Trump’s energy and environment appointments

Although there are three key appointments Pruitt at EPA, and now Tillerson at State and Perry at Energy there are some concerns among those of us who hope that Trump will swiftly kill the climate dragon.

Tillerson as ExxonMobil head had praised the Paris Agreement.  He called for a carbon tax back in 2009  and in recent speeches he has reiterated support for measures on climate change – this is from a speech in London in October of this year

we must continue to lower emissions. At ExxonMobil, we share the view that the risks of climate change are serious and warrant thoughtful action. Addressing these risks requires broad-based, practical solutions around the world. Importantly, as a result of the Paris agreement, both developed and developing countries are now working together to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, while recognizing differing national responsibilities, capacities and circumstances. In our industry, the best hope for the future is to enable and encourage long-term investments in both proven and new technologies, while supporting effective policies.

Which is what we are doing. We have long supported a carbon tax as the best policy of those being considered.

It may be that such statements were made to please particular constituencies (including the Rockefeller family which, like other scions of those who made their fortunes out of oil, is now deep green).  It may also have been to take the heat off Exxon which his more openly sceptical predecessor, Lee Raymond, attracted.  Even if that is the case, it might be said Tillerson lacks some moral fibre.

As Secretary of Energy, Texan Rick Perry replaces the quirky Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist who has speculated about airily suspended windmills as future promising power sources.  Perry’s presidential candidacy in 2012 famously collapsed when, having been asked to name departments he would abolish, forgot the name of the Energy Department which he had previously indicated was for the guillotine.  As its new Secretary his progress will be interesting.

As Governor of Texas, as well as backing coal, oil and gas development, Perry presided over a massive increase in subsidised wind which grew to over 10 per cent of the Texas electricity supply under his watch and which (shades of South Australian) has required a $7 billion expansion of transmission to service it.

As Attorney General of Ohio, Scott Pruitt has led state battles against the EPA he is now to head up.  The bitter opposition of Bernie Sanders, Friends of the Earth and other climate catastrophians is most encouraging.  And he has also overseen limitations on wind farms in the state

However Pruitt felt he had to parade his green credentials by boasting he had watched over his state’s electricity renewable supply growing to a 15 per cent wind share.

The EPA, as a source of financing of green groups and the leading agency in regulatory intervention of the economy, has previously been in the Republicans cross hairs Reagan wanted to abolish it.  He appointed Anne Gorsuch as Administrator and, though she cut its budget and trimmed back some excesses, she left it largely intact as a regulatory behemoth.  Subsequent picks, none more than Obama’s selection of Gina McCarthy as the current Administrator, have taken it to ever greater influence.

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17 Responses to Trump’s energy and environment appointments

  1. stackja

    DT faces the usual suspects, including MSM.

  2. RobK

    It will take sometime to turn the ship around. No doubt mistakes will be made and misdeeds done. The beast has stirred and will need to be placated.

  3. Rex had to be part of the strategy whereby Big Oil hammers coal and nukes in concert with Big Green. (Remember when Chesapeake Energy was caught tipping tens of millions into Sierra’s War on Coal? It stopped when Greenpeace shrieked, maybe out of jealousy.)

    This is partly because lakes of gas and diesel are sold to “supplement” and “transition” away from fossil fuels. And partly because Big Oil is like the shipwrecked sailor quietly treading water and hoping the sharks will eat him last.

    Let’s not hook into Rex for the obligatory show-business tree hugging. Let’s see what he does in Trump’s reality show.

  4. Bruce of Newcastle

    Rabz doctrine time!

    The EPA, DoE and IRS are infested with lefties. The IRS is still refusing to process Tea Party 501c applications.

    Abolish them all and hand the work to the states. That way a bit of decent competition can be produced, since Americans fed up with blue state bureaucrats can move over the border to a more enlightened Red state nirvana.

  5. Andrew

    Tillerson is way too dovish. But it’s worth it for the heads exploding on the news of an Exxon666 exec getting the job. The fact that the came in 2009, well after any alleged “#ExxonKnew” conduct and started sprouting warmist crap and going on about ETS (indeed, generally sounding like Maolcolm) is irrelevant to the amount of pain his appointment is inflicting. Being “close to Putin” (i.e. having worked with Gazprom on joint projects, as has BP and every other multi-national oil co) is a bonus.

  6. Ant

    “…both developed and developing countries are now working together to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, while recognizing differing national responsibilities, capacities and circumstances.”

    That’s code for – let’s screw ourselves while letting China do whatever the hell it wants.

    And he sounds like another wealthy self-flagellating leftist.

    Maybe he’s also a ‘DC Insider, Cuck, Goldman Sachs, hedge fundering, Globalist, UN Cabal Satanist’, too, who’ll “drain the swamp”, along with Reince, McConnell’s wife, Mnuchin/Cohn, and the rest of the boys.

    You never know in 4D chess.

  7. Fisky

    Bitter old Ant is at it again!

