DONALD Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, promised on Thursday to roll back some of America’s most ambitious environmental policies, actions that he said would revive the ailing U.S. oil and coal industries and bolster national security.
Among the proposals, Trump said he would pull the United States out of the U.N. global climate accord, approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada and rescind measures by President Barack Obama to cut U.S. emissions and protect waterways from industrial pollution.
“Any regulation that’s outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped and scrapped completely,” Trump told about 7,700 people at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, the capital of oil-rich North Dakota. “We’re going to do all this while taking proper regard for rational environmental concerns.”
It was Trump’s first speech detailing the energy policies he would advance if elected president. He received loud applause from the crowd of oil executives.
The comments painted a stark contrast between the New York billionaire and his Democratic rivals for the White House, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who advocate a sharp turn away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy technologies to combat climate change.
Trump slammed both rivals in his speech, saying their policies would kill jobs and force the United States “to be begging for oil again” from Middle East producers.
“It’s not going to happen. Not with me,” he said.
Trump’s comments drew quick criticism from environmental advocates, who called his proposals “frightening.”
“Trump’s energy policies would accelerate climate change, protect corporate polluters who profit from poisoning our air and water, and block the transition to clean energy that is necessary to strengthen our economy and protect our climate and health,” said Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmental activist.
But industry executives cheered the stance.
“It’s simple. If Trump wins, oil field workers will be happy. If Clinton wins, oil workers will be unhappy,” said Derrick Alexander, an operations manager at oilfield services firm Integrated Productions Services.
Trump hit Clinton hard in his speech, saying the former secretary of state would be more aggressive than Obama on regulations. He repeated several times Clinton’s March comments that her policies would put coal miners out of work.
“Hillary Clinton’s agenda is job destruction,” Trump said.