Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump laid out his energy plan to industry experts Thursday that included policies to unleash $50 trillion from “untapped” oil, natural gas and coal reserves.
Trump said “untapped energy — some $50 trillion in shale energy, oil reserves and natural gas on federal lands, in addition to hundreds of years of coal energy reserves,” according to The Wall Street Journal report on the candidate’s speech at an energy summit in Pittsburgh, Penn.
It’s all part of Trump’s plan to boost lagging energy production on federal lands. Trump said he would open up all federal lands to drilling, mining and even renewable energy — that includes opening more offshore areas to energy production.
Trump also told energy industry executives and insiders he would repel “all unnecessary regulations, and a temporary moratorium on new regulations not compelled by Congress or public safety.”
Trump’s speech showed just how wide a rift there was between his energy plans and those of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who is almost exclusively focused on ramping up green energy production from solar panels and wind turbines.
Clinton said her policies would effectively ban fracking in many places in the U.S., and she’s also said her policies would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
“By the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place,” Clinton said during the Democratic presidential debate in Flint, Mich.
Trump, however, has been criticized by some fracking supporters for saying he didn’t have a problem with local governments banning the drilling technique.
“Fracking is something that we need. Fracking is something that is here whether we like it or not,” Trump said in July. “But if a municipality or a state wants to ban fracking I can understand that.”
Trump’s energy plan, though, is a full-throated endorsement of fracking and calls for more drilling in shale country. Pittsburgh sits atop the Marcellus shale formation, which turned Pennsylvania into a natural gas-producing powerhouse.
“The development of the Marcellus and Utica shales will fundamentally change the economic landscape of this region and our country, bringing extraordinary new prosperity to millions,” Trump said, according to The Washington Examiner.
Trump even cited an Institute for Energy Research study that found immediately opening up more federal lands to drilling and mining would be a $20.7 trillion economic stimulus over the next four decades.
Environmentalists were not happy with Trump’s speech and issued statements bashing the Republican nominee for not caring enough about global warming.
Rhea Suh, the president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, told WSJ Trump’s speech was “a wish list for big polluters.” She said it would “ignore climate change, and allow damage to our air, land and water.”
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