Donald Trump Knows Less About Energy Than Sarah Palin Does. Let That Sink In

Haw haw, fuck you, Earth!

Donald Trump did another Serious Policy Speech Thursday, which is different from a regular Donald Trump speech because his completely batshit idiocy is read off a teleprompter, interspersed with off-the cuff Trumpisms about how terrible our problems are and how smart his solutions will be. At an oil industry conference in Bismarck, North Dakota, Trump laid out "his" energy policy, which, much like "his" foreign policy speech a while back, was a random collection of Republican talking points in outline form, plus a bunch of dumb lies. And at one point, random praise of the National Rifle Association, because of course an important part of his energy strategy is preventing Hillary Clinton from repealing the Second Amendment.

The big takeaway from the speech is that America needs to be burning a whole lot more fossil fuels, because even though oil and coal prices are dropping due to good old market pressures, Donald Trump is sure those industries are actually being regulated to death by Barack Obama. As Vox rather enjoyed pointing out:

The United States is currently the largest producer of petroleum and natural gas in the world, thanks in part to the massive fracking boom that's been taking place around the country since the 2000s:

U.S. Energy Information Administration

But to hear Trump tell it, we're barely producing anything at all. He wants more — much more. On his first day in office, Trump said, "American energy dominance will be declared a strategic, economic, and foreign policy goal of the United States," he said. "It's about time!"

To boost production, Trump would do away with the EPA and rescind every regulation that keeps us from drilling all the wells -- even though, as everyone from the New York Times to Timmy Johnson's (Age 10) N-er-G Newsletter points out that the biggest problem the American oil industry faces at the moment is a worldwide supply glut and price crash, thanks to all the fracking in the USA and the Saudis pumping more oil.

Similarly, Trump promised to bring back all the coal mining jerbs, again to be achieved by blowing up the EPA and oppressive mining safety regulations, and once again ignoring the reality that coal has mostly been undercut in price by cheap natural gas. Also, jobs simply won't come back, because the coal industry has shifted to more automation and mining methods that require far fewer workers. Oh, look, here is an industry analyst talking to the New York Times:

“Most analysts would say that coal is hurting because natural gas prices have collapsed,” said Robert McNally, the president of the Rapidan Group, an energy consulting firm, and a senior energy official in the George W. Bush administration. “Donald Trump would have to find a way to raise natural gas prices.”

Trump's shiniest idea was his proposal to "cancel" the Paris Climate Agreement, because as everyone knows, global warming is a fraud, as he explained in this scientific paper way back in 2012:

Trump didn't go into any detail on how he knows global warming is phony, because it simply is, and everyone knows it. But even in the little he did have to say on the matter, he managed to be wrong yet again. No, we don't expect to surprise anyone with that, but it seems like it's worth mentioning. Quoth the short-fingered vulgarian:

“Foreign bureaucrats will control what we’re doing,” Trump said of the treaty. “We’re going to cancel the Paris climate treaty.”

[wonkbar]<a href=""></a>[/wonkbar]Actually, that one's sort of one and a half lies: The thing about foreign bureaucrats controlling American energy policy is a complete lie, since the Paris Agreement depends on each signatory country setting its own emissions reduction goals for greenhouse gases, which the USA has already done. And we can't actually "cancel" an international agreement -- we can step away from it and say fuck the world and keep pouring CO2 and methane into the atmosphere while making money for a while. And while it waits for us to grow up and recognize science is real, the rest of the world can follow the agreement, though more countries will certainly have an incentive to join us in fouling our nest, yay. Global warming is no big, and all we need to do is build some seawalls around our Irish golf courses. And cancel Barack Obama's plan to reduce carbon emissions, so all the coal jobs will magically come back.

Hey, how about clean energy sources? Nice idea, said Trump, but totally unrealistic and in some cases even evil. Solar energy could be OK, he supposed: "I know a lot about solar ... I’ve gone solar on occasion." And we thought that was a spray-on tan. However, Solar Superman Trump explained, "The problem with solar is it's very expensive." Except for how solar prices have been dropping rapidly as more homes and businesses begin adopting solar.

And don't even get Trump started on wind. Wind is just the worst. Donald Trump hates any wind that he doesn't himself generate, and not merely because it musses his hair:

Wind is very expensive. I mean, wind, without subsidy, wind doesn't work. You need massive subsidies for wind. There are places maybe for wind. But if you go to various places in California, wind is killing all of the eagles.

You know if you shoot an eagle, kill an eagle, they want to put you in jail for five years. Yet the windmills are killing hundreds and hundreds of eagles. One of the most beautiful, one of the most treasured birds — and they're killing them by the hundreds and nothing happens. So wind is, you know, it is a problem. Plus it's very, very expensive and doesn't work without subsidy.

You may be astonished to learn this, but wind is not killing all the eagles. In a very careful unpacking of Trump's nonsense, the Washington Post points out why Trump hates wind. Like Don Quixote, he actually has fought windmills:

Trump's experience with wind power is largely in the form of offshore wind, a much pricier option. For years, he battled an effort to build an offshore farm off the coast of a golf course he owns in Scotland, which may be where his sense of the cost of wind energy originates. [...]

And those eagles ... It's true; turbines are often situated in places with good wind currents, which birds also like to use. The Audobon Society estimates that between 140,000 and 328,000 birds die each year from turbines. Some of them are eagles — but not hundreds. One assessment published in 2013 counted 85 dead eagles over a span of 15 years.

If Trump really wanted to protect birds, he might do better to stop putting up huge glass towers: Windows kill between 365 million and 988 million birds annually worldwide; every skyscraper murders about 24 birds a year.

Besides, we thought Donald Trump didn't get along very well with eagles anyway:

[NYT / Vox / Buzzfeed / Vox again / WaPo]
Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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