What Did We Know and When Did We Know It?
Nothing about Trump’s environmental policies has been a surprise. He won anyway.
One thing you can say about Donald Trump is that he didn’t hide the ball. He told us exactly what he would do about the environment. Many people who say they care about climate change or the environment apparently didn’t care enough to come to the polls and vote for his opponent. People who liked what he was saying did come out to vote.
Five months before the election, Trump announced his “America First Energy Plan.” Basically, what he’s done since then has been to carry it out.
Trump announced his plan at a conference of oil fracking companies in North Dakota, where he received standing ovations. He sang the praises of oil and gas development as the key to national prosperity. , and excoriated Obama and Clinton for trying to restrain the industry and destroy the coal industry. He also attacked “Draconian climate rules that, unless stopped, would effectively bypass Congress to impose job-killing cap-and-trade.”
Here are some key parts of his “100-day action plan”:
- We’re going to rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.
- We’re going to save the coal industry and other industries threatened by Hillary Clinton’s extremist agenda.
- I’m going to ask Trans Canada 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 [fracking].
- We’re going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.
Elsewhere in his energy plan, he called for “regulation reform that eliminates stupid rules that send our jobs overseas,” denounced EPA’s “use of totalitarian tactics” against fossil fuel producers, and told Americans they were being denied their share of “access to the energy wealth sitting under our feet.” He also attacked “draconian climate rules that, unless stopped, would effectively bypass Congress to impose job-killing cap-and-trade.”
It’s hard to imagine how much more clearly he could have said that he was going to do everything possible to promote fossil fuels, ignore climate change, and roll back environmental regulations.
Thus, by May 26, 2016 at the latest, we knew exactly where Trump stood on energy and the environment. Those who voted for Clinton and Trump knew exactly what the choices where. So did those who stayed home or voted for third-party candidates.
Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…READ more