How Trump And Biden Differ On Energy Policy


We are now just over a week away from election day although we know millions of people have already voted. But in these final few weeks, we've been focusing on some of the policy differences between President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden differences that might not be so easy to discern when they're buried in the middle of campaign rhetoric or debate jobs. Right now, we're going to focus on one revealing moment during last Thursday's presidential debate when the two candidates talked about energy specifically, how should the US get and use power in the future have a transition from their own minister yes? Oh. It is a big statement because I would stop why would you do that because the oil industry pollutes significantly here so let's dig into that a bit more what other two candidates competing visions for us energy policy going forward and what are the implications per workers and the environment to help us sort this out. We've called Dino Grandoni he reports on all this for the Washington Post with us now Dino Grandoni. Thank you so much for talking with us your. Thank you for having me on. So let me just start if we can with that clip that we just played there is a divide and how these to view the future of. US Energy. So when it comes to oil, where does each one stand? Yes. So the two candidates have laid out starkly different visions for what they would like to do with the oil industry and how they would like to transition away from fossil fuels or whether or not. They would want to even do that You saw a Democratic candidate Biden pledge to move away from oil in favor of renewable energy and predicted that that kind of move will generate millions of jobs president trump by contrast says that doing that would be costly and hurt the economy and in particular would hurt the oil producing states where both men are competing for votes. Well. You've recently written that president trump has very recently tried to rebrand himself as an environmentalist which would seem like a difficult sell when his administration has rolled back countless environmental regulations over the past four years and he continues to push for oil coal and gas. So what's his pitch? Yeah, and this is a man who has spent much of his life trying to rebrand himself during various business ventures. So He Over the past year has changed his position and a few different things he has promised to fund restoration of the Great Lakes when in the past White House had proposed cutting money to do that similar story with the everglades in Florida and He is endorsed this idea planting a trillion trees around the world in order to suck carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. President trump is going to have a hard time convincing the public that he is a more environmentally friendly candidate than Joe Biden, release candidate who cares more GONNA do more to solve climate change. His administration has spent the past four years rolling back literally dozens of anti-pollution another environmental rules and that kind of reputations probably baked into the public. At this point president trump has attacked for vice president Joe Biden for what trump a radical climate plant and we do have to say this has been described as by far. The most aggressive climate and energy platform that this country has ever seen from a major party candidate. So could you just just as briefly as you can describe what are some of the key elements? So what Joe Biden wants to do is eliminate US contributions to climate change by the middle of the century and on the way they're doing. So he wants to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector in particular power plants by twenty, thirty five, both of those are very aggressive timelines and like you're saying more. Aggressive than anything any other major party candidate has ever put forward. It's in fact more aggressive in some ways than what Bernie Sanders was saying back in two thousand sixteen. So let me ask you this though how does Biden respond to the argument? That's would cost this have tremendous adverse economic impact especially in states that are necessary to for him to win I, mean, how does he respond to that cost the loss of just thousands upon thousands of jobs? Well, he says that his climate plan is also a jobs. Plan that transitioning away from fossil fuels will create millions of jobs in itself to have to install solar panels, built wind turbines. But then also all all the different sort of retrofits that his plan calls for to homes and businesses to make buildings more energy efficient. He really thinks of this as an economic plan in addition to being a plan to stop climate change or headed off at least. Well, we knew though that president trump in contrast president trump has always kind of focused on that economic impact of. This country is kind of reliance on fossil fuels and back in two thousand sixteen many people may remember he promised to reopen coal mines and to bring back coal mining jobs has that happened no that has not happened and we've seen trump talk less and less about coal in the first two state of the Union addresses. He gave he talked a lot about clean call and saving jobs but he dropped those references in the last two state of the Union addresses and we've seen coal fired power plants continue. To Shudder and call nine continue to close down during his presidency not because of any government policy. Really. But experts say it's because of economic pressure Kohl's just gotten to expensive relative to natural gas and renewable 's and what about oil I. The idea that a move away from fossil fuels from reliance on fossil fuels is increasingly popular with the public. I mean, the polls make that clear but apart from that are the economics driving oil to face a similar fate, a colleague of yours reported last month, for example. That British Petroleum VP has come out publicly and said it is shrinking it's oil and gas business and investing in wind and solar. So are sort of economic imperatives or whatever public policy imperatives regardless of what president trump sort of perspective on this are they driving in that direction anyway. So during the pandemic at least in the short term, the oil industry has been hit particularly hard as people driving fly less. There's a lot less demand for oil and that has caused a lot of oil companies to have to. Lay off people and even have to declare bankruptcy in this country that said, there are some experts who do think that oil is going to go the way of coal right now, electric vehicles. There aren't that many being used relative to the entire auto market in the United States, but there's this expectation that adoption of electric vehicles is going to pick up and that's going to really eat into the petroleum business because most of the petroleum in this country is used towards transportation field towards the gas tank in your car. That is Dino Grandoni. He is an energy and environmental policy report with the Washington. Post Dina Grandoni thank you so much for talking to us. Thank you for having me

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