Donald Trump stopped in this hardscrabble Midwestern town yesterday to pitch his vision for an American future—one in which fossil fuel production explodes across public lands and Americans “share the riches.” The end result: lower taxes, fewer energy regulations and a rush of new funding for infrastructure projects.
In a nearly hourlong speech marking the first major energy policy address of his campaign, the Republican presidential nominee pledged to expand oil and gas production, “cancel” the Paris global warming accord and roll back President Obama’s executive actions on climate change.
He described regulations to cut carbon dioxide emissions as ruinous to the economy and a trespass against personal freedom. He latched them closely to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whom Trump accused of supporting a radical environmental agenda.
“As bad as President Obama is, Hillary Clinton will be worse,” Trump said. “She’ll escalate the war against the American worker like never before and against American energy, and she’ll unleash the EPA to control every aspect of our lives, and every aspect of energy.”
The Republican nominee pledged to roll back a list of executive actions within the first 100 days of his presidency. The first one he mentioned was Obama’s Climate Action Plan, a guiding document that led the administration’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, increase adaptation and pursue international negotiations.
“We’re going to rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions,” Trump said, “including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the United States rule. OK, remember that. We’re going to save the coal industry. We’re going to save that coal industry, believe me. We’re going to save it.”
The businessman and former reality TV star asserted that executive action limiting new coal leases on federal land or regulations on hydraulic fracturing on public and tribal lands have curtailed potential benefits to average citizens.
“These actions have denied millions of Americans access to the energy wealth sitting right under our feet. … This is your treasure, and you, the American people, are entitled to share in the riches,” Trump said.
He also reiterated his desire to see the Keystone XL pipeline constructed, so long as the United States receives a portion of the profits in exchange for utilizing eminent domain to ensure the pipeline’s completion.
“Let’s take a piece of the action for you folks—lower your taxes a little bit more,” Trump said.