Memo Outlines Planet-Killing GOP Energy Policy

December 6, 2016


Greenpeace Energy Desk:

President-elect Donald Trump is set to gut US environmental regulations, open up federal lands for fossil fuel extraction, and quit the Paris climate agreement, according to documents seen by Energydesk.

A memo penned by Thomas Pyle, head of the Department of Energy transition team, and obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy, lists 14 key energy and environment policies the incoming Trump administration is expected to enact.

The note – part analysis of Trump’s statements, part fossil fuel industry wish list – was sent on November 15th, just days before Pyle was brought on board by the Trump team.

It appears to reflect what Pyle wants from a future Trump administration — though little has yet emerged by way of formal energy policy.

Pyle is President of the Institute for Energy Research and the American Energy Alliance, which count among their major donors ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy and Koch Industries. He was also a top lobbyist for Koch Industries between 2001 and 2004.

The letter – ‘from the desk of Thomas Pyle’ – celebrates the Republican party victory in last month’s election, excitedly claiming that Trump will adopt what he describes as ‘pro-energy’ and ‘pro-market’ policies.

That’s good news for oil, gas and coal which – if Trump does end up enacting this agenda – will be free to mine and drill under federal lands from the Alaskan Arctic to the Wyoming outback.

There have even been reports that Trump may seek to privatise Native American territory for fossil fuel purposes.

Pipelines like Keystone and the just halted Dakota Access project will also get pushed through, as will a clutch of liquefied natural gas export terminals.

But ‘pro-energy’ doesn’t feel like a fair characterisation, since the document promises greater scrutiny for wind power projects, cutting energy subsidies (presumably for renewables) and amending the Renewable Fuel Standard.

It’s worth mentioning that the document is nominally an analysis of Trump’s statements on the campaign trail, and was written before Pyle was officially part of his top team.

And the three-pager does effectively echo many of the anti-regulation noises the President-elect made in the last 18 months, including promises to scrap the Clean Power Plan, pull out of the Paris climate deal and fiddle with federal water rules.

Pyle is, however, now tasked with stacking the very department that would oversee such policies, and the leading candidates to run energy under Trump – such as oil exec Harold Hamm – appear similarly minded on the issues.

So this about as close to an energy blueprint as you can get.


14 policies

Here are the policies the memo outlines:

1. Withdraw from the Paris Agreement

2. Increase federal oil and natural gas leasing

3. Lift the coal lease moratorium

4. Give states greater say on energy leases on federal lands

5. Expedite approvals of LNG export terminals

6. Scrap the Clean Power Plan

7. Reconsider the ‘endangerment finding’

8. Move forward with pipeline infrastructure

9. Take closer look at environmental impact of wind energy

10. Reduce energy subsidies

11. Amend the Renewable Fuel Standard

12. Challenge Obama’s definition of ‘waters of the United States’

13. Relax federal fuel economy standards

14. End use of social cost of carbon in federal rulemakings

23 Responses to “Memo Outlines Planet-Killing GOP Energy Policy”

  1. I thought I couldn’t ramp up my depression to a higher level than I achieved with that idiot’s election. I was wrong.

  2. shaneburgel Says:


  3. dumboldguy Says:

    Trump’s hypocrisy and evil manipulations become more apparent every day. On the one hand, he meets with Gore in an attempt to “normalize” his sorry image and try to gain some credibility on climate change. On the other hand, Pyle is his appointee to head the Energy transition, showing how “open” Trump’s mind really is NOT. Unbelievable!

  4. Ron Voisin Says:

    Well…we can look forward to lower energy prices and more wealth generation to make environmental expenditures more affordable.

    • For any survivors, I don’t think what you call wealth would have any value, let alone What expenditure and who would be being paid to do what?

      Even Fantasy writers try to make it believeable

    • What happened to the wealth already generated?

      • webej Says:

        It’s probably sitting in a bond somewhere, awaiting the time we can board a space ship to immigrate (for those with money) to a new planet where the local currency just happens to be piles of dollar bills.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Ron V parrots the same old denier BS about the free market curing all if we just get out of the way”. It IS appropriate to ask Ron “What happened to the wealth already generated?”, even though he doesn’t know the answer because he is a willfully ignorant denier troll.

        The answer is that the wealth has been bled upwards out of the economy and the pockets of the 99% into the non-productive pockets of the plutocracy and corporate oligarchs, and I for one am looking forward to watching the Koch brothers and their ilk try to take it all with them when they leave this planet. And I DO hope that they don’t just leave quietly in their sleep but instead blow it all on “space arks” and attempts to colonize Mars—-if their is any justice, they will reprise the “exploding body” scene from Total Recall.

        • I’m curious why Ron thinks the next dollar earned by further wrecking the biosphere, would be spent on “improving” it? Ron is not a deep thinker I suspect.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            You answered your own question. Whatever it is that goes on inside Ron’s head, it is generous to call it “thinking”, never mind “deep”. Ron lives not in his ACC, but in his amygdala—-the part of the “reptilian” brain that governs so many conservatives.

