‘Get out of the way’ of energy producers, Trump tells feds

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, May 27, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. — Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump today vowed to expand domestic energy production to “make America rich again and make America great again.”

In a meandering news conference here ahead of a speech on energy policy, Trump touted oil and gas production while casting doubt about the viability of renewable power sources, including wind and solar.

“The federal government should get out of the way” of energy production, Trump said.

As his speech to the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference began, Trump took aim at various federal environmental regulations.

“These actions have denied millions of Americans access to the energy wealth sitting right underneath our feet. … This is your treasure. And you the American people are entitled to share in the riches,” he said.

Trump appeared at the news conference this afternoon accompanied by North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) and Continental Resources Inc. CEO Harold Hamm — one of his most vocal supporters in the oil and gas industry — as well as the state’s delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Trump endorsed building the Keystone XL pipeline and told reporters that he would support other projects he was not familiar with, stating: “My basic bias would be to approve.”

Trump repeated his earlier assertion that the United States should receive profits from the KXL pipeline if it is constructed, citing the need for eminent domain to build the project.

“That’s how we’re going to make America rich again and make America great again,” Trump said.

The businessman and former reality TV star also reiterated his vow to reinvigorate the coal industry but said he would not seek to interfere with “market forces” such as competition from cheap natural gas and decreased international demand.

“All I can do is free up the coal,” Trump said.

Trump, who has received advice from Cramer on his energy platform in recent weeks, also said he would favor an “all of the above” energy policy but said that he would not support tax benefits for renewable energy production.

Trump also criticized solar and wind energy production as “very expensive” and asserted that wind energy production is too much of a threat to birds.

“Wind is killing all the eagles,” Trump said, later adding that wind “doesn’t work with a subsidy.”