Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

How Trump’s energy endgame could go

Expect President Trump to redouble his efforts loosening regulations and questioning climate-change science should he win reelection next month.

Driving the news: A second Trump administration would supercharge efforts by certain states, countries and companies to address global warming. But some wildcards could have a greener tinge.


Where it stands: Let’s take a look at the highlights when it comes to a potential second Trump administration. Next week, I’ll assess a potential Biden presidency.

Climate change

It’s a foregone conclusion that Trump will withdraw America from the Paris Climate Agreement on Nov. 4, the official day he’s able to do so. (It’s a chaotic coincidence that it comes a day after the election.)

  • Beyond that, people close to the administration say it’s likely he could move more aggressively to instill bureaucratic changes to processes and reports surrounding climate change.
  • In recent weeks, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration has hired two experts who question at least some tenets of mainstream climate-change science.

What I’m watching: Myron Ebell, director for energy and environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, who was on the Trump transition team in 2016, says he hopes the Environmental Protection Agency will roll backits 2009 scientific findingthat concluded greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare. That finding underpins all federal climate regulations.

  • Ebell and other like-minded conservatives have been wanting Trump to undo that for years, but EPA has declined.
  • This move could be bolstered by a more conservative Supreme Court, assuming Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed. Justices could revisit a landmark 2007 high court decision that paved the way for the 2009 finding.

Yes, but: Other longtime Washington insiders say there’s a chance Trump could moderate his position dismissing climate change.

  • “I’m not sure what additional meaningful pressure there would be on this front," said Scott Segal, co-head of Bracewell Policy Research Group, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm.
  • Segal said a reelected Trump wouldn't have to play to his base as much and instead could acknowledge the "clear market forces in favor of addressing carbon emissions and developing cleaner energy."

Beyond Washington

Some states, cities and other regions of the world would likely act even more aggressively to address climate change under a second Trump administration.

  • Notable recent moves include China’s aggression toward Trump’s climate agenda last week and California announcing it will ban sales of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035.

What I’m watching:

  1. Whether Europe follows through on an oft-mentioned remark (and veiled threat) that it may impose a border tax on imported goods coming from countries without similarly aggressive climate-change plans.
  2. To what degree cities and other localities in America and around the world seek to ban natural gas.

Wildcards

If Trump is going to pivot (that’s a big if), these two are near the top of the actions he could take:

  1. Supporting global and bipartisan efforts in Congress to clamp down on hydrofluorocarbons found in refrigerants of common appliances, like air conditioners. EPA has moved to roll back efforts on this front, despite rare universal business support. “That should move,” Segal said, citing the industry support and jobs it could create.
  2. Rejecting the Pebble Mine, a large gold and copper mine proposal located at a prominent salmon fishery in Alaska. Trump has already indicated he’s receptive to pressure from influential conservatives who oppose it given their penchant for fishing.

Regulations

Trump’s top focus here will be defending in court his aggressive — and constantly litigated — agenda undoing virtually everything then-President Barack Obama did on climate change and broader environmental regulations.

  • Trump supporters say they’re watching most closely the legal battle over the EPA’s effort to revoke a waiver California has had for more than a decade that allows it to set more aggressive greenhouse gas standards for vehicle tailpipes.

Oil, natural gas and coal

Trump is likely to continue extolling — and exploiting — America’s global dominance on oil and natural gas.

  • Bob McNally, founder and president of the consulting firm Rapidan Energy, expects Trump to keep “going to bat” for U.S. oil companies, via tweets and bilateral meetings, as OPEC and other producing nations keep coordinating on production cuts.
  • On coal, BloombergNEF speculates in a new election report that Trump may talk less about his 2016 campaign goal of reviving coal, considering it is “irredeemably void due to inexorable economic competition from natural gas and renewables.”

Renewable energy

Trump is likely to continue to mostly ignore and not prioritize renewable energy, but BloombergNEF says to expect the unexpected.

  • Simply assuming a second Trump term would be as devoid of support for renewables carries some minor risk, however,” BloombergNEF said in its recent report. “The president’s penchant for disruption and political opportunism complicate conventional forecasting.”

What I'm watching: I would closely follow how offshore wind fares. The industry has so far faced a lukewarm reception from the Interior Department, while the president himself is not a fan of wind.

Raven Saunders says U.S. athletes planned "X" protests "for weeks"

Raven Saunders, the American Olympian facing a possible investigation for making a protest gesture on the podium over the weekend, told the New York Times Monday that U.S. athletes had planned "for weeks" to demonstrate against oppression.

Why it matters: Protests are banned at the Tokyo Games. Saunders told the NYT a group of American Olympians had settled on the "X" symbol, which she gestured on the podium after winning silver in the shot put Sunday, to represent "unity with oppressed people."

Keep reading... Show less

Study: Social media giants failed to remove 84% of antisemitic posts

Five social media giants failed to remove 84% of antisemitic posts in May and June — and Facebook performed the worst despite announcing new rules to tackle the problem, a new report finds.

Driving the news: The Center for Countering Digital Hatred (CCDH) notes in its study that it reported 714 posts containing "anti-Jewish hatred" to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and TikTok — which were collectively viewed 7.3 million times. These "clearly violated" company policies, according to the CCDH.

Keep reading... Show less

Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard: "It gets better"

Speaking to reporters after becoming the first openly transgender woman to compete in the Olympics, Laurel Hubbard on Tuesday expressed gratitude for the opportunity to compete as an athlete and the hope that her story will help convince

What she's saying: "All I have ever really wanted as an athlete is just to be regarded as an athlete," Hubbard, said in response to a question from Axios. "I suppose the thing I have been so grateful here in Tokyo is just being given those opportunities to just go through life as any other athlete."

Keep reading... Show less

Amazon may have violated law in Alabama warehouse vote, NLRB says

Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Ala., should hold a new election to determine whether to unionize with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, the National Labor Relations Board said in a preliminary finding Monday.

Driving the news: The e-commerce giant may have illegally interfered in a mail-in election tallied in April on whether workers at the plant should unionize, according to a statement from an NLRB hearing officer assigned to the case.

Keep reading... Show less

Evictions lead to rare clash between the White House and Dems

The White House and Democratic leaders have been dueling— publicly and privately — over who should take responsibility for extending an eviction moratorium that could protect millions of people on the verge of homelessness.

Why it matters: It's a rare moment of dysfunction between the usually-in-lockstep Biden team and congressional leadership.

Keep reading... Show less

Lindsey Graham tests positive for COVID-19

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, despite being vaccinated.

Why it matters: Graham emphasized that the mildness of his symptoms is due to being vaccinated. If he had been unvaccinated his symptoms would be "far worse," he said.

U.S. consulting with U.K., Romania and Israel on response to alleged Iran attack

The British and Romanian governments summoned the Iranian ambassadors to London and Bucharest on Monday to protest last week's drone strike on an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, which both countries have attributed to Iran.

The latest: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a briefing Monday that the U.S. is consulting with the U.K., Romania and Israel to prepare a collective response to the alleged Iranian attack.

Keep reading... Show less

Pelosi urges White House to reinstate expired eviction moratorium

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is urging President Biden and his administration to renew and extend the eviction moratorium after the House failed to secure enough votes to pass legislation to prevent its lapse.

Why it matters: Millions of tenants across the country face the threat of eviction after the moratorium expired this weekend.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories