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Does A Renewables Future Dim Under Trump?

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Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

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Trump's Energy Policy: Less Regulations And Approval For Keystone XL

Trump

Gearing up for a campaign against the Democratic nominee for president, Donald Trump vowed on Thursday to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement and give the go-ahead for the contested Keystone XL pipeline as part of efforts to reinvigorate the country’s oil and coal industries and secure energy independence.

Trump said he would also reverse moves by President Barack Obama to defend the nation’s waterways from corporate pollution and cut carbon emissions. He also said putting the Keystone pipeline back on the table would require a renegotiation that would allow the government to reap a portion of profits from the venture. Related:  Why $50 Oil Is Here To Stay

TransCanada Corp., the company fighting to build the pipeline, wasn’t impressed.

The Hill obtained a statement by TransCanada saying that the traditional role of the U.S. government has been to approve permits and regulate the oil industry. Pipeline projects are not structured to profit the government, and a corporate spokesperson said the company “would expect to continue to follow this model that has been in place for decades.”

"Any regulation that's outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped and scrapped completely," Trump said to almost 8,000 people at an industry conference in Bismarck, North Dakota - the state that has been the site of large shale discoveries over the past few years. "We're going to do all this while taking proper regard for rational environmental concerns."

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s speech represented his first effort to holistically define what a Trump-led White House’s energy policy would look like, though earlier this month, he said “at a minimum” he would renegotiate the terms of the U.N. sanctioned climate accord signed by 195 countries. Related: 5 Crazy Energy Ideas

Oil executives applauded Trump’s statements, while environmentalists deemed his plans “frightening.”

"Trump’s energy policies would accelerate climate change, protect corporate polluters who profit from poisoning our air and water, and block the transition to clean energy that is necessary to strengthen our economy and protect our climate and health," Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmental activist, commented.

But many also note that his statements change frequently, depending on where he is campaigning for votes.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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