Trump Economic Plan Calls for More Fossil Fuel, Fewer Rules

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By Renee Schoof

Sept. 15 — More coal, oil and natural gas production and fewer environmental regulations—including the end of the Obama administration plan to cut carbon dioxide from power plants—would be priorities in his administration, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in an economic policy speech Sept. 15.

“If we lower our taxes, remove destructive regulations, unleash the vast treasure of American energy, and negotiate trade deals that put America first, then there is no limit to the number of jobs we can create and the amount of prosperity we can unleash,” Trump said at the New York Economic Club, according to a text of the speech.

Trump said his economic team estimated that under his plan, 25 million jobs would be added and the economy would growth by 3.5 percent annually over the next decade. The plan calls for $4.4 trillion in tax cuts for all income groups, reduced regulations, more energy production, changes in trade policies to put “America first” and a requirement to reduce all spending other than defense and Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid by 1 percent every year. All of it would be budget-neutral, Trump said.

Cut Climate Plan

Regulations Trump said he would eliminate include the Clean Power Plan, which sets carbon dioxide limits on power plants and is the centerpiece of the Obama administration climate strategy; the Clean Water Rule, which clarifies which waters and wetlands would fall under federal protection; and the more stringent 2015 ozone standards.

One detail in a fact sheet about the Trump economic plan showed how federal agencies would work in a Trump administration: They would be required to rank all regulations by how much they contribute to growth, health and safety, with a goal of cutting unnecessary ones and “strengthening the useful ones.”

Regulations are developed to implement federal laws. Trump said his administration would end those “that are not compelled by Congress or public safety,” adding in his speech that he also would “eliminate all needless and job-killing regulations now on the books.”

Fossil Fuel Expansion

The energy and regulatory sections of the speech included mainly positions Trump has taken in the past, with few details about the extent of his plans or how they would be achieved. Oil, gas and coal production would expand as “unnecessary restrictions” are lifted, according to the fact sheet. It added that a Trump administration would allow energy production on federal lands “in appropriate areas” and open up “vast areas” off the coasts for offshore production.

Trump also said he would streamline permitting for energy projects and support research into advanced energy technologies based on “the free market” rather than government policy.

On biofuels, Trump appeared to support shifting the obligation to purchase Renewable Identification Numbers away from refineries. Refineries must purchase the credits if they don’t blend enough biofuels into their products. Trump said the program penalizes refineries but didn’t suggest an alternative.

‘Food Police.’

The policy also would eliminate what the fact sheet called the Food and Drug Administration “food police, which dictate how the federal government expects farmers to produce fruits and vegetables and even dictates the nutritional content of dog food.”

It didn’t specify any new agricultural policies or specific rule changes. Rules Trump criticized were those that “govern the soil farmers use, farm and food production hygiene, food packaging, food temperatures and even what animals may roam which fields and when,” the fact sheet said. The FDA, it said, “also greatly increased inspections of food ‘facilities,’ and levies new taxes to pay for this inspection overkill.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Schoof in Washington at rSchoof@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com

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