the country. Removing this funding from climate initiatives could come at a cost: developing nations rely on financial assistance from other countries to decrease emissions.
Overturning the Paris Agreement
Trump has also repeatedly mentioned overturning the Paris climate agreement, a document signed by 190 nations promising to work toward ending climate change. While Trump incorrectly claimed that the agreement relinquishes control of America’s energy usage to other countries, the main focus of the document is voluntary promises by the nations to develop a plan to reduce emissions.
Propping up a dying coal industry
Trump has declared plans to bring back lost jobs in the coal industry and increase production. However, in a naturally declining coal market—both in demand and resources—experts criticize Trump saying market forces make his plan impossible.
In fact, this is a lot like trying to keep creating jobs in the horse and buggy industry after the advent of the car. Trump seems to be more interested in the interests of coal than in making the US a leader in what some have called the greatest economic opportunity of 21st century, clean energy.
Read Trump’s full speech here.