Arnold Schwarzenegger heavily criticized President Donald Trump’s plan to rescue struggling coal plants Thursday, likening the move to saving antiquated products like floppy disks or Beanie Babies.
The famous movie-star-turned-politician-turned-environmental-activist lampooned Trump in a Facebook video released Thursday. In the three-and-a-half minute video, he said the White House’s proposal to bail out coal and nuclear energy plants at grave risk of closure to be the wrong approach. The former GOP governor of California wants the administration to focus on developing the renewable industry instead.
“So President Trump, I know you really want to be an action hero, right?” Schwarzenegger said as he spoke inches away from a bobblehead made in Trump’s likeness. “So take it from the Terminator, you’re only supposed to go back in time to protect future generations. But your administration attempts to go back in time to rescue the coal industry, which is actually a threat to future generations.”
“It is foolish to bring back laughable, outdated technology to suit your political agenda,” he continued, with clips of famous movie scenes inserted in the video. “I mean, what are you going to bring back next? Floppy disks? Fax machines? Beanie Babies? Beepers? Or Blockbuster? Think about it.”
Schwarzenegger was referencing a White House proposal — a draft document first leaked at the end of May — that aims to rescue failing coal and nuclear plants across the U.S. The two industries have struggled as competitive natural gas, a growing renewables industry and government regulation has forced numerous plant closures over the years. If implemented, the White House would wield emergency authority and direct utilities to purchase electricity from a list of at-risk plants for two years. (RELATED: Schwarzenegger Calls On Trump To Join His Anti-Fossil Fuel Crusade)
Trump made American energy independence a platform of his 2016 campaign and vowed to breathe life back into the coal industry. The Republican president has kept many of these promises, withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement and rolling back numerous environmental regulations enacted during the Obama era.
This isn’t the first time Schwarzenegger has asked Trump to join his anti-fossil fuel crusade. Speaking at a conference in May, he called on the president to ditch coal and do more to combat climate change. Despite being a lifelong Republican, the former California governor considers himself an environmentalist. During a March interview, he said he planned to sue oil companies for “first degree murder.”
Ironically, studies have indicated that Trump’s “coal bailout” would actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is because the White House plan also rescues nuclear plants — a major source of emissions-free energy. A report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance reached this conclusion when noting that many of these closed nuclear plants would be replaced by natural gas — an energy source that is cleaner than coal, but a fossil fuel nonetheless.
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