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15 March 2019

Trump has a plan to make America great – by playing Devil’s advocate

Secretly Donald Trump has a plan to solve Global Warming or Climate Change as we now have to call it for the hard of thinking. His plan is to play devil’s advocate, opposing all sensible positions on the subject of energy, so others can take the moral high ground. By the end of his first term in office most of the US will finally “get” Climate Change and be onboard for an about turn in environmental policy. In fact we predict the next US election will be fought and won on this issue, all thanks to Trump’s invidious position taken in this administration.

Trump’s latest attempt, his third so far, to castrate Government funding for renewables and plow money into fossil fuels has just been launched, detailed in budget documents out this week. The first two attempts were hijacked by Congress, and now that’s is in Democrat control, we seen no reason for the policy to be published, other than to enrage both parties and make the news.

It re-iterates Trump’s position – his annual budget proposal shows he wants to cut funding for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) by 70% (in his last two budgets it was 65% and 69%) and he wants to eliminate the DOE Loan Programs Office and the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) and just give the Environment Protection Agency $6.1 billion, down 31% cut from current spending.

But we know what happens to Trump’s budget proposals – they usually shut down the government until they get revised or voted down. But anyone unaware of what’s going on in renewables is likely to get a shock. Both Wind power (onshore) and Solar power, are beginning to fall to parity pricing levels with cheap and dirty fossil fuels. Taking away subsidies now will not prevent these technologies from flourishing. What has been achieved through the lobby power of big energy in the US is that US companies are fantastically disadvantaged in these renewables areas when up against European and Chinese rivals, who now are way ahead of US firms for the most part. This will be a multi-trillion dollar industry, and the US has yet to start work in it.

The EERE ended up getting $2.3 billion for fiscal 2019 after Congress rejected the White House’s proposed cuts and we assume this is going to happen once again.  And that was before the democrats took over the House. It may even get a raise.

Trump also wants to end the electric vehicle tax credits at the Treasury Department, so the outcome is almost certainly that EVs will flourish in the final budget at the expense of his beloved petroleum. It is only when you state outspokenly that “global warming” is not anthropogenic, that all the people sitting on the fence on the issue, take a look at the evidence once again and nod and suddenly realize that yes, the US and the world is being poisoned by fossil fuel fumes, slag, by-products and massive water source corruption, and drought and that renewables are the only way to save the US (and the world) from excessive climate change  – which Trump still insists says does not exist.

There is even a massive bankruptcy of one of its leading energy companies in

progress in the form of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) looking at multiple claims for being the cause of multi-billion dollar wildfires – and being forced to spend more $billions, which it does not have, cleaning up its old infrastructure and cutting back woodland which comes into contact with it, when clearly the real cause of the amount of damage those Californian fires caused is drought from Global warming. Which, oh yes, does not exist. Somewhere in there is some irony, although it’s not enjoyable given the consequences. There is talk this week of breaking up PG&E, because it cannot be funded on its current footing, because more wildfires are inevitable with the first spark likely to be faulty electricity infrastructure. It could always invest in renewables, that might save it.

The budget also calls for the disposal of any transmission and energy generation assets owned by government, presumably to avoid the same inevitable fate of PG&E, but also allowing for billionaires (like Trump) to buzz around the “energy” honeypot and make more money. This amounts to the Russian strategy of selling off country assets to local Oligarchs, who all became billionaire’s. The interesting thing about that, is said Oligarchs don’t ever invest in renewables, which would leave the US further and further behind in this new tech race, being won hands down by China. It will not be lost on Congress, that copying Russia’s energy strategy is a bit foolhardy, and it is unlikely to pass.

Trump also wants to cut funding for the EPA directly so that it cannot properly police the dreadful state of the US environment in places where fossil fuels touch the country, or by shifting costs to consumers somehow.

As each area that Trump attacks gets better at defending its turf and its reason for existence, more and more people become aware of how important such agencies as the EPA are, and how even under the leadership of Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, the EPA has to do something to spend its budget and it has to go on protecting the environment.