  5. webej Says:

    #10 (reduce subsidies) would be great if applied to the fossil fuel, bio-fuel, and nuclear industry, especially if it includes tax facilities. World-wide fossil fuels get about $B480 in subsidies compare to about $B120 for renewables.
    Some of the other proposals/fantasy plays will run counter to cold hard economic logic. More cheap OPEC oil (fuel economy standards) will deteriorate the balance of trade and incentivize authoritarain terrorist enabling states in the Middle East. Many of the others are give-aways to those who would rape nature or externalize most of their costs on the rest of society and the environment.
    Dreams of LNG exports to Europe and the Ukraine will turn to dissappointment.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Uh, dweebiej? May I suggest that you take another look at the other 13 “policies” and rethink your bright-sidedness about #10 being in any way “great”? You have again let your fingers get ahead of your brain.

  6. Lionel Smith Says:

    …the American people have voted for a change — a big change.

    But clearly many, with Bates and Voisin being prime examples, didn’t have a clue what they were really voting for nor the effect it is going to have on their lives. Even if only half of those policies (favoured by the Red Queen) are implemented it is downhill all the way for the well being of the majority of Americans and the one percent will not be immune from the bad things that would come about.

    It isn’t going to be very good for people and fellow travelling creatures around the globe either.

  7. Ron Voisin Says:

    So you guys are sure that Trump’s 14 policies will end the world.

    Has it occurred to you that you might be wrong…that just maybe we can look forward to lower energy prices and more wealth generation to make environmental expenditures more affordable.

    Or are you certain that the world will end.

    If so, can you suggest when that will be? I mean, has Trump with these policies eliminate the possibility of a 2nd term in office?

    • dumboldguy Says:

      No, Ron, we are NOT sure that Trump’s 14 policies will “end the world”. However, what those of us who understand the science are quite sure of is that those 14 policies WILL set back efforts to combat climate change severely, and that may in fact lead to the “end of the world” when the SHTF at some as yet undetermined future point (it WILL be way sooner than when the world would end through natural law).

      And here you are, repeating yourself yet again and beating a very dead horse with “just maybe we can look forward to lower energy prices and more wealth generation to make environmental expenditures more affordable”. I will repeat myself also, and say that the only wealth that will be generated will go into the pockets of the already wealthy and that “environmental expenditures” are already “affordable”, especially in view of how much more we’d need to spend to fix things the longer we wait.

      IMO, Trump will not serve an ELECTED second term in office (and he wasn’t elected by a majority this time). If the country doesn’t collapse outright, he will cause such destruction that he will be thrown out on his flabby butt. Of course, he could “do a Hitler” and declares himself ruler for life—-THAT is a distinct possibility.

  8. Ron Voisin Says:


    I’ll make you a beer bet that GDP growth doubles to >4% by the end of his 1st term.

    And that wealth will be shared by all.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      You are a true believer, Ron, but your enthusiasm is exceeded only by your ignorance. Trump’s promise of 4% growth is just more horseshit he threw against the wall in hopes it would stick and get him votes. I defy you to find anyone knowledgable who looks at his proposed policies and believes that they are NOT more likely to cause major economic mayhem. If he DOES meet with any success, it will be because Obama left him a good head start:

      • Ron Voisin Says:

        Obama did leave Trump a great opportunity…an energy starved economy choking with over-regulation.

        The 4% projection is likely understated…reality will most likely be 6-7%…and as I said: that wealth will be shared by all.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          An energy starved economy? Yes, you ARE willfully ignorant, or you’d know that we are selling oil U.S. overseas because we have an excess of it.

          6 or 7% growth, you say? Why not go for double digits, Ron? Like 10-12%? Or 16-18%? You denier morons are good at PFTA math. (That’s Plucked From Thin Air, Ron)

          I’ll make you a single-malt bet that you can’t find ONE link that projects 6-7%.

        • Ron. So you believe the US economy will be growing at a rate that would see it double in size in 10-12 years? I guess as the world is finite in nature, we can expect the US to be consuming half the worlds energy, up from 25% now? So much for sharing wealth.

  9. Ron Voisin Says:

    The problem with Alarmists is that they know so many things that simple are not true.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      “….so many things that simple are not true”. WHAT?

      Ron, why don’t you go back to WUWT , where your electrical engineer’s half-assed understanding of climate change fits with that of the the know-nothing WUWT lemmings? You waste our time on Crock, and have been doing so for far too long..

      For those who are unfamiliar with Ron’s maunderings and our responses to them, go to the Crock Archives for January 2016 and look for the post “Andrew Dessler on Satellite Errors”, January 20, 2016. That’s typical of what happens every time Ron appears here—-he says stupid stuff, we tear him several new anal orifices, he doesn’t get the message. Ron is “Einstein insane”.

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