Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled his energy plan. If he takes office, he will cut funding to the United Nations fund to reduce the effects of global warming, he said in a speech in North Dakota on May 26, 2016.
Trump revealed his “American first” energy plan just hours after initial reports stating he had won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination.
The real estate mogul said he will unleash unrestrained production of oil, coal, natural gas and other energy sources to push the United States toward energy independence.
Trump said he would do everything he could to “free up the coal” and bring back thousands of coal jobs that were lost as the industry competed with cheaper natural gas and struggled against regulations designed to reduce air pollution and lower greenhouse emissions.
“They love it,” Trump said of people who work in coal mines.
“We’re going to bring it back and we’re going to help those people because that’s what they want to do,” he said.
Trump also used his energy speech to fiercely attack Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, in which he repeatedly referred to her as “crooked Hillary.”
“She will shut down energy production across this country,” Trump said.
The Republican presidential hopeful says President Obama has been doing “everything he can to get in the way of American energy,” but that Clinton will be even worse for the United States.
“She’s declared war on the American worker,” he said of Clinton as he read from a teleprompter.
His attack comes after Clinton said in March, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
After her remarks she said her comments were a “misstatement” and outlined a proposal to help coal workers who had lost their jobs.
Despite Trump’s recent speech, he didn’t always support coal mining.
In an interview with Playboy Magazine in 1990, he compared his real estate career to “the story of the coal miner’s son.”
“The coal miner gets black-lung disease. His son gets it, then his son. If I had been the son of a coal miner, I would have left the damn mines,” Trump told Playboy.
“But most people don’t have the imagination—or whatever—to leave their mine,” he said.
Trump responded to the ’90s interview in an email to the Associated Press, saying, “I never had the imagination to leave the real estate industry, until I recently decided to make America great again.”
“We tend to follow up our father’s footsteps, and that’s the lifestyle we want, even if it’s tougher than other alternatives. … Being a coal miner is really tough, but that’s what they love, and unlike Hillary Clinton, I am going to make sure they have they have their jobs for many years to come.”
A non-believer in global warming, Trump vowed to cancel the Paris climate agreement and stop all funds from U.S. tax money to U.N. global warming programs.
Trump also said he would approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, which was vetoed by President Obama.
Trump, like many Republicans, has lashed out against climate science, saying global warming is a con job and a hoax:
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
Ironically, one of Trump’s companies has cited sea level rise and increased storminess triggered by global warming as a reason for coastal work. In its paperwork the company sought permission to build an estimated two-mile-long stone wall to secure the shoreline at one of his golf courses in Ireland.
Reaction to Trump’s speech came quickly. The executive director of the Sierra Club, Michael Brune, said Trump’s “so-called energy plan” was “an unmitigated disaster. It’s clear that Donald Trump would bankrupt our air, water, and climate just like he’s bankrupted his businesses.”
“Trump’s divisive language has made him a shocking candidate, but today he just pandered to the fossil fuel industry with a carbon-copy energy plan that could have been lifted directly from Mitch McConnell,” said David Willett, spokesman for the League of Conservation Voters, in a statement.
“Trump sure did cut a deal today, a bad one for American families, offering to trade away protections for the health of our families and a clean energy future just so he could give big oil exactly what they wanted to hear,” he added.
Tom Seyer, a billionaire environmentalist also lashed out on Trump via Twitter saying his energy ideas were “all wrong!”
.@realDonaldTrump wants to undo CPP, double down on dirty KXL, & stop most important international agreement on climate—all wrong!
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) May 26, 2016
The Associated Press contributed to this report.