19 Apr 2018

Energy and the Administration: Wins – Yes, Style Points – Nope

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How does the PolicySmith address, and civilly discuss, the Trump Administration and its substantial advancement of energy production and advocacy?  Hmmm.  There are the never-Trumpers who stop reading right here, the Trumpsters who can’t get enough of the in-your-face Presidential style – and – those struggling to square problematic behavior with the very real accomplishments of the past 15 months.

The exercise of diplomacy, of governing and building consensus does not include vulgar behavior, bloviating, self-aggrandizement and name calling.  Presidential missteps serve to marginalize, even trivialize, the real gains in energy supply, balance of trade and security.  A partial list of policies adopted for the good includes:

  • Offshore leasing expansion
  • Keystone Pipeline approval
  • BLM venting and flaring rule halted
  • Corralling EPA with staff and leadership dedicated to limiting the agency to its mission, not the overreach and mischief of previous administrations, i.e., Waters of the U.S.
  • Abandonment of the Clean Power Plan
  • Promoting crude and natural gas exports
  • Exiting the Paris Climate Agreement
  • Approval of oil and gas leasing in ANWR

Additionally, tax reform, confronting China on trade, countering Syrian use of chemical weapons, continuing advances in Iraq, revisiting the Iran deal and confronting and penalizing Russia for its attacks on adversaries in Britain are all positives.

Counterweights to those advances are the relentless drumbeat on personal peccadilloes, former FBI director Comey, the endless and tiresome Mueller investigation, strippers, twitter blizzards, the beautiful wall, deriding and bullying opponents, including his own appointees, with sophomoric putdowns and a pugnacity inappropriate in any civilized setting.

At several points one might have believed misdirection and something of a sideshow could be a considered strategy to keep opposition off balance.  Ronald Reagan used a sunny mood and a jovial demeanor to divert attention from serious initiatives to neutralize the USSR and reinvigorate a moribund economy.  No such strategy is visible.  Only impulsive rhetoric, getting even with detractors and the ever-present drumbeat on fake media are constants.

So, what does the PolicySmith advocate as discourse on the Trump circus, the broad and material energy accomplishments, as well as the energy challenges before us?  National security and energy are interwoven with China and Russia challenges, relations with Europe and Canada and our own economic wellbeing.

The lone option is to speak objectively – the country’s politics are in disarray, acknowledge that our allies are uneasy, and the apparent chaos on Pennsylvania Avenue must be endured. Other leaders in and out of government must be encouraged to appeal to the better instincts, if any, of the Commander in Chief.

At the same time, advances in technology should be further encouraged, not stymied and derided as they were in the previous administration.  Positive views on abundant energy, production increases and improving energy independence should be acknowledged and applauded.

Decades have passed since such measurable and meaningful progress has accrued to the U.S. and its energy interests.  The reality is those in the Administration charged with managing the country’s energy interests and policies have delivered, big time, and should be encouraged to continue.

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