Monday, May 30, 2016

Trump energy plan doesn't add up, experts say

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump wants to relax the rules on oil and gas drilling, otherwise encourage energy development and cancel the recent multinational agreement to fight climate change.

Speaking in North Dakota last week, Trump also promised to revive the Keystone XL pipeline and restore lost jobs in coal mining, but his claims on that and other points "essentially defy free-market forces," Coral Davenport reports for The New York Times.

In a follow-up story citing several energy experts, Davenport notes that encouraging more gas production would lower prices and further depress demand for coal. She also says Trump's vow to increase oil and gas production runs into some inconvenient facts: U.S. gas production is at a historic high, and oil production "is already higher than it has been in 40 years. . . . At a certain point, production of oil and gas will push prices too low to justify even more production."

Trump also said more oil and gas production from federal lands would substantially reduce the $19 trillion federal debt, but energy economists dismissed that idea, too. Such royalties now net the government less than $10 billion a year in a budget of $3.8 trillion, and "experts say it is difficult to predict a new revenue stream at the scale envisioned by Mr. Trump."

No comments: