Energy Policy
August 2, 2017
Will Trump’s “America First” proposals spur job growth?

The Trump administration’s “America First” energy policy seeks to increase the output of oil, gas and coal, boost employment and make the United States independent of foreign suppliers. But because of its focus on aiding the coal industry and reducing environmental protections, the plan has drawn criticism from environmentalists and a wide range of officials. Many see the moves as outdated because natural gas has already surpassed coal as the leading source of electricity generation. President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, an international accord designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, also has drawn harsh criticism, even from many corporate leaders. Corporations, as well as state and local government officials, are pledging to meet greenhouse gas targets set under the accord.

The Acosta Deep Mine began operating on June 8, 2017, in Friedens, Pa. It is expected to create 70 jobs. (Getty Images/Justin Merriman)   The Acosta Deep Mine began operating on June 8, 2017, in Friedens, Pa. It is expected to create 70 jobs. The Trump administration has made revitalizing the coal industry a priority. (Getty Images/Justin Merriman)

While President Trump has made energy independence a top priority — he wants to reduce the nation’s energy costs, end reliance on foreign oil and increase employment — his plans have come under criticism from environmentalists and a wide range of U.S. and foreign officials, who fear their impact on the environment. 1

Trump’s March 28 energy independence executive order directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to roll back Clean Power Plan regulations, which are designed to reduce the use of coal-fired power plants and support solar and wind power. 2

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