For anyone who knows how disastrous climate change zealotry has been for our economy, there have been some troubling developments over the past week or so. First, you had Ivanka Trump promising to be some sort of climate change champion. Then you had Al Gore meeting with Donald Trump in Manhattan and all-but-shouting with glee to the media about how optimistic he was. And then you had Trump himself softening his stance on climate change and holding open the possibility of keeping the U.S. tied to the Paris Agreement.
It was enough to get you wondering if Trump would actually roll back the oppressive federal regulations imposed by Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency.
It remains to be seen how President Trump will handle the controversial subject of climate change, but he eased some fears on Thursday by naming Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the new head of the EPA.
Pruitt made a name for himself in his home state by fiercely battling the Obama administration’s climate agenda in both rhetoric and legal action. Last year, he signed Oklahoma on to a 26-state lawsuit against the EPA aimed at overturning the Clean Power Plan.
“The Clean Power Plan is an unlawful attempt to expand federal bureaucrats’ authority over states’ energy economies in order to shutter coal-fired power plants and eventually other sources of fossil-fuel generated electricity,” Pruitt said at the time.
By picking Pruitt, Trump sent a message: Climate change or no climate change, it’s time for the EPA to stop overstepping its bounds.
“For too long, the Environmental Protection Agency has spent taxpayer dollars on an out-of-control anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions of jobs, while also undermining our incredible farmers and many other businesses and industries at every turn,” Trump said in a statement. “My administration strongly believes in environmental protection, and Scott Pruitt will be a powerful advocate for that mission while promoting jobs, safety and opportunity.”
Fact is, if you really listen to what the leading climate experts are saying, you’ll realize two things. One, there is almost nothing that can be done on a realistic, government-enforced level that can satisfy their demands to save the planet from carbon emissions. You can see this every time the U.S. or any other country “takes action” on climate change; the response is always, “Yeah, that’s a nice gesture, but it won’t really do anything.” In other words, you’re killing jobs for no good reason.
Two, we’re rapidly approaching the “green energy” tipping point regardless of what the government does or does not do. Technology is improving, the private-sector demand is growing, and it’s only a matter of time. Meanwhile, clean natural gas is already reducing our dependence on foreign oil, making onerous federal regulations on coal unnecessary.
Everyone is quick to call Exxon a “special interest,” but they don’t realize that there are plenty of environmental special interests as well. Obama’s climate agenda was designed to reward those moneyed groups while also growing the size and power of the federal government. As long as Trump can avoid either of those paths, we’ll be thrilled.