Trump making promises that he might not keep

Featured Image -- 1043The truth is, Donald Trump has now made a very important policy statement. Introducing what he billed as an “energy plan,” Trump promised to “cancel the Paris Climate Plan.” Unlike so much of what originates from Trump on policy, this is certainly a genuinely clarifying moment, with potentially enormous long-term implications.

The near-term political consequences with this will — or should — be that there’s now no chance whatsoever that Bernie Sanders can do anything more on his way out that could imperil party unity in a fashion that makes a Trump victory more likely. I don’t believe Sanders has any intention to accomplish this, by the way, but this would theoretically render it an impossibility in his mind, as it dramatically advances the stakes for a somewhat smooth resolution of the Democratic primaries. Indeed, I believe it is likely Sanders will dsicover it because of this, too.

To have all the details on Trump’s full energy plan, read Brad Plumer’s piece. Trump would pursue a mostly standard-issue GOP agenda of “fewer regulations and much more fossil fuel production.” More important, with some reporters wondering what Trump’s actual views are on global climate change, he clarified them: he could be utterly indifferent to its existence and would roll back the main things we’re currently putting in place to cope with it.

Trump claimed that the present environmental challenges that the national government is trying to tackle are “phony.” He added that he would “rescind” the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which would curb skin tightening and emissions from existing coal-fired power plants, and is key towards the U.S.’s ability to meet its commitments included in the global climate deal. He would withdraw the U.S. from participation in that global accord.

As I have reported before, there are complexities that may make it harder than expected for a Republican president — even one as masterfully competent and strong as Trump — to roll back the Clean Power Plan and/or withdraw through the Paris climate deal. However it’s possible that Trump could accomplish one or these two, which will be a significant setback.

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This deepens the contrast between Trump and Hillary Clinton. While Clinton would not be as ambitious as Sanders in tackling the climate challenge, the unalterable fact of the matter is the fact that Clinton would preserve and implement the Clean Power Plan as well as the global climate accord, and Trump would seek to reverse them both.


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