Monday, December 10, 2018

Editorial of the Week - Trump's pursuit of 'American energy dominance' threatens the entire planet

President Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington on April 28, 2017, before signing an Executive Order directing the Interior Department to begin review of restrictive drilling policies for the outer-continental shelf. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

President Trump upended decades of U.S. policy that started with Richard Nixon when he declared that the goal of the United States was no longer “energy independence” but rather “American energy dominance.”  This wasn’t Trumpian hyperbole.  Few policies have been pursued by the administration with more cohesiveness, zeal, and success — or with more potential to yield great and lasting harm.

Trump has unleashed a massive, untethered expansion of oil, natural gas and coal production, designed to make this country the world’s foremost dirty energy powerhouse.  The policy not only worsens catastrophic climate change, it pushes the U.S. into a small and increasingly isolated club of autocratic regimes intent on maintaining a global commitment to fossil fuels.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke laid out Trump’s energy policy in Secretarial Order 3351:  “Achieving American energy dominance begins with recognizing that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves.  For too long America has been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry.  The Department is committed to an America-first energy strategy.”

Michael Nedd, then the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, put it more succinctly:  “We want to make the BLM a better business partner for the oil and gas industry.”

2014 SkS Weekly Digest #49

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