In his first speech regarding energy, Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump repeated a number of myths about renewable energy and showed no real understanding of energy market dynamics in general.
Donald Trump is a notoriously hard politician to pin down on concrete policy proposals. His rise to the Republican Party appears to be based largely on personality and media presence, mixed with his ability to tap into American nationalism and concerns about immigration.
Energy has been no different, and there is no section on energy in the brief “Positions” section of Trump’s campaign website.
Trump’s first speech on energy also did not result in a coherent policy platform in this regard, but did solidify his preference for production of energy from domestically sourced fossil fuels, particularly a desire to expand oil and gas extraction and to bring back coal mining and increase electricity generation from coal – while at the same time appealing to the market.
“The market forces are going to do whatever they do,” stated Trump. “All I’m going to do is free up the coal.”
However, Trump’s promise to bring back coal jobs flies directly in the face of those very market forces, which have seen a flat-lining of global coal demand, a collapse in prices and the largest coal miners go out of business.
Trump also did not hesitate to completely mischaracterize the policy positions of his opponent Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration, stating that President Obama and Hillary Clinton were going to “ban fracking”. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has increased dramatically under the Obama Administration, and as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promoted the extraction method globally.
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