  8. Ant

    Not bitter at all.

    Just employing a bit Trumpist-styled analysis to who the man’s chosen to surround himself with.

    Of course, if you extracted your head from his you-know-what, you’d probably appreciate it a bit better, my frisky friend.

  9. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    When will these corporates ever stop wanting the lefties to love and hug them?

    I read that Trump’s daughter Ivana is a closet greenie, being got at by the Gore groupies in her age cohort. They all saw ‘the movie’ as gospel in their kindergartens. Get a child before it is seven etc.

    I hope Trump is not trying to reassure her by his appointments. He needs people who will shout down the usual planet-is-burning-up nonsense, not give it a pass. He needs to come out and do it himself too.

  10. M

    Just stop and think for a second. Why did Tillerson, as CEO of Exxon, support carbon tax etc? At the headline level, it is bad for his company right?

    Wrong. On a medium term (5-25years) scale:

    1. Oil and gas are less carbon intensive per unit of energy than coal as the most significant energy source. Taxing your competitor relatively more than yourself is a good way to drive substitution driven market share/ demand for your product….

    2. At a microeconomics level, prices are set by marginal supply and demand. Increasing the cost of marginal supply (eg via taxes and regulations) ultimately drives price high. Owners of the more efficient existing lower cost (i.e Exxon!) assets profit margins increase with the imposition of fixed costs across the industry.

    3. More regulation that increases costs and limits the increase in supply longer term (eg building new coal mines, oil platforms etc) creates a positive value ‘endowment’ effects for the current owners of existing supply…. i.e Exxon…

    Overall, on a micro scale, Exxon (as an existing owner of long term low cost, relative (to coal) low emissions assets) is actually a short and medium term winner from any increase in regulation and/or costs on energy production….

    Over longer horizons, the main threat is technology, and they face that threat anyway. And the PV effects post 25-years are practically nil anyway. So if the decision is NPV maximization of existing asset value…. pro green regulations all the way for Exxon!

    As a related local note – who was the biggest short-term winners from Julia’s carbon tax? The lowest cost/ modern (and thus also relatively carbon efficient) coal base load plants….. the step change higher in wholesale SRMC/ electricity prices due to the embedded cost of carbon from the least efficient generators was far higher than the cost of carbon the lower intensity emitters had to bear. On a NPV basis, carbon tax was a GOOD thing for them – a big uplift in short and medium term profits via price rise > cost rise, albeit at the back-end a shorter asset life. The shorter asset life was near irrelevant, as the speed of the tax-cost ramp-up was so slow the asset would be essentially depleted pretty much at the same point in time anyway. And then, on top of a positive kick in profitability, they cried poor and played the pollies for fools and got handouts as part of the package!

  11. mh

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

  12. Zatara

    Tillerson as ExxonMobil head had praised the Paris Agreement.

    Yeah, well he doesn’t have to keep ExxonMobil shareholders happy anymore by not making waves.

    He now has 50 times as many shareholders who have said screw the Paris Agreement loud and clear.

  13. PrettyPowerful

    Trump won because he aroused middle America to understand that their unique culture, which made America the greatest, most democratic and free country ever, was being stolen from them by the PC/Marxist/Socialists who had craftily infiltrated major institutions such as MSM, universities, schools,government bureaucracy and so on.
    The culture of freedom was being replaced by totalitarianism.
    President Trump will be a great success if he keeps the faith of middle America. In particular this means keeping his promise on stopping illegal immigration; lower taxes; delegitimise the PC madness; and defund the climate change hoax.

  14. Paul

    What do the Clinton Foundation, the EPA, $28M and Morocco have in common.
    Clinton and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Lisa Jackson tried to shut down the Florida-based Mosaic Company in 2011, operator of America’s largest phosphate mining facility

    Morocco’s state-owned phosphate company, OCP, would ostensibly have benefited from Jackson’s move to shut down Mosaic. Mohammed donated up to $15 million to the Clinton Foundation through OCP.
    Clinton also relaxed U.S. foreign aid restrictions on Morocco, thus allowing U.S. funds to be used in the territory of Western Sahara where OCP operates phosphate mining operations. The aid restrictions stemmed from Morocco’s illegal occupation of the territory since 1974.

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/31/hillarys-two-official-favors-to-morocco-resulted-in-28-million-for-clinton-foundation/

  15. Andrew

    I read that Trump’s daughter Ivana is a closet greenie, being got at by the Gore groupies in her age cohort. They all saw ‘the movie’ as gospel in their kindergartens. Get a child before it is seven etc.

    al-Gore’s sci-fi movie was filmed in 2006. I think Ivanka is a little older than you’re picturing.

  16. sabrina

    Excellent expose’, Alan.
    Personally, I am happy to see Moniz gone. The publication – Future of Coal – during his time at MIT had several inconsistencies and inaccuracies.

  17. Alan Moran

    Gosh M what a cynic!.

    Sabrina – you are right it is just that Moniz seems a pleasant fellow

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