Quantcast

Leaked Memo Outlines Trump’s Energy Agenda

Popular

By Zachary Davies Boren

President-elect Donald Trump is set to gut U.S. environmental regulations, open up federal lands for fossil fuel extraction and quit the Paris climate agreement, according to documents seen by Energydesk.

A memo penned by Thomas Pyle, head of the Department of Energy transition team, and obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy, lists 14 key energy and environment policies the incoming Trump administration is expected to enact.

The note—part analysis of Trump's statements, part fossil fuel industry wish list—was sent on Nov. 15, just days before Pyle was brought on board by the Trump team.

It appears to reflect what Pyle wants from a future Trump administration—though little has yet emerged by way of formal energy policy.

Pyle is president of the Institute for Energy Research and the American Energy Alliance, which count among their major donors ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy and Koch Industries. He was also a top lobbyist for Koch Industries between 2001 and 2004.

Pyle's Predictions

The letter—"from the desk of Thomas Pyle"—celebrates the Republican party victory in last month's election, excitedly claiming that Trump will adopt what he describes as "pro-energy" and "pro-market" policies.

That's good news for oil, gas and coal which—if Trump does end up enacting this agenda—will be free to mine and drill under federal lands from the Alaskan Arctic to the Wyoming outback.

There have even been reports that Trump may seek to privatize Native American territory for fossil fuel purposes.

Pipelines like Keystone and the just halted Dakota Access project will also get pushed through, as will a clutch of liquefied natural gas export terminals.

But "pro-energy" doesn't feel like a fair characterization, since the document promises greater scrutiny for wind power projects, cutting energy subsidies (presumably for renewables) and amending the Renewable Fuel Standard.

It's worth mentioning that the document is nominally an analysis of Trump's statements on the campaign trail and was written before Pyle was officially part of his top team.

And the three-pager does effectively echo many of the anti-regulation noises the president-elect made in the last 18 months, including promises to scrap the Clean Power Plan, pull out of the Paris climate deal and fiddle with federal water rules.

Pyle is, however, now tasked with stacking the very department that would oversee such policies, and the leading candidates to run energy under Trump—such as oil exec Harold Hamm—appear similarly minded on the issues.

So this about as close to an energy blueprint as you can get.

Click on the image to read the document.

14 Policies

Here are the policies the memo outlines:

1. Withdraw from the Paris agreement.

2. Increase federal oil and natural gas leasing.

3. Lift the coal lease moratorium.

4. Give states greater say on energy leases on federal lands.

5. Expedite approvals of LNG export terminals.

6. Scrap the Clean Power Plan.

7. Reconsider the "endangerment finding."

8. Move forward with pipeline infrastructure.

9. Take closer look at environmental impact of wind energy.

10. Reduce energy subsidies.

11. Amend the Renewable Fuel Standard.

12. Challenge Obama's definition of "waters of the United States."

13. Relax federal fuel economy standards.

14. End use of social cost of carbon in federal rule-makings.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

"Take the pledge today." Screenshot / StopFoodWasteDay.com

Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.

Stop Food Waste Day is an initiative of food service company Compass Group. It was launched first in the U.S, in 2017 and went global the year after, making today it's second worldwide celebration.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Berries are among the healthiest foods you can eat.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Flames and smoke are seen billowing from the roof at Notre-Dame Cathedral on April 15 in Paris, France. Veronique de Viguerie / Getty Images

When Paris's Notre Dame caught fire on April 15, the flames threatened more than eight centuries of culture and history. The fire evoked shock, horror and grief worldwide. While the cathedral burned, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed determination to rebuild what the French regard as a sacred site.

Read More Show Less
An artist's impression of NASA's InSight lander on Mars. NASA / JPL-CALTECH

Scientists have likely detected a so-called marsquake — an earthquake on Mars — for the first time, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
Hero Images / Getty Images

Across the political aisle, a majority of American parents support teaching climate change in schools even though most teachers currently do not.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Priit Siimon / flickr / cc

By Andrea Germanos

Lawyer and visionary thinker Polly Higgins, who campaigned for ecocide to be internationally recognized as a crime on par with genocide and war crimes, died Sunday at the age of 50.

She had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer last month and given just weeks to live.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

An E. coli outbreak linked to ground beef has spread to 10 states and infected at least 156 people, CNN reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
The Anopheles stephensi mosquito, which carries malaria. CDC / Jim Gathany

The world's first malaria vaccine was launched in Malawi on Tuesday, NPR reported. It's an important day in health history. Not only is it the first malaria vaccine, it's the first vaccine to target any human parasite.

Read More Show Less