Election 2016 Round Table Discussion: Donald Trump has advocated an energy policy that will rebuild energy production in America as well as deliver jobs to blue collar workers in a number of critically important states. His policy stands in sharp contrast to Hillary Clinton’s. What are the stark differences in Trump’s policy as opposed to Clinton’s, and what will the possible ramifications be of both?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Trump’s main thrust seems to be the goal of energy independence from the rest of the world, particularly independence from OPEC. He advocates more exploration and utilization of reserves on land and offshore. Clinton’s focus is on mitigating climate change as the sole reason to have an energy policy, so her proposals center on cutting pollution, promoting clean energy sources, and advocating conservation and stewardship.

Neither candidate is specific about how much it will cost taxpayers to implement their respective plans, although Clinton does list some amounts on her website that add up to $310 Billion plus at least $150 Million per year going forward. That only represents a small sample of costs she stated in her position link. Trump quotes no number for what his plan will cost taxpayers. Instead, he focuses on creating new jobs which will generate income and Social Security taxes to help offset his costs of implementation.

With Trump proposing a more or less new energy exploration boom in the U.S., and Clinton proposing draconian policies to reduce pollution, clean up already polluted sites, and to conserve and preserve current resources, the candidates’ positions are nearly polar opposites. Clinton evokes thoughts of Jimmy Carter’s presidency when he told us America is in crisis and we need to show discipline by conserving energy, putting on sweaters to stay warm, and remaining at the mercy of OPEC as far as controlling our access to and use of fossil fuels. Trump evokes thoughts of greedy Texas oil barons who are willing to rape and pillage the land in order to squeeze every last dollar out of the natural resources on Earth.

The ramifications of Clinton’s policies are a cleaner planet at the cost of increased spending on energy in the form of pollution mitigation and protection. Trump’s policies may lead to more fossil fuel production and consumption in the U.S., with little regard for the consequences of additional pollution. Trump’s proposals may also cause the U.S. to lose favor with some in the international community, particularly Europe, who are world leaders in conservation, nuclear power use, clean energy technology, and the fight to reduce the effects of climate change on the planet.

Both positions will cost taxpayers more money because neither policy seems geared toward eliminating special interests and lobbyists from controlling the game and deciding who the winners and losers will be. Whoever is elected will take care of their friends, allies, and donors first, and worry about the welfare of the average American later.

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-Hillary Clinton’s energy policy is largely a pie-in-the-sky plan to make the U.S. a green energy powerhouse while limiting things that produce actual money and jobs like pipelines and fracking.  The simple fact is that we are still an oil-dependent world, and will be for the foreseeable future.  Until there is real, hard evidence that the oil supply is dwindling, there’s just no economic imperative to switch to anything cleaner, and decades of experience have shown us that’s what is required.

Trump, on the other hand, appears to be intent on focusing on America’s strengths in the energy game.  Fracking has made us a true oil powerhouse, and while its ecological (and geological, for those Oklahomans experiencing earthquakes) consequences are still open to debate, it’s undoubtedly a future store of wealth, power and energy.  At present, the depressed price of oil has made many fracking fields too expensive to operate, but that cycle will continue to turn and the price will eventually come back up. In the meantime, the Saudis are pumping as fast as they can, and their economy is imploding.

I do question his support for coal jobs, as I think coal is fast fading as a viable fuel outside of Asia and its ecological toll is too high.  However, again, the market forces will drive the end result.

 

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-Donald Trump’s energy policy, which has been titled “An America First Energy Plan,” calls for energy independence and capitalizes on the abundance of lower cost and geographically distributed fossil fuels that include coal, oil and natural gas. The platform of the Republican Party’s statement on energy, which Donald Trump agrees with and supports, states that, “Energy is both an economic and national security issue. We support the enactment of policies to increase domestic energy production, including production on public lands, to counter market manipulation by OPEC and other nationally-owned oil companies. This will reduce America’s vulnerability to energy price volatility.”

The  America First energy plan is a free market approach where investment capital at the private level is influential in developing cost effective and efficient ways of developing all forms of energy; whereas, the Democrat’s approach is one of blocking energy exports and hindering innovation. The America First plan wants to enable leverage of trade opportunities and added energy markets to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

The Democratic Party’ energy platform would be one of continued opposition to fossil fuels and drilling in places like ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) and off the Atlantic coast. In addition, there would be phasing down of the extraction of fossil fuels from public lands with complete dependence on clean energy (wind and solar) by the middle of the century. Hillary Clinton’s dislike of coal is part of that policy and she emphasized that in one of her early energy messages where she said, “We are going to put a lot of coal miners out of work, and she further stated that she would increase the use of solar energy by 700 percent in the first four years of her term as president.”

An America First energy plan has a broader base to work through with fossil fuel utilization as the numerous reserves allow free flow oil and other resources through the economy in an evenly distributed manner. With the earth as its source, the extraction of fossil fuels and their use produces cash flow to local and state governments as well as distribution of mineral rights  royalties to  property owners.

With the Democrat’s strong distaste for fossil fuel extraction as well as their commitment to an evolving renewable energy platform and its attachment to the Clean Power Plan, they are bound to climate change science and CO2 reductions all at a cost of billions of dollars to the economy, which does not allow for a free flow of jobs or cash into the economy.

Republican energy advocacy and the platform of the America First plan recognize its obligation to the environment but a different path is taken from that of the Democrats. Republicans want to make more judicious use of natural resources in order to advance progress in the private sector and to create good paying jobs in an economy free of government subsidies. Democrats want to gain access to renewable energy through government subsidies and overbearing regulations to supposedly protect the environment.

Regulatory oversight is a big point of differentiation with the America First Plan and that of the Democrats.  Democrats stringently advocate heavy oversight on every aspect of energy development and production, while Republicans support the market approach where free capital infusion is central to the development of cost effective means to deal with all forms of energy, including alternative sources.

Democrats and Hillary Clinton want to make renewable energy sources top priority and implement stricter and more extensive regulations to create job promotion while supposedly containing and reducing microscopic amounts of carbon dioxide at set global emission rates.  They want to totally rely on alternative forms of energy in spite of the costs, limited job possibilities and relative newness of these sources to the energy infrastructure.

It is clear that the ramifications of a Trump energy policy are those of creation and stimulation in the energy market, not only with fossil fuels but with renewable concepts as well.  An American  First plan  ignites the opening of new energy markets, trading opportunities and job creation; whereas, the consequences  of a Clinton energy policy are those of  stagnation, limited job creation,  regulatory nightmares, and dependence on government subsidies.

 

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