By Daniel Tyson REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER
Jan 21, 2017Seven paragraphs outlined the plan, called the America First Energy Plan, and which the new president said would invigorate the economy while ensuring security by creating thousands of jobs and making the U.S. less dependent on foreign energy sources.”President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. Rules,” the plan reads.The plan projects lifting the restrictions will stimulate the domestic workforce and increase wages by more than $30 billion over the next seven years.The America First Energy Plan also includes embracing shale oil and natural gas stating the nation must take advantage of the estimated $50 billion in the both fossil fuels’ untapped reserves, especially on federal lands. Vivian Stockman with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition said rules and regulations are in place for a reason. “Energy companies have proved over and over again that their workers and environmental commitment are the last things on their minds,” she said.”It would be a dangerous mistake to do away with fundamental and broadly supported regulations like the Stream Protection Rule and the Clean Power Plan. As science shows and as the people of Appalachia know all too well, our reliance on fossil fuels has taken an unacceptable toll on the health of citizens, and has imperiled the future of the planet. We absolutely cannot afford to stand still on transitioning our energy economy, much less take a giant step backward as the Trump administration appears poised to do,” said McCue.”I am happy to see the president immediately commit to advance coal technology and fuels that will help our nation ensure reliable baseload generation. The last administration’s energy policy crippled my state and this change will be welcomed in West Virginia,” said Sen. Joe Manchin.The U.S. Senate is still considering two of Trump’s Cabinet nominees who could have great sway over energy policy for the next four years. For Energy Secretary, Trump nominated former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who during his bid for president wanted to eliminate the Energy Department.
For a complete look at President Trump’s plan, go to whitehouse.gov/america-first-energy
To head the EPA, President Trump selected Scott Pruitt, who spent most of his career as Oklahoma Attorney General, leading or participating in many lawsuits seeking to block that agency’s rules on water pollution, air pollution and climate change.
“I have spoken with the president regarding the importance of fossil energy to our economy and look forward to working with the administration to repeal unnecessary federal regulations and grow our energy economy into the future,” Manchin continued.
While environmental groups are in angst over the energy plan, at least one member of the state’s congressional delegation obviously wasn’t.
Stockman and spokeswoman Cat McCue said energy policy is tied to economic growth and environmental protection is vital to job growth. They said while fossil fuels are the centerpiece of Trump’s plan, there are untapped resources in energy efficiency, such solar energy and wind power, and amping up investments in clean, renewable energy nationwide will boost a job growth rate in these sectors that is already impressive.
Environmental groups lamented Friday the president’s plans to roll back Barack Obama’s environmental policies.
Key to Trump’s plan is restoring the nation’s commitment to fossil fuels. The plan specifically mentions aiding the domestic coal industry by way of increasing clean coal technology. The plan reads, the coal industry “has been hurting for too long.”
The Waters of the U.S. Rule is a technical document that outlines which waterways – rivers, streams, lakes and marshes – are under the protection of the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Critics contend the rule is a Washington power grab. The Climate Action Plan would reduce greenhouse gas emissions to approximately 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.
A cornerstone to the Trump energy policy is eliminating “burdensome” regulation on the energy sector.
While President Donald Trump didn’t mention energy in his 16-minute inauguration speech Friday, minutes after taking the Oath of Office, the White House posted his administration’s energy plan, which includes clean coal technology.