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The transition team of President-elect Donald Trump has asked 65 questions of the Department of Energy, including how to keep nuclear plants online, to identify staff who helped President Obama’s clean energy agenda, and whether EIA forecasts may be underestimating future U.S. oil and gas production, according to a five-page internal document circulated by the Department that Bloomberg has obtained.
During his campaign, now President-elect Trump promised to open onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands, eliminate the moratorium on coal leasing, and open shale energy deposits. In his 100-day action plan, Trump also promised to “rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule”.
Now, according to the memo obtained by Bloomberg, the transition team has asked the Energy Department for a list of all staff who have helped President Obama with his climate agenda.
They also want to know about pending procurement decisions and decisions that are up for Senate approval, as well as which projects are currently being funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), President Obama’s clean-energy agency.
The President-Elect’s advisors also want a “full accounting” of the liabilities associated with the Loans Program Office of the Department, which Republicans have criticized for extending a loan guarantee of US$535 million to solar panel maker Solyndra, which went bankrupt.
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According to a person close to the transition team who spoke to Bloomberg, the questions are designed to promote transparency with regards to the current energy policy of the U.S.
Marty Schenker at Bloomberg News said that sources within the Trump transition team have said the document was “not meant in any way as a witch hunt”.
As for the much-expected appointment of Trump’s Secretary of State, Schenker thinks that the announcement will be made next week and believes Mitt Romney is still the front-runner. But Rex Tillerson, the chief executive of Exxon, “is moving up in the hit parade and don’t be surprised if it’s him,” Bloomberg’s Schenker said. Tillerson was expected to interview for the Secretary of State job with Trump this week.
Just yesterday, it emerged that Oklahoma’s Attorney General Scott Pruitt – an outspoken climate change skeptic - would be named chief of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.