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Mixed support for Trump's potential energy policies

Greenpeace worried about oil executive in charge, but industry says its actions reflect some climate concerns.

By
Daniel J. Graeber
President-elect Donald Trump is getting mixed support so far for an energy policy that seems to favor the oil and gas sector. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI
President-elect Donald Trump is getting mixed support so far for an energy policy that seems to favor the oil and gas sector. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Greenpeace said it was concerned climate policy under President-elect Donald Trump will have a 'drill, baby, drill' mentality, but an energy group sang praises.

Billionaire Trump started the formal transition to power this week, meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office on Thursday. Trump's rise to power has been met with both sweeping praise and concern as the untested Republican charts his path to the U.S. presidency.

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Naomi Ages, a climate attorney for the U.S. branch of Greenpeace, said in a statement sent to UPI that Trump would likely stack his Cabinet with industry leaders from the private and energy sectors to help push policy in favor of the oil and gas business.

"Environmental protection will take backseat to corporate protection with [global warming skeptic] Myron Ebell as head of the EPA, 'drill, baby, drill' will ring across this country with [former Alaska Gov.] Sarah Palin in the Interior Department, and [Continental Resources CEO] Harold Hamm's oil would flow through the Dakota Access Pipeline and so many others if he were energy secretary," she said.

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Hamm, who emerged as a close Trump confidant early in the campaign, has been named as a possible energy secretary. While Palin does have a potential role in the Trump administration, a profile of his Cabinet offered by Politico said Lucas Oil founder Forrest Lucas is the lead contender for U.S. interior secretary.

The U.S. Energy Department is tasked with advancing national energy security interests. The Interior Department is charged with managing land and natural resources

Trump in a statement on his potential energy policies said the United States would become energy independent under his leadership. While the outline puts a clear focus on non-renewable resources, the president-elect said the environment would still get attention.

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"America will unleash an energy revolution that will transform us into a net energy exporter, leading to the creation of millions of new jobs, while protecting the country's most valuable resources – our clean air, clean water, and natural habitats," his statement read.

The American Petroleum Institute, which lobbies on behalf of the oil and gas industry, said Trump's administration would unravel regulatory burdens standing in the way of a more robust U.S. energy sector. API President and CEO Jack Gerard said the industry has already made strides toward a low-carbon economy all while tapping into oil and gas reserves.

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"In fact, the United States leads the world in reduction of carbon emissions, with clean-burning natural gas driving emissions in the power sector to 25-year lows," he said in a statement.

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Trump received early criticism for his pledge to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement.

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