Half of the objectives in an “Energy Freedom Score Card” published by the Heartland Institute have been half accomplished in just the first year of President Trump’s administration, the organization reports.
“Affordable, reliable and plentiful energy enables us to protect the environment while also creating jobs and the goods and services we need,” the report explains. “Expensive and unreliable energy, like the kind produced by ethanol and commercial wind and solar companies, destroys jobs and the environment.
“Fossil fuels are the foundation of economic growth and prosperity. Taxing them or making them more scarce causes economy growth to slow, makes food and other essential goods more expensive, and many of the good things we take for granted are lost.”
The score card is divided into four major sections: rein in EPA, repeal global warming regulations, end climate profiteering and “Use it, don’t lose it,” with a number of categories under each point.
For example, under the first, the need is to “withdraw implementation of the Waters of the U.S. rule,” with already has been accomplished.
The plan to “roll back recent EPA regulations on ozone, small particulates” and more, has begun, with some regulations removed or delayed and others “up for review,” the report says.
“Not done” yet is to “end the use of (secret science) by EPA and other regulatory agencies.”
Of the total of 26 goals, six already have been completed and 13 started, the scorecard explains. Only seven have yet to be addressed at all.
Trump, for example, has ended the terms of many long-time members of science advisory boards with conflicts of interest, and he’s promised a review of Obama’s preliminary approval of higher fuel efficiency standards.
He’s withdrawn from the Paris climate accord and stopped funding the Green Climate Fund. He’s rescinded “social cost of carbon” estimates and pulled back on the Clean Power Plan.
While he’s canceled some research grants and called for a 30 percent cut in the EPA budget, the goal of cutting government funding for the climate change agenda isn’t finished yet, the score card assesses.
Mandated renewable power plans need to be repealed, and some states have frozen their mandates, with the possibility of repeal in others, “but progress is slow,” Heartland’s report says.
Still to be addressed are the significant federal tax credits for wind and solar projects and to convince state utility commissions to avoid the so-called “zombie” Obama-era regulations that pressure coal-generation plants to close.
Also, work needs to be done on holding solar and wind power producers to the same environmental protection standards other industry players must follow.