Trump vows to scrap Clean Power Plan

Dive Brief:

  • Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump addressed a shale industry convention yesterday, vowing to loosen energy production restrictions, open more lands to exploration and eliminate costly regulations including the Clean Power Plan, which would curb greenhouse gas emissions 32% by 2030 from the power sector. 
  • Speaking in Pittsburg to the Shale Insight conference, Trump said President Obama's signature energy regulation is expected to raise power bills by "double digits," a claim the Administration has rejected.
  • Trump said he would open more offshore areas to oil production, and briefly mentioned renewable energy alongside easing regulations on the coal industry, as ways to harness all forms of energy.

Dive Insight:

Trump spoke to the shale oil and gas fracking industry yesterday, laying out portions of an energy plan that include lower taxes, fewer environmental regulations and more opportunities for the production of fossil fuels

"Producing more American energy is a central part of my plan to making America wealthy again, especially for the poorest Americans. ... America is setting on a treasure trove of energy," he said to applause. 

Much of Trump's speech built upon a previous one from May. Detailing his energy plan, Trump vowed then to "rescind" EPA regulations, including the Clean Power Plan within the first 100 days of taking office. 

In the latest speech, the Republican nominee focused primarily on fossil fuel industries and their potential impact on the country's steel manufacturers, but also touched on links to the power sector.

"We will scrap the $5 trillion Obama-Clinton Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan," Trump promised, plans which he says "will increase monthly electric bills by double digits with out any measurable improvement in climate whatsoever."

Overturning the Clean Power Plan is still a possibility, though it isn't something a President could do on their own. The rule was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the next President could appoint justices more likely to strike it down. But the case is still in front of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where arguments are scheduled for next week.

The cost of the Clean Power Plan has been heatedly debated, but the Administration has maintained that alongside energy efficiency and other demand management strategies, most Americans will not see significant bill hikes. 

"In 2030 when the plan is fully implemented, electricity bills would be expected to be roughly 8 percent lower than they would been without the actions in state plans," according to the Environmental Protection Agency, adding that it will save Americans about $8 on an average monthly residential electricity bill.

The EPA is a favorite target of Trump's. He called for a "temporary moratorium on new regulations not compelled by Congress or public safety," and said "over-regulation" costs the U.S. economy $2 trillion annually. 

"I think probably no other business has been effected more than yours," he said to the conference attendees.

Trump said his plan, which includes reducing business taxes to 15%, will create 25 million new jobs over the span of a decade. "Our energy policies will make full use of our energy sources, including traditional and renewable energy sources," he said. "We want everything."

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Filed Under: Regulation & Policy