On Tuesday, the Trump administration issued a press release claiming great accomplishments on energy development as part of its “energy week.” The Center for American Progress Action Fund has annotated the press release below. The facts reveal the Trump administration is coasting by on clean and fossil energy developments from the past eight years. The Trump administration blatantly overlooks the fact that clean energy technologies and jobs are growing rapidly.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
June 27, 2017
President Donald J. Trump U̶n̶l̶e̶a̶s̶h̶e̶s̶ ̶A̶m̶e̶r̶i̶c̶a̶’̶s̶ ̶E̶n̶e̶r̶g̶y̶ ̶P̶o̶t̶e̶n̶t̶i̶a̶l̶ takes credit for the past 8 years that saw the U.S. halve our dependence on foreign oil and double our renewable energy
“Together, we are going to start a new energy revolution — one that celebrates American production on American soil.” — President Donald J. Trump
ACHIEVING AMERICAN ENERGY DOMINANCE: President Donald J. Trump has taken action in his first five months to remove unnecessary and burdensome roadblocks that would have prevented the United States from achieving energy dominance.
Nope. See this report from the National Petroleum Council from 2011: “The critical path to sustained and expanded resource development in North America includes effective regulation and a commitment of industry and regulators to continuous improvement in practices to eliminate or minimize environmental risk.”
President Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord.
- According to National Economic Research Associates (NERA), by 2040 the Paris Climate Accord would have cost the economy nearly $3 trillion and as many as 6.5 million industrial sector jobs, including 3.1 million manufacturing jobs.
- REALITY: The NERA study is misleading. It assumes that clean energy innovation would stall or slow considerably between now and 2040, artificially creating a higher cost and suggesting far greater job loss, while not accounting for jobs created through new industries.
President Trump directed the Environmental Protection Agency to rescind the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan.
- According to NERA, the Obama plan would have increased electricity rates by as much as 14 percent, costing American households $79 billion.
- REALITY: This claim relies on a faulty analysis that ignores net benefits and shifts costs to result in an inflated figure. Analysis of the CPP shows that the plan would actually result in net savings for consumers.
President Trump called for TransCanada to resubmit its application to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, and he then fast tracked its approval.
- Construction of the Keystone pipeline is expected to support 42,100 jobs and contribute $3.4 billion to the American economy.
- REALITY: The Keystone XL Pipeline would only create 35 permanent jobs
President Trump ended the Obama Administration’s coal leasing moratorium on Federal land.
- Federal land accounts for 40 percent of the nation’s coal production.
- REALITY: Federal coal production is responsible for 10 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
- According to the American Action Forum, the moratorium could have cost the country billions of dollars and killed coal industry jobs.
- REALITY: This “analysis” does not recognize that the pause on new coal leases did not actually impact existing coal production. In fact, coal companies have enough resources under lease on public lands to continue current production for 20 years. And the real job killer for coal industry jobs are market forces and the lower cost of natural gas.
- REALITY: The leasing moratorium and review would have fixed royalty-rate loopholes that are exploited by industry at the tune to $290 million in taxpayer dollars per year.
President Trump rescinded the Obama Administration’s Stream Protection Rule.
- The Stream Protection rule would have imposed $1.2 billion in regulatory costs and added 218,000 hours of paperwork on American businesses.
- The National Mining Association estimated the rule would cost 280,000 jobs across the economy.
- REALITY: The Department of the Interior estimated that, if anything, the rule would actually create jobs and that compliance costs for the coal industry would be negligible — just 0.3% or less of their $31.2 billion estimated 2015 coal revenues.
- REALITY: The rule would also have restored 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forest over two decades.
President Trump directed the Department of the Interior to reconsider the Obama Bureau of Land Management’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule.
- The Hydraulic Fracturing Rule was expected to cost the industry $32 million a year, adding $11,400 to the average cost of a hydraulic fracturing well.
- REALITY: The rule modernized well-drilling regulations that were more than 30 years old and had not accounted for methods specific to fracking. Meeting these standards would increase the cost of drilling a well by less than a quarter of one percent — not enough to have a significant effect on production or drilling decisions.
CRITICAL TO AN AMERICAN ECONOMIC BOOM: The United States energy industry is critical to the economy and future economic growth.
The energy sector has become a leading driver in hiring American workers, currently employing 6.4 million Americans.
