A Free-Market Energy Blog

Trump Administration Stays on Track on Big Energy Picture

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 1, 2017

“‘I will always put the needs of our country first,’ Mr. Trump said. ‘That is why we are withdrawing from one-sided international deals,’ he added, citing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris agreement.”

– Lisa Friedman, “New Talks on Paris Pact Are Set, and That’s Awkward for U.S..” New York Times, October 18, 2017.

” The president made a tremendously courageous decision by saying we’re going to get out of the Paris accord, put America first, and make sure that we lead with action and not words.”

– Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator, “Trump EPA Chief Charts a New Course: An Interview with Scott Pruitt.” Daily Signal, October 20, 2017.

It is time for the realists, the cooler heads, to play offense after playing defense on climate and energy issues. President Trump, to this resounding credit, has done just this with his America First energy philosophy, now being implemented step-by-step by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Interior, and other departments in Washington, DC.

Compromise? How can there be on an issue where correcting a ‘market failure’ means taking away those very energies that enabled the Industrial Revolution? And the “second industrial revolution’ of electricity?

“What textbooks call the Industrial Revolution,” stated Stephen Moore and Kathleen Hartnett White, “might be better described as mankind’s Great Energy Enrichment–a massive increase in the availability of versatile energy.” [1] 

Matt Ridley stated: “The secret of the industrial revolution was shifting current solar power to stored solar power.” Inanimate energy was wholly different from what came before, making progress open-ended in a way that would not otherwise be possible, he explained, “bursting through the Malthusian ceiling and rasing living standards.” [2]

The Green Revolution also was a triumph of the new energy, noted Moore and White:

“The astonishing leap in agricultural production in the twentieth century, known as the Green Revolution, could not have occurred without abundant, affordable fossil fuels. Indeed, the Green Revolution is simply a later chapter of the energy revolution on which the Industrial Revolution relied.” [3]

Scott Pruitt Interview

Back to the Trump Administration and EPA head Scott Pruitt in particular. In a recent Daily Signal interview (October 20, 2017), Pruitt gave further evidence of being on track with the huge task of undoing the Obama climate/energy agenda and unleashing fossil fuels. Some quotations follow:

“We’re getting back to the basics and we’re operating under the rule of law. We’re respecting process and we’re also engaging in federalism principles to ensure that we’re partnering together. It sounds like a pretty good agenda to me and I think in this country, we ought to be adopting that….

“True environmentalism from my perspective is using natural resources that God has blessed us with to feed the world, to power the world with the sensitivity that future generations cultivate, to harvest, to be respectful good stewards, good managers of our natural resources, to bequeath those natural resources for the next generation.”

“[The doctrine of non-use] would be like having this beautiful apple orchard that can feed the world and the environmental folks of the past would say, ‘Build a fence. Don’t touch the apple orchard, though it can feed people.’ That’s not the proper approach.”

“We should harvest that apple orchard. We should use it to benefit our fellow mankind, but with environmental stewardship in mind for future generations. We can do both. That’s what we need to do with the EPA going forward and we are doing that.”

“[The Obama Administration] tried to regulate carbon dioxide twice and struck out twice. So really when you look at that agenda, what did they actually achieve other than uncertainty and adversarial relationships with those across the country?”

“… regulations should make things regular. That’s our job to take a statute and administer the statute and make things regular across the full spectrum of people subject to the statute or subject to the regulation. It’s not to pick winners and losers.”

“The president made a tremendously courageous decision by saying we’re going to get out of the Paris accord, put America first, and make sure that we lead with action and not words.”

“It’s not the job of the EPA to say to the utility company in any state of the country, you should choose renewables over natural gas or coal. We need fuel diversity in the general electricity…. No agency at the federal level should use their coerce power to force business utility companies to take those fuel sources away. They should be making it on cost, stability, and I would say resiliency of the grid.”

“When you grow your economy at 3 to 4 percent as opposed to 1 percent, the power grid, the resiliency of the power grid takes more significance, so when you reduce fuel sources that takes on more vulnerabilities.”

There is much work yet to be done to reverse the war against consumerist energies. There cannot be compromise because no amount of compromising can appease the other side. Their goal is to demote man–ours is to enrich humankind with ever more energy to improve and expand living.

[1] Stephen Moore and Kathleen Hartnett White. Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy. Regnery: 2016, p. 5.

[2] Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. HarperCollins: 2010), p. 216.

[3] Moore and White, p. 151.


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