Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump gave a feel-tough speech to over 7,000 people at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck yesterday.
True to form, Trump played to angst about falling energy prices and the concomitant economic and public budget upheaval in North Dakota by scapegoating President Barack Obama:
Trump vowed to reverse the energy policy of President Barack Obama’s administration, which he said has been devastating to industry and inflicted pain on states such as North Dakota that rely heavily on the energy sector.
“If President Obama wanted to weaken America, he couldn’t have done a better job,” Trump said.
Among the policies he’d push to undo is the Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions rules targeting coal-fired power plants. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year voted 5-4 to halt implementation of the rules governing new and existing power plants for now.
“How stupid is that?” Trump said of the emissions rules [Nick Smith, “More Than 7,000 Attend Trump Speech,” Bismarck Tribune, 2016.05.26].
Trump, of course, is ignoring the fact that North Dakota’s oil boom is busting at the moment due to economic and political factors far exceeding any regulatory schemes.
Irregular Times offers a wonderful transcript of Trump’s speech, annotated with factual corrections. Here’s a sample:
TRUMP: President Obama has aggressively blocked the production of oil & natural gas:
He’s taken a huge percentage of the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve off the table. Oil and natural gas production on federal lands is down 10%. 87% of available land in the Outer Continental Shelf has been put off limits. Atlantic Lease sales were closed down too – despite the fact that they would create 280,000 jobs and $23.5 billion in economic activity.
IR: Leases were temporarily halted during the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling disaster, and then started right back up. In fact, leases for offshore drilling have been expanded under Obama, not reduced.
TRUMP: President Obama entered the United States into the Paris Climate Accords – unilaterally, and without the permission of Congress. This agreement gives foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use right here in America. These actions have denied millions of Americans access to the energy wealth sitting under our feet.
IR: Actually, the Paris Accords don’t actually have any new obligations for the United States. The problem with the Paris Accords is that they’re too weak, consisting of reiteration a voluntary commitments to actions that were already taken. There is nothing in the Paris Accords that requires the United States to do anything other than continue with the provisions that are already contained in Article 4 of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Congress already approved those provisions, which were established under a Republican President. Yes, the Paris Accords mean that the United States is just continuing to take actions that were begun 24 years ago. They Paris Accords were little more than a public relations gimmick – and Donald Trump won’t even go along with that [“An Annotated Transcript of Donald Trump’s Speech on Energy in Bismarck, North Dakota,” Irregular Times, 2016.05.27].
Trump told the Bismarck crowd he’ll bring back Keystone XL, and cites the false 42,000-new-jobs claim to justify it. Trump said he’ll “work with our Gulf allies to develop a positive energy relationship as part of our anti-terrorism strategy,” but President Obama noted yesterday that Trump has “rattled” our allies “because a lot of the proposals he has made display either ignorance of world affairs, or a cavalier attitude, or an interest in getting tweets and headlines,” and Trump in Bismarck endorsed rattling allies as good foreign policy.
Maybe we can’t trust Hillary Clinton. But we can definitely trust Donald Trump… to lie, delude, and blow up our foreign policy.