The first Trump White House issue is An America First Energy Plan. It refers to “…burdensome regulations on our energy industry.” We will tap shale oil and gas reserves, with the new technologies that have been shown to contaminate ecosystems with by-products and cause instability in the Earth’s surface (i.e. cause earthquakes). We will invest in clean coal energy, which is an oxymoron because coal is never a clean energy source. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested by the government and industry to develop ways to “clean coal” and there are no positive results. Carbon capture and injection has not been successful.
Most savings and reductions in carbon emissions in the last 40 years have been through energy efficiencies and alternative, non-fossil-fuel-based energy sources. Neither of those strategies garner mention in the America First Energy Plan. But if carbon is not an issue, because climate change doesn’t exist, then why reduce carbon emissions?
Maybe Trump needs to re-see pictures of the aftermath of Exxon Valdez. Or look at images from the Cuyahoga River in the 50’s. Or go walk around in Beijing for three days without a face mask. Federal regulations came into place because private corporations were historically unable to police themselves against spoiling the commons. When the commons are privatized, there is no incentive to conserve the resource. As Harding observed, the greatest good for the greatest number is a mathematical impossibility.
I haven’t looked at the other issues yet. Trump did not delete climate change from the White House website – that was part of the transition. But he has deleted it from discussion of our energy future. I am really worried about what else gets deleted as we move forward.