REALITY: The U.S. Department of Energy employment report that this number comes from actually goes far beyond fossil fuel industry workers to include nearly 374,000 solar energy workers, over 101,000 wind energy workers, and approximately 2.2 million energy efficiency employees.
The outdoor recreation industry, by comparison, employs 7.6 million Americans.
- Last year, the energy sector added over 300,000 new jobs and is expected to add 198,000 new jobs this year.
- REALITY: Clean energy is one of the fastest-growing segments in the energy sector. In 2016, energy efficiency employment grew by 154,000, solar by 51,000, and wind by 25,000. Slashing funding for clean energy would reduce this growth.
- The average annual wage of workers in the oil and gas extraction industry is over $90,000.
- Approximately 32 percent of the 6.5 million construction industry employees work on energy or energy efficiency projects.
- REALITY: The vast majority — 21 percent — of those construction industry workers work on energy efficiency, an area of technologies that the Trump budget cuts by 78 percent.
- After being a net energy importer since 1953, the United States could be a net energy exporter as soon as 2020.
- The natural gas revolution in the United States means our country will be a global player in exporting liquefied natural gas.
#ThanksObama. According to Axios, “The Energy Department under Obama also streamlined the process for exporting liquefied natural gas, which encouraged more natural-gas production.”
- According to the American Action Forum, natural gas exports from 2016 to 2040 could bring in $1.6 trillion in trade value, increase workers earnings by $110 billion, and raise $118 billion in Federal revenue.
ENERGY POTENTIAL: While Americans have been told they would have to settle for declining energy resources, innovation and new technology have opened trillions of dollars of energy for development.
REALITY: Innovation and new technologies that were funded by Department of Energy programs, which Trump’s budget proposes slashing, along with programs that fund clean energy innovation.
For too long, the country’s energy policy has operated on the false assumption that the country was running out of energy.
REALITY: We are running out of time to reduce emissions from dirty energy sources and to address the threats from climate change.
- In 2006, Former Vice President Al Gore claimed we are “at or near what they call peak oil.”
- In 2011, Former President Obama claim “we can’t just drill our way out of the problem.”
Another excerpt from that speech: ”If we’re serious about meeting our energy challenge we’re going to have to do more than drill. And that’s why the real solution is clean, homegrown energy.”
In reality, American innovation and technology have allowed the United States to access an increasing amount of resources.
- Current estimates suggest we have 20 percent more oil than Saudi Arabia, valued at over $13 trillion, if prices average $50 a barrel.
- REALITY: Trump’s claim that the U.S. has 20 percent more oil than Saudi Arabia is based on estimates for as yet undiscovered fields.
- The United States is on track to export an average 1 million barrels of oil a day this year, double the pace of last year.
- Natural gas reserves are expected to be so large that they can meet domestic demand for almost a century.
Industry already has the keys to the castle: a staggering 90 percent of public lands and minerals managed by the Bureau of Land Management are already open to oil & gas leasing. The issue is demand. In FY15 only 15 percent of the acreage offered in lease sales was purchased by industry.
- The United States has the second largest coal reserves in the world.
REALITY: Coal companies are sitting on 306 unused leases, totaling 480,000 acres of public land.
PROMISE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: President Trump is following through on his promises to the American people.
Trump doesn’t understand how markets work. From Axios: “There aren’t many policy levers the Trump administration can pull that would make America a bigger oil and gas producer than it already is, especially in the short-term, because the trend is fueled by market and technology developments, not policy."
On March 28, 2017, President Donald Trump said:
- “We will unlock job-producing natural gas, oil, and shale energy. We will produce American coal to power American industry. We will transport American energy through American pipelines, made with American steel.”
- REALITY: A notable exception to Trump’s steel promise: the Keystone XL pipeline.
- “Together, we will create millions of good American jobs — also, so many energy jobs — and really lead to unbelievable prosperity all throughout our country.”
On June 28, 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump:
- “It will be American hands that remake this country, and it will be American energy — mined from American resources — that powers this country.”
- “We are also going to fully capture America’s tremendous energy capacity. This will create vast profits for our workers and begin reducing our deficit.”
President Trump misses the real success story entirely: America’s clean energy sector is booming. In the past eight years, the cost of installing renewable energy generation has plummeted; the costs of critical energy efficiency technologies like LED light bulbs have fallen even faster. At the same time, America’s carbon pollution trend has declined while the economy has grown and jobs in new fields like solar and wind energy have skyrocketed. Trump’s backwards fossil fuel agenda overlooks the success and momentum in today’s clean energy sector.