Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took aim at Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations he says are “killing” U.S. energy companies in the second presidential debate Sunday night.
“I think it’s such a great question, because energy is under siege by the Obama administration,” Trump said in response to a question from an audience member.
“Under absolute siege. The EPA – the Environmental Protection Agency – is killing these energy companies,” he said. “And foreign companies are now coming in, buying so many of our different plants and then rejiggering the plant so they can take care of their oil. We are killing, absolutely killing our energy business in this country.”
“Now I’m all for alternative forms of energy, including wind, including solar, etcetera. But we need much more than wind and solar. And you look at our miners,” he said.
Energy didn’t play a big role in Sunday night’s town hall debate, so Trump took the one question on the subject to also go after Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s comments from March that her policies would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
“Hillary Clinton wants to put all the miners out of business. There is a thing called clean coal,” Trump said in the debate.
Trump supports more drilling for oil and natural gas as well as more coal mining, but has been attacked by environmentalists for not taking global warming seriously. Trump’s even been hammered for calling global warming a “hoax” perpetuated by the Chinese.
Trump has blamed the coal industry’s recent woes on President Barack Obama’s energy policies, many of which have been put in place by the EPA. Trump has promised to eliminate the EPA, and the Republican Party platform calls for turning the agency into an independent commission.
“Coal will last for a thousand years in this country,” Trump said. “Now we have natural gas and so many other things because of technology. We have unbelievable – we have found over the last seven years, we have found tremendous wealth right under our feet, so good.”
“Especially when you have 20 trillion in debt. I will bring our energy companies back. They’ll be able to compete. They’ll make money. They’ll pay off our national debt. They’ll pay off our tremendous budget deficits — which are tremendous,” he said.
“But we are putting our energy companies out of business. We have to bring back our workers,” he said before mentioning China flooding the market with cheap steel.
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