Trump: Clinton wants a ‘war on energy’

Trump: Clinton wants a ‘war on energy’
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Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment MORE on Thursday accused his Democratic opponent of seeking a “war on energy,” and promised to slash regulations that he says are holding back fossil fuels.

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Top diplomat said request for specific probes in Ukraine was 'contrary' to US policy Feehery: What Republicans must do to adapt to political realignment MORE’s energy policies would cost the United States $5 trillion, Trump said in a speech at a natural gas conference. He added that Clinton wants “to put the coal miners out of work, ban hydraulic fracking in almost all places and extensively restrict and ban energy production on public lands and in most offshore areas."

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The billionaire businessman predicted "devastation for states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and so many others, where shale oil and shale energy and coal and coal production are critical parts of the economy.”

Trump used the speech in Pittsburgh, the heart of the Marcellus Shale gas boom of recent years, to pitch his energy, economic and tax agendas to gas executives. He spoke highly of what the gas boom, spurred by hydraulic fracturing, has done to the country’s economy and security.

Under his administration, Trump said, the country would see the full potential of fossil fuels. He also promised to repeal Obama administration regulations like the Clean Power Plan and the coal-leasing moratorium while easing permitting for pipelines and other infrastructure and opening more federal property for drilling and mining.

“Federal restrictions remain a major impediment to both shale production specifically, and energy production in general,” he said.

“Your regulations are going to be cut back to a point that you’ll be able to have your businesses, grow your businesses and start new businesses. And you’ll never be able to do that with what has taken place over the last eight years.”

Trump repeatedly sought to link Clinton to President Obama’s environmental policies, saying Clinton’s policies would be far worse for the country than Obama’s ever were.

“She’s not only declared war on the miners, but on all oil and natural gas production. It’s war,” he said. “It’s going to be worse under her than it has been under President Obama.”

Trump put a particular new focus on energy infrastructure amid the ongoing national fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline, the construction of which Obama has delayed.

He said dozens of infrastructure projects like natural gas export terminals and pipelines have been delayed or shelved under Obama, and he would approve them.

“Billions of dollars in private infrastructure investment have been lost to the Obama-Clinton restriction agenda, and many, many billions more to follow,” he said.

"If I’m president, they will happen quickly, I can tell you that … you’ll be amazed how quickly they’ll happen.”

Environmentalists quickly denounced Trump’s speech.

“Donald Trump is a con man who takes money from his charity to cover his own legal fees, takes money from his campaign donors to enrich his own businesses, and takes talking points from the biggest polluters in the country to slap together his disastrous energy positions," Khalid Pitts, the Sierra Club’s political director, said in a statement.

“Trump’s dirty-fuels-first plan is pretty simple: drill enough off our coasts to threaten beaches from Maine to Florida, frack enough to spoil groundwater across the nation, and burn enough coal to cook the planet and make our kids sick,” Pitts added, mocking Trump’s pledge to implement an “America first” energy plan.