Sitting back and nibbling on the popcorn and tea while researching an op-ed, I am noticing first hand how ass-backwards the current American presidential administration is. The Administration is so far behind that some of its cabinet’s websites are still using public policy language from the Obama era.
Take for example language on the U.S. Department of Energy’s energy efficiency office website. The office’s mission “is to create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy. Its vision is a strong and prosperous America powered by clean, affordable, and secure energy.” The problem with this verbiage is that it falls out of line with President Trump’s rhetoric on America’s dominance in global energy.
In his America First Energy Plan, Mr Trump promises to embrace the shale oil and gas revolution; that the United States must take advantage of the $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves. Mr Trump also emphasizes his support for clean coal technology, and that revenues generated by energy production will be reinvested into America’s infrastructure.
And while Mr Trump gives a shout-out to environmental stewardship and the necessity to keep America’s air clean, he makes no mention of the role renewable energy i.e. solar, wind, geothermal could play in America’s energy mix.
Adding insult to the energy left, Mr Trump is proposing a 69% cut in the funding for the Energy Department’s energy efficiency office, an office that dedicates a significant portion of its work to promoting the development and use of energy efficient technology.
But while some analysts see the Administration’s initiatives as a poo-poo on scientific inquiry, Mr Trump’s initiatives redirects the government to its core mission: the exploitation of an area’s natural resources for the benefit of its investors. You can’t harness the wind or corral the Sun, but you can establish and exploit property rights that are built around coal, oil, and natural gas. The reinvestment of the revenues from the production won’t just be reinvested into infrastructure for the good of the people. They will be reinvested so as to transform one form of capital into a higher value form of capital with the costs of extraction and production spread among the masses of citizens in the form of prices and taxes.
This the crucial point that progressives miss about this aspect of environmentalism. They can’t make a property and investment argument for solar or wind such that bondholders (investors) can sufficiently get behind it.
Six months, one hour and forty-five minutes old, this Administration still can’t fill positions or update websites, but has been lightning fast about taking government back to its core function; resource exploitation.